Study finds kids can learn to love veggies

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

If you start eating those veggies early on in life, you’ll have no problem getting excited about a steaming bowl of healthy goodies in the future.

We’ve all had our fair share of carrots, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, and other popular veggies at dinner time, and in all honesty, they don’t taste that bad. When it comes to the more unpopular options like artichoke, they can seem nasty enough to slip under the table and feed to the dogs. According to new research, however, fussy kids can be taught to love veggies!

Scientists gathered more than 300 youngsters ranging from about 4 months old to a little over three years of age. From there, the kids were divided into three different groups: one that was fed plain artichoke in liquid form, a second that received sweetened artichoke mixture, and a third that ate ground up artichoke mixed with vegetable oil for added energy.

Apparently, 20% of the toddlers had no problem with the veggie and ate most of the mixture they were offered, regardless of it was raw, sweetened, or mixed with oil. Similarly, about 40% of the youngsters learned to like the vegetable and finished a little less than half of their serving. Only 16% of the kids turned their heads every which way to avoid the spoonful of artichoke. Interestingly enough, younger babies were more likely to eat the food, while children 24 months and older were less likely to enjoy it.

This study basically suggests that really young kids are more open to trying new things, even artichoke! If parents expose their babies to different types of veggies early in life, they will have no problem enjoying all types of the healthy treats as adults.

Images courtesy of US Department of Agriculture on Flickr.