We all have grown up hearing – “eat your greens”. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients that help promote overall health. This is why experts stress on eating good quantity of fruits and vegetables every day to keep up a balanced diet. However, as kids we all have made a fuss about eating those broccolis and beans on our plates. Remember when our parents used to run behind us with plateful of vegetables! Let’s agree – nothing has changed till date. Kids today are equally fussy eaters and feeding them with fruits and vegetables can be quite a task. Fret not; we’re here to help you out.
We recently came across a new Penn State research that explains how one can encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. The findings of the study were published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’. According to the findings, “Filling half of a child’s plate with fruits and vegetables isn’t just recommended by the United States Dietary Guidelines, it also helps increase the amount of produce that kids end up eating.”
The researchers conducted a “controlled feeding study” where they tested two strategies on kids to encourage them eat more healthy greens:
- The first strategy was to “add 50 percent more to fruit and vegetable side dishes at kids’ meals throughout the day”.
- Whereas, for the second strategy, 50 percent more fruits and vegetables was substituted “for an equivalent weight of the other foods”.
Here’s what the results stated:
- Adding more fruit and vegetable side dishes resulted in the kids eating 24 per cent more veggies and 33 per cent more fruit compared to the control menus.
- Substituting fruits and veggies for some of the other foods resulted in kids consuming 41 per cent more veggies and 38 per cent more fruit.
The researchers suggest, these findings can help parents find ways to encourage kids to eat more fruits and greens.