Persistence can pay off when trying to get children to eat more fruits and vegetables, according to a Dole Food Co. survey.

According to the survey results, 56% of mothers described getting their children to eat fruits and vegetables as either “not easy,” a “constant battle” or “impossible.”

Dole: Perseverance pays with feeding kids produce


Still, 56% of mothers surveyed said repeated attempts are the best way to get children to eat fruits and vegetables, according to a news release from Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole. The survey, aimed at measuring food shopping patterns of U.S. mothers, was commissioned last month by Dole for Working Mother magazine.

“These findings reinforce the fact that persistence, consistency, creativity and convenience are key to helping increase kids’ fruit and vegetable intake,” Jennifer Grossman, senior vice president at the Dole Food Co. Nutrition Institute.

Children’s eating habits have come under increased scrutiny in recent years amid concern over childhood obesity. In August, the U.S. Senate passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which would commit an additional $4.5 billion to child nutrition programs over the next decade and require food available in school lunchrooms and vending machines meet new nutrition standards. The bill moved to the House, which has yet to vote on the measure.

The Dole survey also found that apples, bananas and grapes are children’s favorite fruits by an “overwhelming majority” of respondents. According to the survey, 90% of respondents said their children enjoy apples, followed by bananas at 87% and grapes at 85%.

Among vegetables, corn is children’s most popular choice, at 82%, followed by carrots, at 77%, and broccoli, at 69%, according to the release.