Mother and Baby

The Real Reason Your Toddler’s Not Eating His Greens

Section: Food & Recipes

Your toddler’s rejecting your delicious broad beans? Blame evolution

Introducing the best excuse for not eating your greens ever. Children may actually be biologically designed to be wary of certain veg, according to new research.

In a study by Yale University, almost 100 babies between eight and 18 months old were shown a series of objects, including everything from parsley and basil to lamps and spoons. It took them nearly twice as long to reach out for the plants as the other items – almost 10 seconds compared to three seconds for shells and four for lamps and spoons.

The same slow response also came about when a fabric plant was shown to the babies.

The researchers suggest infants may be pre-programmed by evolution to steer clear of touching plants, or at least take a bit more time over them, in case they contain anything dangerous.

So basically, your toddler turning his nose up at your beautifully prepared spinach could actually be a protective mechanism.

That said, there are plenty of tricks to encourage your baby to eat his veg – think playing games with it and mashing it up with other foods.

How do you get your child eating veg? Let us know below.

  • Author: Alex Davies Alex Davies
  • Job Title: Features Writer

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