Research Review: Getting Kids to Eat Fruits & Veg

Having trouble getting your kiddo to eat their fruits and veggies? A recent study may have some good clues as to how to change that!

This study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, and found that 3- and 4-year-olds who participated in a mindfulness program had an increased chance of liking fruits and vegetables.

The program included food-centered meditation activities, cooking demonstrations, as well as games and activities about food. The high levels of engagement around talking about, thinking about, and eating fruits and vegetables seemed to increase the toddlers’ chances of liking them.

So how can we make this practical in the home? Try some activities like printing out color sheets that feature fruits and vegetables, getting play fruits and veggies for them to “cook” with, point out fruits and vegetables in books and shows, and allow children to make some decisions about what fruits and vegetables will be served at meals and snacks.

For example, the other day, we were coloring a picture of Olaf from “Frozen.” Like other snowmen, his nose is a carrot. Later, we noticed in a picture book that a bunny rabbit was eating a carrot. So I asked my daughter, “Would you like some carrots with your lunch?” Sure enough, she said yes, and lo and behold, she ate them!

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