Effect of starting weaning exclusively with vegetables on vegetable intake at the age of 12 and 23 months

C. Barends, J.H.M. de Vries, J. Mojet, C. de Graaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The low vegetable intake in children may be attributed to their low preference for vegetables. During the first year of life, first taste preferences are formed, which may track over time. In a previous study to increase infants' vegetable intake and liking, we found that at the start of weaning, infants had a higher vegetable intake in the lab after repeated exposure to vegetable purées than to fruit purées. The current study is a follow-up of these infants at the age of 12 and 23¿months, and examined whether the group that started weaning with vegetables continued eating more vegetables than the group that started weaning with fruits. Methods: At 12 (n¿=¿86) and 23 (n¿=¿81) months of age the children's daily vegetable consumption was reported by their parents using a 3-day food diary. The intake of green beans and apple purée was measured in the laboratory. Results: Reported daily intake of vegetables at 12¿months of age was 38 % higher (P¿=¿0.02) in the vegetable group (75¿±¿43¿g) than in the fruit group (54¿±¿29¿g), but was similar for both groups at 23¿months of age (49¿±¿43, 57¿±¿35¿g, respectively; NS). Both at 12 and 23¿months of age, apple and green beans intake in the lab did not differ significantly between the groups. Conclusion: These findings suggest that weaning exclusively with vegetables results in a higher daily vegetable consumption until at least 12¿months of age. More research is needed to investigate how to maintain this effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • taste preferences
  • repeated exposure
  • food preferences
  • acceptance
  • children
  • fruit
  • infants
  • variety
  • consumption
  • adolescents

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