For many parents, getting their kids to eat their greens is a constant battle. It often seems that whatever vegetables are served up to young children, they are refused with a vengeance. This can lead to young ones adopting poor diets. A new study from the University of Leeds in the U.K. suggests parents can train their children to like vegetables. The study showed that children under the age of two can get to like vegetables they initially rejected if they are offered them five to ten times. Researchers said even the fussiest of eaters will succumb to repeated exposure to vegetables. This is good news for parents worried about their children's dietary intake and levels of nutrition.
The study was conducted on 332 children aged between four months and three years from Britain, Denmark and France. Each child was given between five and 10 servings of at least 100g of artichoke puree. The younger children consumed more of the artichoke than the older children. Professor Marion Hetherington said: "If they are under two, they will eat new vegetables because they tend to be willing and open to new experiences. After 24 months, children become reluctant to try new things and start to reject foods - even those they previously liked." She added: "If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often."