If you wish to encourage your kids to eat healthy and want them to eat vegetables without making much fuss, starting early and often could be the key.
Exposing babies to a new vegetable early in life encourages them to eat more of it compared to offering new vegetables to older children, a new study has suggested.
Researchers from the University of Leeds say parents should have their kids try a new vegetable five to ten times, and the younger the are, the better. Mothers and fathers shouldn’t let facial expressions discourage them either when children are tasting foods for the first time, according to researcher Marion Hetherington.
“You have to get beyond those facial expressions of what you think might be disgust, but are actually just shock,” Hetherington said. “…Be patient and be persistent, but don’t give up after three tries.”
The study examined children from four months to three years old, resulting in the mantra “often and early.” When they’re older, they’re more able to decline the offer.
In addition, the vegetable taste doesn’t need to be masked, according to researchers.