London - Parents whose children refuse to eat their greens may have a new strategy.
Fussy eaters can be encouraged to try vegetables if they are offered enough variety, experts have found.
The research, led by Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said the key may be avoiding "boredom" in children during a "critical phase" for fussiness.
The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, looked at 32 families with children aged four to six who ate under two servings of vegetables a day.
One group of children were offered broccoli three times a week for five weeks, while a second ate as normal. The third group were given two out of three vegetables at a time – either broccoli, peas or a quarter of a courgette slice.
Three months later there was no change in the amount of vegetables children eating as normal, or given just broccoli, could be persuaded to eat. But children given multiple vegetables went from being willing to eat almost two-thirds of a serving to consuming double that.
Researchers said while the children were still consuming less greens than recommended, variety was still shown to increase vegetable consumption.Daily Mail