London - Faced with a fussy child who refuses to eat their greens, bribery can be extremely tempting.
But the sad news for parents is that it won’t really work.
A study of 154 nursery school children by researchers from Ghent University in Belgium found just over 95 percent would eat a vegetable they didn’t like after four weeks of being given it.
Children offered stickers and toys on top of that improved the proportion willing to eat their greens by approximately only two percent.
The vegetable chosen for the study was chicory – chosen by mothers as the most disliked out of ten vegetables including sprouts, peas, spinach and courgettes.
More children ate the chicory when simply asked to do so than if they were actively praised for doing so, and those given stickers and toys were hardly more likely to eat it.
The study is published in the journal Food Quality and Preference.