By offering children THREE vegetables at once instead of just one, they are less likely to become a picky eater, scientists say
- Some children received broccoli three times a week for five weeks
- Others were exposed to a rotation of broccoli, zucchini and peas
- Those who received several vegetables saw the intake increase from 0.6 to 1.2 servings per day
Offering children a range of vegetables can ensure that they do not become picky eaters, research suggests.
Australian scientists looked at 32 children between the ages of four and six, who consumed fewer than two servings of vegetables a day.
Some children were offered broccoli three times a week for five weeks, while others were exposed to broccoli, zucchini and peas.
Three months later, those who received a range of vegetables saw their intake doubled from an average of 0.6 servings per day to 1.2.
The children who had just been offered broccoli, on the other hand, had no increase in their vegetable consumption.
Although 1.2 servings per day still contain too few dietary recommendations, the scientists hope that their research shows that & # 39; the strategy of offering different vegetables is more successful to increase consumption & # 39 ;.
Offering children a range of vegetables can fight picky food, research suggests (stock)
The study was conducted by the government agency The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra.
Children are notoriously picky eaters, with many young people who especially do not like the bitter taste of vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli.
Eating many fresh products is important for a child's development, with the American Heart Association recommending that four-year-olds get up to 35 percent of their calories from low-fat foods, such as vegetables.
In the UK, the NHS recommends that both children and adults use their & # 39; five-a-day & # 39; to get. In 2017, only 18 percent of five to fifteen year olds in England achieved this goal, according to the Health Survey for England.
Although children may claim that they do not like vegetables, food preferences have been largely learned, with youth being a critical phase, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
& # 39; Repeated exposure & # 39; is a recognized method to encourage children to try new flavors and any & # 39; food phobias & # 39; to win.
Previous studies have looked at the effects of exposing a young person to a single vegetable, but & # 39; multiple exposure to vegetables & # 39; was less understood.
For more information, 11 of the 32 children were offered a small flower of broccoli three times a week for five weeks.
Ten broccoli, zucchini and peas were offered for the same duration. Two of these three vegetables were given to the children in turns.
For example, one day the young pigeons were exposed to zucchini and broccoli, and the following broccoli and peas.
The remaining 11 children acted as controls, without changing their exposure to vegetables.
Three months later, the scientists assessed the eating habits of the young people by inviting them to a meal at their research center. They also looked at food records compiled by the children's parents.
The results showed that the young people who were exposed to multiple vegetables saw their intake increase from 0.6 to 1.2 servings per day.
Their parents claimed that offering this food to their children & # 39; very easily & # 39; or & # 39; fairly easy & # 39; used to be.
There was no change in vegetable consumption at the single exposure group or controls.
"While the amount of vegetables eaten increased during the study, the amount did not meet the dietary guidelines," said lead author. Astrid Poelman.
& # 39; Nevertheless, the study showed that offering a variety of vegetables was more successful in increasing consumption than offering a single vegetable. & # 39;
The researchers hope that further studies will confirm their findings.
WHAT WOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grain, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Basic meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grain
• 30 grams of fiber per day: this is the same as eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-grain cereal cookies, 2 thick slices of whole-grain bread and a large baked potato with the skin on it
• Provide some alternatives to dairy or dairy products (such as soy drinks) with options for less fat and less sugar
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which must be fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume in small quantities
• Drink 6-8 cups / glasses of water per day
• Adults must have less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell guide
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