Kids Eat More Produce When They Play with Food

When children have tactile experiences with food, they are more likely to try new fruits and vegetables.


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According to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children are more likely to eat their fruit and vegetables if encouraged to interact with food in a tactile way. Researchers asked children to dig out toy soldiers hidden inside mashed potatoes and vegetarian gelatin, and found that the kids who became the most engaged were significantly less likely to have food neophobia—a fear of new food often associated with trying new fruits and vegetables. The kids who enjoyed touching different food textures also consumed more produce at home. In addition, the study found that when parents eat more produce, kids will follow suit.