Serving styles of raw snack vegetables. What do children want?

Appetite. 2012 Oct;59(2):556-62. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.07.002. Epub 2012 Jul 14.


The primary aim of this study was to investigate how serving styles of snack vegetables appeal to children, focusing on size and shape. A secondary aim was to investigate children's willingness to participate in fruit and vegetable subscription services at school, and how these could be designed. One hundred and thirty eight children aged 9-12 years indicated their liking for a snack meal comprising a combination of carrots, cucumber, and red pepper. The meal was presented in eight different serving styles: two sizes; small and ordinary, and four shapes; whole/chunk, slices, sticks, and figures (stars). Furthermore, children indicated their willingness to participate in vegetable subscription services, and answered specific questions on how they wanted such servings to be designed (including choice of stimuli and details regarding presentation style). Shape was very influential; children clearly preferred having their vegetables cut. Figures were liked the most, whereas no differences were observed between slices and sticks. Size only mattered for the whole/chunk, where the ordinary size was preferred. Children expressed high willingness to participate in vegetable subscription services. In conclusion, cutting vegetables in shapes children like can relatively easy be done by parents and producers alike, and children seem very interested in receiving such servings during school.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Schools
  • Snacks*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*