Kids love vegetables? It’s fair to say that we didn’t believe it either – but new research reveals that it’s true, and modern children are more adventurous with their healthy habits.
British parents have traditionally always battled to encourage kids to love vegetables, but it seems that the tables have turned, as nationwide research has uncovered an emerging generation of adventurous young foodies, who consider Brussels sprouts, spinach and cabbage as a must-have on their dinner plate.
Almost a third (32%) of parents surveyed say their children would eat just about any type of vegetable served to them – and only 29% struggle to get their kids to eat their veg.
The study of 1,000 parents and children aged 4-9, commissioned by Birds Eye to celebrate their Eat in Full Colour campaign, shows that colourful carrots, peas, sweetcorn and broccoli are firm favourites, followed by peppers, cauliflower and green beans. Surprisingly, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and spinach were named by some 4-9 year olds as their preferred veg of choice.
So what explains this rise in popularity? Almost three quarters (73%) of the young children surveyed recognise the importance of eating vegetables because they are healthy; 45% think they will make them stronger; and 22% think they will make them smarter. 11% think it is really ‘cool’ to eat veg!
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, Clinical Psychologist and star of Channel 4’s The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 year olds said: “It is no surprise that children are becoming more adventurous with the vegetables they eat.
“The rise of flexitarian or plant-based diets, healthy eating recipe books reaching prime spot on store shelves and leading food influencers focusing on veg-packed recipes, are all signs that healthy eating has become a huge part of popular culture.
“Children learn through observation and are heavily influenced by what they see adults around them doing. We know that if parents have a varied diet and an adventurous approach to food then it’s likely to rub off on their children. If they see the people they trust eating a certain vegetable and enjoying it, they’re more likely to give it a go, so it’s vital that parents aim to add different coloured vegetables to the plates of the whole family.”
But what are British children’s top 10 favourite vegetables?
Carrot, sweetcorn, peas, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, green beans, brussels, sprouts, cabbage and spinach all feature.
For delicious recipes using fresh veg, take a look here!