By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Having a hard time getting your child to eat his vegetables? It could be he has a problem with bitter tastes.

Too often, kids turn up their noses when served raw veggies such as broccoli. So, researchers at Temple’s Family Eating Laboratory wanted to find out if the cause was sensitivity to bitter foods.

Director Jennifer Fisher says the fussy eaters were tested with a substance and most did have a problem with bitter foods. “Most parents aren’t going to have that at home and know whether their children are genetically sensitive to bitter, but they certainly probably know if they have a child who is a fairly adventurous eater versus one whose may be more wary of new foods.

When the researchers gave bitter-sensitive kids broccoli with a regular or low-fat ranch dip, they dug in.

“Bitter-sensitive kids who consumed the broccoli with dressing ate about 80% more. That sounds very impressive, but in absolute terms it was really just about 10 grams.”

On the other hand, the dip made no difference to kids not bothered by bitter tastes.

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