Brussels sprouts and peas. My kids love them now, but there was a time when they unleashed every ounce of their creative energy to avoid eating them. I'm telling you, they were clever. Had I known then what researchers from Penn State University know now about how to get kids to eat more veggies, dinner time with peas and Brussels sprouts would have been a bit different.
The Penn State researchers did a study and found that simply adding more veggies to children's plates resulted in kids eating more of them. They tested veggies that were generally liked, but not the kids' favorites. Corn and broccoli. Then they doubled the amount of it on the kids' plates. The children ate 68% more veg than with smaller portion.
"The increase we observed is equal to about one-third of a serving, or 12 percent of the daily recommended intake for young children," says Hanim Diktas, a Penn State graduate student in nutritional sciences.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's recommendations for kids' vegetable consumption is about 1.5 cups a day. But the researchers say most kids don't eat that amount. Putting more vegetables on kids' plates could be a new strategy to up their intake. The researchers also suggest that parents offer kids the veggies that they'd like. You can introduce new vegetables slowly, over time, cooking them in a way kids like so they'll want to eat them.
The researchers are looking into ways to replace other foods with vegetables, instead of just adding more.
This research was published in the journal Appetite.
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