Allowing children to taste unfamiliar vegetables over a period of time appears to increase consumption, whereas nutrition education using the PhunkyFoods program encourages children who are non-eaters to try the vegetable

In December 2019 researchers from the UK published the results of their study to compare taste exposure, nutrition education, and taste exposure and nutrition education together on the consumption of an unfamiliar vegetable (mooli/daikon radish) in preschool-aged children. A total of 140 children, aged 2 to 5 years, were divided into four groups, namely one group who experienced weekly tasting of the mooli/daikon radish at snack time, a second group nutrition education using the PhunkyFoods program, a third group who experienced weekly tasting of the mooli/daikon radish at snack time plus lessons from the PhunkyFoods program, and a fourth group who received nothing and acted as a control group. The study lasted for 10 weeks and the child’s intake of the mooli/daikon radish as a snack was assessed both at the start and end of the study period as well as during weeks 24 and 36 as follow up. Results showed that lessons from the PhunkyFoods program increased consumption of the mooli/daikon radish which was maintained at both weeks 24 and 36. Children watching the PhunkyFoods program were more likely to eat some of the mooli/daikon radish than children who did not. Combining both taste exposure and nutrional education produced no additional increased intake than taste exposure alone.

Nekitsing C et al. Taste Exposure Increases Intake and Nutrition Education Increases Willingness to Try an Unfamiliar Vegetable in Preschool Children: A Cluster Randomized Trial. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2019 Dec;119(12):2004-2013.

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