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Children eat more veggies if given choice

Allowing children a choice of vegetables results in the children eating as much as 80 percent more veggies, researchers in Spain said.

The researchers at the University of Granada also found the bitterness of calcium — which is noticeably present in vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, cabbage, onions, chard or broccoli — can be a factor in why children may not want to eat vegetables.

Paloma Rohlfs Dominguez of the Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Granada, along with Professor Jaime Vila Castelar and other colleagues at the University of Granada and the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, analyzed vegetable consumption in children age 6. The researchers used “provision of choice,” in which children were allowed to choose the vegetables they wanted for each meal, as part of the study.

Children who were allowed to choose their vegetables ate almost 1.6 ounces per day, the study said.

The findings are published in the Brain Research Bulletin and is online in Sciencedirect.