Parents who struggle to get their kids to eat veggies at dinner time should continue exposing
them to a variety of vegetable tastes, a new study by the CSIRO reports. The statistics show an
astounding three quarters of families would buy more cauliflower if it were not for their children.

“Getting kids used to vegetables early in childhood has shown to be an effective way to increase
their enthusiasm for cauliflower, while also encouraging healthy eating habits that flow through to
adulthood,” said Kurt Hermann, AUSVEG Design Team Coordinator.
AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticulture body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“The majority of parents tend to give up trying to feed their children vegetables that they don’t like
after three to five attempts, but kids have been shown to change their minds after just eight to ten
tastings, showing that persistence does pay off,” said Mr Hermann.
The study also showed that children who were exposed to vegetables at an earlier age were more
likely to try new foods and find a greater enjoyment of food in general. Teaching the importance of
high vegetable consumption is a win-win for both parents and the health of their children.
Biologically, children are wired to prefer sweet and energy-dense foods which explains the
resistance that parents often experience at dinner time. Fortunately there are steps parents can
take to overcome this.
“Tips for parents include avoiding short cooking times of cauliflower and preparing it with other
ingredients to help reduce bitterness. A cheese sauce drizzled over steamed cauliflower is a
popular tactic that kids love,” said Mr Hermann.
“The study also recommended the creation of cauliflower floret snack packs combining different 
coloured cauliflower varieties for young children. Having a visually attractive and conveniently
packaged product makes life easier for parents trying to get their kids interested in vegetables,” said
Mr Hermann.
“Overcoming taste aversion early in childhood is important in raising a happier and healthier society,
as well as supporting long-term retail growth for the vegetable industry,” said Mr Hermann.
“The research shows that parents should not be put off feeding their children veggies that they don’t
like at first, because incorporating vegetables into a healthy diet is learned behaviour which will
benefit them in the long run,” said Mr Hermann.
The research project has been funded through HAL using the National Vegetable Levy and
matched funds from the Australian Government.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kurt Hermann, Design Team Coordinator, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0421 007 510 E-mail: