A systematic review of methods for increasing vegetable consumption in early childhood

Clare E. Holley, Claire Farrow, Emma Haycraft

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This study aims to synthesise the body of research investigating methods for increasing vegetable consumption in 2- to 5-year-old children, while offering advice for practitioners.

RECENT FINDINGS: Repeated exposure is a well-supported method for increasing vegetable consumption in early childhood and may be enhanced with the inclusion of non-food rewards to incentivise tasting. Peer models appear particularly effective for increasing 2-5-year-olds' vegetable consumption. There is little evidence for the effectiveness of food adaptations (e.g. flavour-nutrient learning) for increasing general vegetable intake among this age group, although they show some promise with bitter vegetables.

SUMMARY: This review suggests that practitioners may want to focus their advice to parents around strategies such as repeated exposure, as well as the potential benefits of modelling and incentivising tasting with non-food rewards. Intervention duration varies greatly, and considerations need to be made for how this impacts on success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent nutrition reports
Issue number2
Early online date29 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • child
  • repeated exposure
  • fussy eaters
  • peer modelling
  • non-food rewards
  • bitter sensitive
  • intervention duration


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of methods for increasing vegetable consumption in early childhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this