“Eww, gross!” That’s what many parents have heard when their child hears that fruits and vegetables are on the menu. It’s pretty stereotypical of younger children to have an aversion to all things healthy and green.  If your child is on the spectrum, the food aversions and picky eating is probably something you have to deal with on a regular basis. But new evidence suggests that you should definitely get your child to eat fruits and vegetables because it can lead to positive mood changes. It can make your child happier!

What was this study about?

This study, conducted by the University of Warwick, looked at the relationship between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and an individual’s reported happiness levels. This study is one of the first major findings that looked at the benefits of fruits and vegetables beyond the usual discussion of their effects of the reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. 

Over the course of the study, which looked at the diets of 12,000 randomly selected individuals, subjects kept food journals detailing their daily food intake. The individuals were also measured for overall psychological well being on a regular basis.

The Findings

The researchers found that people who transitioned from no fruit and vegetables daily to eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day experienced an increase in life satisfaction that is equivalent to the feeling of being unemployed and then suddenly employed. These positive mood changes occurred in a period of 24 months.
These findings might lead to changes in the diets of many individuals seeking positive mood changes. If your teen is struggling to fit in due to a neurodevelopmental disorder or some other disability, eating more fruits and vegetables might lead to positive mood changes overall!
Even if your child is a picky eater, it might be worth it to introduce healthy fruits and veg on a regular basis because of the positive mood changes that result.

Seven Stars can help

Seven Stars, a residential therapeutic program for teens ages 13-17, can help your teen struggling with a neurodevelopmental disorder like ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Nonverbal Learning Disorder find success.  
For more information about Seven Stars, please call 844-601-1167 today!

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