Researchers find that kids eat more veggies with flavoured dips

 dip veg
Many parents have a difficult time persuading their preschool children to try vegetables, let alone eat them regularly. Food and nutrition researchers have found that by offering a dip flavoured with spices, children were more likely to try vegetables – including those they had previously rejected.

In as few as four tasting sessions, researchers found that preschoolers consumed more of a disliked vegetable when it was paired with a dip flavoured with spices. "Just because a child refuses to taste a vegetable doesn't mean they don't like it," Jennifer Savage, Associate Director of the Centre for Childhood Obesity Research at Penn State said. "It's foreign – the key is to try to get them to taste it in a positive light."

The researchers found that children were three times more likely to eat a vegetable when paired with a flavoured dip, and twice as likely to eat a vegetable with plain dip than when they were offered it on its own.

"Repeated exposure is a way to get kids to like new foods," said Savage. "This has been demonstrated in previous studies. But first you have to get them to taste the vegetable. Plus, the servings do not need to be huge – start by offering really small portions."

According to ChooseMyPlate, a USDA initiative, children between the ages of three and five should be eating 1½-2 cups of vegetables every day. Vegetables provide fibre and necessary nutrients.

Story Source: ScienceDaily