Why grinning at your greens will encourage fussy kids to tuck in
PARENTS should smile when they eat their greens if they don’t want to foster fussy eating habits in their children.
Youngsters were found to eat twice as much broccoli after seeing an adult tuck in with a broad grin, a study has found.
Researchers recruited 111 children aged four to six – the stage of peak pickiness – from across the UK to see if they could convince them to eat raw broccoli.
They were shown video clips of either adults eating broccoli straight-faced, while grinning from ear to ear, or clips that did not involve broccoli at all. When children saw the beaming broccoli diners they went on to eat around 11 grams (0.4 ounces) of it themselves – more than double the five grams consumed after seeing a non-broccoli related clip.
‘The videos had people with big exaggerated grins eating broccoli, which might not be easy but it does seem to encourage children to eat it,’ said Katie Edwards who led the Aston University study.