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The VU University Amsterdam has published the results of its large-scale study on Tasty Vegetable Gardens. The most important result: a vegetable garden at the day-care centre is a positive experience for children aged 0-4 years. It does not immediately lead to higher vegetable consumption, but it can stimulate young children to eat more and different types of vegetables.
The ‘Tasty Vegetable Garden’ study aimed to positively influence the attitude of children aged 0-4 years towards vegetables. According to the pedagogical staff, the children often knew nothing better than that vegetables came from the supermarket. The complete experience from seed to plant turned out to be a special experience for many children. Almost all children have also tasted or eaten the 16 kinds of cultivated vegetables.
During the study, children were offered new vegetables in a fun way as a group. In addition to the vegetable garden itself, various activities were organised, such as colouring, handicrafts and tasting tests with a diploma. This approach can contribute to a higher vegetable consumption at a later age. Nevertheless, it remains important for a long-lasting effect that parents also pay attention to vegetables at home.
The ‘Tasty Vegetable Gardens’ programme is realised through a collaboration between the Young People with a Healthy Weight Foundation, the BuurtLab Foundation and day-care centres throughout the Netherlands. The study was carried out by researchers from the VU University Amsterdam. Smallsteps, a KidsFoundation label, acted as a control group.
Read the complete research report (in Dutch)