To examine whether parents offering a sticker reward to their child to taste a vegetable the child does not currently consume is associated with improvements in children’s liking and consumption of the vegetable.
It was hypothesised that both exposure only and exposure with a reward would improve liking and consumption relative to control at post-intervention, but no hypotheses were made regarding a difference in magnitude of improvement between exposure only and exposure with reward.
A randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of exposure only (EO) and exposure with a reward (E+R), relative to a control group, on children’s liking and consumption of a target vegetable. The target vegetable was a vegetable parents were finding it hard to get their child to eat, that was quick and easy to prepare daily, and which their child did not dislike extremely. In the EO condition, parents asked their child to taste a small piece of the target vegetable every day for 2 weeks, using a low key approach and keeping the preparation method constant. In the E+R condition, the same procedures were followed, with the addition of a 14 day chart where stickers were provided as a reward for tasting the vegetable. Liking and intake of the target vegetable were evaluated at pre-intervention, post-intervention, 4 weeks and 3 months from baseline.