News article

How to get kids to eat healthy greens? Pair them up appropriately say experts

Posted:  Thursday, October 08, 2015

For kids, vegetables would be their arch-nemesis, something they would give a miss when served on the plate. Commonly seen in most children, this hatred could mean compromising on nutrition and also generating loads of plate waste. So how can schools with their nutrition policy deal with this situation? Texas A&M University researchers suggest putting some serious consideration while pairing vegetables and entrées to influence children’s consumption of vegetables.

In their new study, published in Food and Nutrition Sciences, the researchers studied the plate waste from 8,500 elementary school students. They observed that popular entrées such as burgers and chicken nuggets led to greater waste of green beans. In contrast, combining these entrées with popular vegetables such as oven baked potatoes led to lesser plate waste.

According to the researchers, dislike of the foods served, meal composition, students’ environment, and lack of time to eat were some common reasons cited for unfinished lunches. Apart from the nutritional implication, plate waste is a serious problem faced by schools in the USA as they have to meet raised nutrition standards set by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

“Understanding entrée/vegetable pairings may assist schools in serving tasty yet nutritious meals while maintaining high programme participation rates and staying within constrained operating budgets,” said researchers.

Health experts suggest yet another way, namely the ‘get alone with the vegetable’ strategy to help parents fight this nutritional battle. This strategy involves serving only vegetables on the plate without pitting them against any food. That way, children would have to finish the veggies first before moving out. Although, this suggestion may not be practical for schools, it is best suited to be practised at home.

News source:- Click Here