Stephen: Rewarding kids for eating vegetables may encourage healthier eating

Published on May 11th, 2022 @ 5:34 PM


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Vegetables can be a tricky food to get kids to eat, and a new study finds that rewarding children for trying new vegetables may make them more willing to eat them. Researchers in the Netherlands found when children were given a non-food reward, like a sticker or toy crown, for trying a new vegetable they were willing to try an average of seven vegetable over the course of the three-month study, while children in the non-reward group and the control group were willing to try an average of five to six vegetables.

Researcher Britt van Belkom says, “It’s important to start eating vegetables from a young age. We know from previous research that young children typically have to try a new vegetable eight to 10 times before they like it. […] Regularly offering vegetables to toddlers at daycare centers significantly increases their ability to recognize various vegetables. But rewarding toddlers for tasting vegetables appears to also increase their willingness to try different vegetables.”

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