My daughter just asked me what her father and I were talking about. I told her we were talking about a new study that says kids like vegetables over candy. She said, “No, they don’t!”. A new study released by First 5 California claims just that!
Contrary to popular belief, a new study released by First 5 California found that parents don’t need to sneak fruits and vegetables into their children’s meals – kids say they actually like them!
Interviews with more than 100 preschoolers across California revealed that kids not only know it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables, they frequently prefer them to candy.
Kelton Research, a national polling firm, conducted interviews in English and Spanish with over 100 four- and five-year-olds. The research proved kids know why it is important to eat fruits and vegetables, and that they frequently prefer them over candy.
“While there has been a lot of research on barriers to childhood nutrition, this study dispels the myth that kids are predisposed to dislike healthy foods,” explains Kris Perry, executive director of state agency First 5 California.
In my experience as a mother and a preschool teacher, children eat what they are fed. If a child grows up eating fresh food, especially if they have an organic garden, they will crave fruits and vegetables. If kids are fed mostly junk, then that is what they will gravitate towards. When I ask my daughter what she wants for dinner, the tried and true response is kale and Jerusalem artichokes. These are two foods I never ate until I became a gardener in my adult life. Parents have to be responsible about eating healthy first, then they can be role models and only stock nutritious food in the house. My friend, a pediatric nurse practitioner, often tells the story of a mother who complained her three-year-old son would only eat potato chips. My friend responded, “Does your son do the grocery shopping?”
Jamie Ervin says
My kids do love fruit and veggies, especially when served fresh and raw with dips. We focus on colorful meals, healthy dips and fun shapes to make the kids want to eat more!
That said, they also absolutely adore sweets! They ask for candy at least once a day.
Jessica Gottlieb says
This is so funny. My mother always offers my kids ice cream for breakfast, it drives me insane, but they always say no.
I guess my Mom knows more than I give her credit for.
I wish I could agree that kids eat what they are fed. I have raised my children the same and they have very different preferences. My son would choose an apple or banana any day over a fruit bar. My daughter gags when that banana comes anywhere near her. I served them the same baby food and have always lived by the rule if you don’t like what’s on your plate you don’t have to eat it (but you’re not getting something different just because you are picky). I have to admit that ‘Deceptively Delicious’ works in my family. If it weren’t for pureed foods getting mixed into muffins and french toast, my daughter would be living on meat and cereal. My kids would never say no to ice cream for breakfast… or would they? 🙂
Jennifer O'Neill says
My son is 4 now and we have always tried to give him healthy options, never caving in and serving junk just to get him to eat something. If he doesn’t want to eat something healthy then he doesn’t have to eat. Children, in the absence of a medical problem, will not starve themselves! Now, when given a choice between pizza or sushi and edamame he will always choose the sushi and edamame!
Jennifer Lance says
I was so mad when my mom fed my daughter (three-years-old at the time) ice cream for breakfast when her brother was in the hospital. She didn’t turn it down.
It’s true! My kids do prefer vegetables to junk food as I deem all pre-packaged food. I often find at the end of a long day at home that they have eaten my “ingreedients” (bell peppers, carrots, celery, mushrooms) for a snack and the few “junk” items that I have in the house are still sitting on the shelves. Recently my children have discovered the joy of raw cabbage and thinking they were crazy I tried it….it’s really good! If only my own parents had made me eat healthier as a young child perhaps I wouldn’t have to struggle to get over the cravings for Chips Ahoy and Pop Tarts (that is part of the reason they aren’t allowed in the house).
Gardening Seed says
All this information is so helpful. I grow my own vegetables, prepare them, and lose weight for my efforts. I am also well liked by my neighbors because I share.