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20th Sep 2018

New study discovers the ONE hack that will make children eat their vegetables

We are SO trying this straight away.

Trine Jensen-Burke

Making sure my children eat the recommended intake of vegetables every day is, to be honest, a bit of a battle.

And I am sure I am not alone in this – thankfully.

To beat them at their own game, I have become quite the master in disguising veggies (and fruit too), hiding it in smoothie popsicles, a variety of sauces, heck, I often grate both carrot and beetroot into pieces so tiny my kids will never know they just ate a beetroot brownie or carrot muffin.


However, now a new Australian study has gone and proved that maybe I have been going about this the completely wrong way. Apparently, children will eat vegetables without too much fuss – if they are served the correct way.

According to MailOnline, researchers at Deakin University’s Centre for Advanced Sensory Science tested their theory on a control-group of 72 primary-school aged kids.

Each child taking part was given a 500g box of peeled carrots on one day, and the same amount of diced carrots on the next, with 10 minutes to eat as much of the veggie as they liked.

Interestingly, of the two trials, carrots served whole, rather than diced, proved to be the more popular choice, with kids choosing to eat the vegetable for longer, Dr Gie Liem, a senior lecturer from Deakin University, explained.

“On average this meant they ate about eight to 10 percent more of the whole vegetable, by weight, than when given diced carrots to try,” the lecturer revealed.

“This is easier for parents too, as they can just put a whole carrot in the child’s lunchbox.”

The study backs up previous research that suggests the more you have on your plate, the more you want to eat.

“Potentially these results can be explained by unit-bias, in which a given unit creates a consumption norm, which tells consumers how much they should eat,” Dr Liem says.

“In this case, children consumed one whole carrot (one unit) when presented with whole carrots, suggesting that once children started eating a whole carrot they were likely to finish it.”

Oh – and this hack apparently works both ways, and can also be used to limit the consumption of unhealthy foods.

“For example cutting up a block of chocolate in smaller pieces reduces chocolate consumption.”