Consumption of vegetables is low among preschoolers and does not meet WHO recommendations. We conducted a systematic review of home-based interventions aimed at increasing vegetable consumption and liking among preschoolers. The main aim was to synthesize existing studies and to identify relevant features of successful interventions, especially looking at those with long-lasting effects. A comprehensive search strategy was performed using Psychinfo, PsychArticles, Psyndex, Medline and ERIC databases. Articles published until February 2020, regarding evaluation of vegetable intake and/or liking following an intervention, were included. Fourteen articles were selected, encompassing seven intervention strategies: familiarization with vegetable, tasting of the vegetable, intake of the vegetable, reward, information to parents about healthy eating, how-to-do tips to parents to improve healthy eating, intervention tailored to the characteristics of the family. Successful interventions on vegetable intake did not present systematic similarities in terms of type of intervention, but were characterized by an intense intervention (high frequency/length ratio). Successful interventions on vegetable liking mainly included a small reward. Interestingly, the few studies including a long-term follow-up found persistent positive effects. Despite interesting and promising outcomes, the present review highlighted a number of methodological issues that limited the generalisability of findings. Such limitations are discussed, together with outlets for future directions concerning this research topic.
References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the systematic review
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