According to new Spanish research, if you allow children a choice of vegetables, it results in them eating as much as 80 percent more veggies!

Scientists analyzed vegetable consumption in children age 6. The researchers used “provision of choice,” where children were allowed to choose the vegetables they wanted for each meal, as part of the study.

Children who were allowed to choose their vegetables ate almost 1.6 ounces (42g) per day, the study said. Anything that encourages children to eat more veg is a good thing in my book. Allowing children to make their own food decisions from an early age is a good thing. As parents, we provide what children eat. We are responsible for giving them healthy foods to choose from. Then we facilitate them in the decision-making process by allowing them to choose which vegetable to eat.

My practical nutrition suggestion – prepare two nutritious vegetables each day for family meals. Plate out a small portion of veg for children. Place the rest of the veg in nice serving bowls in the center of the table with big serving spoons. This way children can enjoy helping themselves just like the adults around the table. Make sure you always have a sweeter vegetable like carrots, sugar snap peas, garden peas or sweetcorn to offer too.

Remember children need to try a new veg at least ten times before they develop a liking for it.

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