It's a struggle that many parents regularly face at dinner time, and now a new study may finally shed light on why so many children dislike broccoli.
Researchers from Australia found chemicals in the mouths of children could be behind their dislike of brassica vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts.
Enzymes produced by the vegetables react with bacteria in the mouth and produce unpleasant, sulphurous odours, according to the experts.
While parents had the same levels of enzymes in their mouths, their reaction to broccoli doesn't tend to be as bad, which the team says could be from learning to accept the food.
Chemicals in the mouths of children could be behind their dislike of broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts, according to a new study into the brassica vegetables
The new study found that the same enzyme is produced by bacteria inside the mouth of some people, and taste for broccoli depends on levels of the enzyme.
Previous research found that adults have different levels of the enzyme in their saliva, but it wasn't clear whether children also had varying levels, or what the impact was on their food preferences, according to the team.
Damian Frank and colleagues at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra, who conducted this research, wanted to investigate differences in sulphur volatile production in saliva from children and adults.
Dr Frank said it is well known that differences in taste preferences exist