Send to

Choose Destination
Appetite. 2003 Apr;40(2):155-62.

Increasing children's acceptance of vegetables; a randomized trial of parent-led exposure.

Author information

Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Despite considerable epidemiological evidence of the health benefits of a diet high in fruit and vegetables, consumption in pre-school children remains well below recommended levels. This study evaluated the effectiveness of an exposure-based intervention, carried out by parents in the home, in increasing children's liking for a previously disliked vegetable. 156 parents of 2-6 year old children were randomly assigned to Exposure, Information or Control groups after a pre-intervention taste test at which a 'target' vegetable was selected. Parents in the Exposure group gave their child a taste of this vegetable daily for 14 days, parents in the Information group were given nutritional advice and a leaflet, and parents in the Control group received no further intervention. All participants took part in a post-intervention taste test. Greater increases in liking, ranking and consumption of the 'target' vegetable from pre- to post-intervention occurred in the Exposure group than in either of the other two groups. Only the Exposure group showed significant increases across all three outcomes. It can be concluded that a parent-led, exposure-based intervention involving daily tasting of a vegetable holds promise for improving children's acceptance of vegetables. These findings suggest a parental advice strategy which could be disseminated directly to parents or by health professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center