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Me and my veggies: The use of interactive, personalised picture books in healthy eating interventions

Dulay, K. M., Masento, N. A., Harvey, K., Messer, D. J., Houston‐Price, C.
Nutrition bulletin 2020 v.45 no.1 pp. 51-58
children, foods, fruits, healthy diet, healthy eating habits, learning, taste, vegetable consumption, vegetables
Increased fruit and vegetable consumption is important for children’s healthy eating. Although repeated taste exposures are effective in supporting children’s acceptance of healthy foods, more enjoyable interventions that increase children’s familiarity with foods through other sensory modalities can also be helpful. Picture book interventions, which draw on the principles of visual familiarity and social reinforcement, are effective in increasing pre‐schoolers’ acceptance of vegetables. With the rise of digital technologies, e‐books present a new tool for offering picture book interventions on a large scale and offer additional features that might potentially boost their effects. In this paper, we propose two specific mechanisms, interactive learning and personalisation, that could make e‐book eating interventions especially effective with young children and we outline new directions for research to elucidate their effects. We then briefly describe an ongoing study that explores the effectiveness of a vegetable e‐book intervention that incorporates the mechanisms described in this paper.