Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Multiple vs Single Target Vegetable Exposure to Increase Young Children's Vegetable Intake

Poelman AAM, Delahunty CM, Broch M, de Graaf C (2019) J Nutr Educ Behav.  2019 Sep;51(8): 985-992. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.06.009. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here



To evaluate the effectiveness of repeated exposure to multiple vs single target vegetables in increasing young children's vegetable intake.


A pilot randomized controlled trial (children aged 4-6 years, n = 32) was conducted, which exposed children at home 15 times over 5 weeks to either 1 (single target) or 3 (multiple target) vegetables. A comparison group did not change eating habits. Vegetable intake was measured by (1) a dinner meal consumed at research facilities, (2) 3-day weighed food records, and (3) usual vegetable intake (parent report). Measures were collected at baseline and either immediately after intervention (1), at 3-month follow-up (3) or both (2).


There were no differences between groups at baseline in vegetable intake. Usual vegetable intake increased in the multiple target group from .6 to 1.2 servings/d and did not change in other groups (P = .02). Food record data were not significant but underpowered. Vegetable intake from dinner meals was not significantly different between groups.


Exposure to multiple vegetables simultaneously may be more effective than a single vegetable to increase young children's intake. Larger scale research is recommended to confirm the effectiveness of offering variety in exposure and to enhance the understanding of the mechanisms involved.


See the associated news article: