Research commissioned by organic baby food brand, Ella’s Kitchen, reveals toddlers who use all of their senses to play with vegetables outside of mealtimes are more likely to eat them than those who don’t.
Paul Lindley, Ella’s Dad and founder of Ella’s Kitchen, comments: “Many kids don’t like eating their greens and often refuse them, leaving parents wondering if their child is missing out on important nutrients.”
Ella’s Kitchen partnered with the University of Reading, one of the world’s leading universities for research, to explore the motivation behind healthy eating in toddlers.
“The study found that toddlers who experienced new vegetables through sight, smell, sound and touch before tasting were more willing to try them. This is particularly important as previous research has shown that children need to try a new or initially disliked food up 15 times before liking it.
“However 80 per cent of parents give up after just three or four attempts, showing the need for new tactics to help parents persevere.”
The study found that children who had taken part in these sense-base activities in a play setting tasted significantly more of the vegetables they had been exposed to than a control group in a meal-time context.
Engaging children through sight, smell and touch of vegetables or singing a song and hearing a story about a food worked to build familiarity and increase acceptance.