Kids eat more vegetables when parents implement simple strategy, researchers find


A new study conducted by researchers at Penn State has found that children ages 3–5 will eat more of their vegetables if they’re served a double portion, and when the other foods on their plate remain constant. (Getty Images)


Tropics, Sahara dust, Tokyo weather forecast - Adam Krueger

Gov. Abbott bans vaccine requirements - Sharron Melton

Weekend forecast for July 31, August 1 - Adam Krueger

Doggie Daycare Sweepstakes



Morning sunrise time lapse, 3-day rain potential, local weather - Adam Krueger

Improving drought conditions - Carrigan Chauvin

Topo Chico shortage nationwide - Sharron Melton

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC 7-Day forecast - Star Harvey

Mosquito weekend forecast - Carrigan Chauvin

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee arrested - Sharron Melton

Texas Star Grill Shop weekend grilling forecast - Star Harvey

Weather headlines for July 30, 2021 - Adam Krueger

110° Highest heat index across the region - Carrigan Chauvin



Tropics, August areas of origin - Adam Krueger

Bootleg fire footprint - Star Harvey

106° feels like temperatures today - Adam Krueger

(NEXSTAR) – If you struggle to get your children to eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables, you’ll be interested to know that science has finally figured out a solution: Just deceive them.

A new study conducted by researchers at Penn State has found that children ages 3–5 will eat more of their vegetables if they’re served a double portion while the serving size for other foods on their plate remains constant. Specifically, the study’s authors found that kids would eat 68% more of their vegetables (the children were provided with broccoli and corn) than when they were presented with their single, usual servings.

The kids’ intake of their other meal components (fish sticks, rice, ketchup, applesauce and milk) remained the same despite the increased serving of vegetables.

“The increase we observed is equal to about one third of a serving or 12% of the daily recommended intake for young children,” said Hanim Diktas, graduate student in nutritional sciences, in a news release published at EurekAlert.

Researchers also took “flavor enhancements” into account, but found no significant change in the amount of vegetables eaten, or their perceived taste, when adding light butter and salt. They did note, however, that seasonings may be helpful when introducing less familiar vegetables to children for the first time.

“We were surprised that the butter and salt weren’t needed to improve intake, but the vegetables we served were corn and broccoli, which may have been already familiar to and well-liked by the kids,” said Diktas in the news release. “So for less familiar vegetables, it’s possible some extra flavoring might help to increase intake.”

Based on the findings of the study, which was published in the journal Appetite, researchers further noted that parents need to be aware of “how palpable the vegetables are compared to the other foods on the plate.” For instance, if a child’s other favorite foods are sitting right next to a vegetable they show no preference for, it’s likely the results won’t hold.

“If you offer vegetables alongside, say, chicken nuggets, you might be disappointed,” said Barbara Rolls, the director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State.

The study’s authors added that researchers are “working on” less wasteful ideas, including methods for replacing other meal components with vegetables, rather than providing double servings at each sitting.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Don't Miss