• Type

    Randomised controlled trial

  • Outcomes/Outputs

    Research impacts on vegetable intake,Research impacts on vegetable knowledge/awareness,Research creates behaviour change relating to vegetable consumption

  • Scale


  • Setting


  • Population targeted

    Children - early years 6m-4yrs

  • Focus

    Vegetable consumption

  • Duration

    Short (<1 year)

  • Funding

    Research foundation

  • Total cost



The present study sought to examine the combined effects of learning about an unfamiliar vegetable (celeriac) through illustrated storybooks (the term storybook refers to an illustrated narrative storybook throughout) with sensory play on recognition and intake of that “target” vegetable.


The effect of congruency of the storybook with sensory play was predicted to produce a synergistic effect on increasing intake. Here congruence refers to whether the vegetable featured in the storybook and used in sensory play matched or differed from the target vegetable. There were two hypotheses tested: the first hypothesis was that an illustrated, congruent storybook would increase intake of an unfamiliar vegetable (celeriac) compared to an incongruent storybook (carrot); and second, that adding congruent sensory play to the storybook would produce a synergistic effect on intake of celeriac.


Preschools were randomised to 1 of 4 intervention conditions: (1) Congruent (about celeriac) storybook only; (2) Congruent storybook plus congruent sensory play; (3) Incongruent (about carrot) storybook only; or (4) Incongruent storybook plus incongruent sensory play. The intervention phase consisted of 2 activity sessions, which included a story session or story session with sensory play, and a familiarization phase. During the familiarization phase, the storybook was displayed in the preschools and children were repeatedly read their allocated storybook. The storybooks entitled 'The Knobbly Wobbly Bobbly Celeriac' (or carrot) were identical for both vegetables, and were the main intervention stimuli. For sensory play, staff were provided with a kit containing 6 different forms of celeriac or carrot, with instructions for sensory play (listen, see, touch, small, but not taste).

Journal article: https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(18)32013-6/fulltext