Rachel Stevens has created an album to encourage healthy eating in children.
The songs have been created on the back of new research revealing that toddlers who use all their senses to play with vegetables outside of mealtimes are more likely to eat their greens.
The academic study, commissioned by baby and toddler food experts Ella's Kitchen, explored the motivations behind healthy eating in toddlers aged 12 - 36 months on the back of the finding that only 16 per cent of under-fives eat their recommended five-a-day.
Rachel Stevens, mum of one, comments: "As a new mum, I'm always looking for exciting ways to encourage my daughter to try new foods, especially greens. That's why I've teamed up with Ella's Kitchen - to make healthy eating fun for little ones as food for children should be about discovering tasty new flavours and textures. I hope Tasty Tunes help lots of parents sing about fruit and vegetables as part of their little one's everyday playtime!"
The new study found that toddlers who experienced new vegetables through sight, smell, sound and touch before tasting were more willing to eat them. Previous research has shown that children need to try a new or initially disliked food up to 15 times before liking it, but 80 per cent of parents give up after just three or four attempts showing the need for new tactics to help parents persevere.
To encourage parents to bring healthy food off the plate and into the playroom, baby food company Ella's Kitchen has signed up singer and new mum, Rachel Stevens to create 'Tasty Tunes' - a free to download collection of families' favourite nursery rhymes, with a new fruit and veg inspired twist. Tracks include new versions of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', 'Hokey-Cokey', and 'Old McDonald Had A Farm'.
Paul Lindley, Ella's Dad and founder of Ella's Kitchen, comments: "Ella's Kitchen is passionate about helping babies and toddlers eat healthier food. With the worrying figure that less than one in five kids are eating their five-a-day, we partnered with the University of Reading to conduct research into children's eating behaviour and created the Tasty Tunes collection with Rachel Stevens. We hope this initiative will encourage more kids to eat their veg, creating healthy eating habits that last a lifetime."
To launch Tasty Tunes, Rachel performed at an exclusive one-off gig just for toddlers at the Monkey Puzzle nursery last week in South London.
The songs are available to download for FREE via the Ella's Kitchen website at ellaskitchen.co.uk