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New Research: 7 Research-Backed Strategies to Help Your Kids Love Vegetables

What kind of study was this?

This was a review of systematic review studies. Systematic reviews are studies where researchers define ahead of time what types of studies (populations, methods, variables, outcomes, etc.) they’re going to review and then they search all the major academic databases for studies that fit their predetermined criteria. So, this study is basically a review of reviews.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know what all the systematic reviews had to say on strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

What did the researchers actually do?

They searched all the major academic databases for systematic reviews on studies that examined strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

They categorized all of the strategies into three categories, based on how much evidence existed to support them:

  1. Promising (has a “large and consistent body of moderate quality evidence”)
  2. Emerging (has a “small to moderate body of mixed consistency and quality evidence”)
  3. Limited (has a “small body of limited consistency and quality evidence”)

What did the researchers find?

They found only one strategy that had enough evidence to be classified as “promising,” which was repeatedly exposing kids to a single vegetable or a variety of vegetables.

But six other strategies had enough evidence to reach the “emerging” category:

  1. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re pregnant
  2. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re breastfeeding
  3. Introducing vegetables as first solid foods
  4. Parents eating a lot of vegetables in the presence of kids
  5. Not using food as a reward
  6. Reading lots of vegetable-based storybooks

What does this mean for parents and kids?

There are lots of great science-backed strategies to help kids truly like vegetables. These begin in the womb and in breastfeeding before a child ever eats a single vegetable, and can continue on at any age with the strongest evidence-based strategy: repeated exposure to one or more vegetables.

Original article: Bell, L., et al., Supporting strategies for enhancing vegetable liking in the early years of life: an umbrella review of systematic reviews, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 113, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages 1282–1300, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa384  

New Research: 7 Research-Backed Strategies to Help Your Kids Love Vegetables

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New Research: 7 Research-Backed Strategies to Help Your Kids Love Vegetables

The strongest evidence-based strategy to help kids love veggies is to repeatedly expose them to one or more vegetables over time. But six other strategies have a growing evidence base.

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Maximize nutrients, minimize sugar and starch

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Reading time:

3 minutes

What kind of study was this?

This was a review of systematic review studies. Systematic reviews are studies where researchers define ahead of time what types of studies (populations, methods, variables, outcomes, etc.) they’re going to review and then they search all the major academic databases for studies that fit their predetermined criteria. So, this study is basically a review of reviews.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know what all the systematic reviews had to say on strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

What did the researchers actually do?

They searched all the major academic databases for systematic reviews on studies that examined strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

They categorized all of the strategies into three categories, based on how much evidence existed to support them:

  1. Promising (has a “large and consistent body of moderate quality evidence”)
  2. Emerging (has a “small to moderate body of mixed consistency and quality evidence”)
  3. Limited (has a “small body of limited consistency and quality evidence”)

What did the researchers find?

They found only one strategy that had enough evidence to be classified as “promising,” which was repeatedly exposing kids to a single vegetable or a variety of vegetables.

But six other strategies had enough evidence to reach the “emerging” category:

  1. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re pregnant
  2. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re breastfeeding
  3. Introducing vegetables as first solid foods
  4. Parents eating a lot of vegetables in the presence of kids
  5. Not using food as a reward
  6. Reading lots of vegetable-based storybooks

What does this mean for parents and kids?

There are lots of great science-backed strategies to help kids truly like vegetables. These begin in the womb and in breastfeeding before a child ever eats a single vegetable, and can continue on at any age with the strongest evidence-based strategy: repeated exposure to one or more vegetables.

Original article: Bell, L., et al., Supporting strategies for enhancing vegetable liking in the early years of life: an umbrella review of systematic reviews, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 113, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages 1282–1300, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa384  

What kind of study was this?

This was a review of systematic review studies. Systematic reviews are studies where researchers define ahead of time what types of studies (populations, methods, variables, outcomes, etc.) they’re going to review and then they search all the major academic databases for studies that fit their predetermined criteria. So, this study is basically a review of reviews.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know what all the systematic reviews had to say on strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

What did the researchers actually do?

They searched all the major academic databases for systematic reviews on studies that examined strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

They categorized all of the strategies into three categories, based on how much evidence existed to support them:

  1. Promising (has a “large and consistent body of moderate quality evidence”)
  2. Emerging (has a “small to moderate body of mixed consistency and quality evidence”)
  3. Limited (has a “small body of limited consistency and quality evidence”)

What did the researchers find?

They found only one strategy that had enough evidence to be classified as “promising,” which was repeatedly exposing kids to a single vegetable or a variety of vegetables.

But six other strategies had enough evidence to reach the “emerging” category:

  1. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re pregnant
  2. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re breastfeeding
  3. Introducing vegetables as first solid foods
  4. Parents eating a lot of vegetables in the presence of kids
  5. Not using food as a reward
  6. Reading lots of vegetable-based storybooks

What does this mean for parents and kids?

There are lots of great science-backed strategies to help kids truly like vegetables. These begin in the womb and in breastfeeding before a child ever eats a single vegetable, and can continue on at any age with the strongest evidence-based strategy: repeated exposure to one or more vegetables.

Original article: Bell, L., et al., Supporting strategies for enhancing vegetable liking in the early years of life: an umbrella review of systematic reviews, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 113, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages 1282–1300, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa384  

What kind of study was this?

This was a review of systematic review studies. Systematic reviews are studies where researchers define ahead of time what types of studies (populations, methods, variables, outcomes, etc.) they’re going to review and then they search all the major academic databases for studies that fit their predetermined criteria. So, this study is basically a review of reviews.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know what all the systematic reviews had to say on strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

What did the researchers actually do?

They searched all the major academic databases for systematic reviews on studies that examined strategies for increasing how much children up to five years old like vegetables.

They categorized all of the strategies into three categories, based on how much evidence existed to support them:

  1. Promising (has a “large and consistent body of moderate quality evidence”)
  2. Emerging (has a “small to moderate body of mixed consistency and quality evidence”)
  3. Limited (has a “small body of limited consistency and quality evidence”)

What did the researchers find?

They found only one strategy that had enough evidence to be classified as “promising,” which was repeatedly exposing kids to a single vegetable or a variety of vegetables.

But six other strategies had enough evidence to reach the “emerging” category:

  1. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re pregnant
  2. Mothers eating a variety of vegetables while they’re breastfeeding
  3. Introducing vegetables as first solid foods
  4. Parents eating a lot of vegetables in the presence of kids
  5. Not using food as a reward
  6. Reading lots of vegetable-based storybooks

What does this mean for parents and kids?

There are lots of great science-backed strategies to help kids truly like vegetables. These begin in the womb and in breastfeeding before a child ever eats a single vegetable, and can continue on at any age with the strongest evidence-based strategy: repeated exposure to one or more vegetables.

Original article: Bell, L., et al., Supporting strategies for enhancing vegetable liking in the early years of life: an umbrella review of systematic reviews, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 113, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages 1282–1300, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa384  

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