The Scientific Reason Your Kids Don't Like Vegetables

Aired on 10/08/2007 | CC tv-pg
Children will go to any lengths to avoid the vegetables on their plates, but according to Dr. Oz, it may not be their fault. During a 2007 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he revealed that there's a biological and evolutionary reason for why kids shun their greens. While the average adult has roughly 3,000 taste buds, Dr. Oz told Oprah, a child has a whopping 10,000. He explained that this difference along with the dietary habits of our ancient ancestors are the keys to why kids prefer sweets over veggies. "Kids, who were very susceptible to poisons, wouldn't want to taste bitter foods because bitter foods usually mean poison," Dr. Oz said. "Sweet is safe in the wild."

Here, the health expert links the survival instincts of our ancient ancestors to our modern dietary choices. Plus, he warns that this behavior must be corrected by challenging a child's taste buds as they grow up. "The problem we run into is we don't change those taste buds; we don't allow them to mature," Dr. Oz says. "That's the big challenge we have in America: We've infantilized our taste buds."