Conversation, ideas and events for parents in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County

Researchers at the University of Connecticut's Department of Nutritional Sciences have been laboring over the age-old question - "How do you get kids to eat their veggies?" And after much deliberation and experiments, they have finally come up with the answer.

Sprinkle the veggies with sugar.

In preliminary studies, preschoolers who were served lightly sweetened vegetables (sprayed with a mist of sugar) at lunchtime ate more of the healthy foods compared to those who were served unsweetened vegetables.
Although the researchers tested other ways to mask the vegetables' bitterness, including various salts, plain sugar worked the best.


While this is a "no duh" solution, there were some interesting reasons as to why this worked. Thanks to good old genetics, the taste of certain veggies might taste more bitter to some kids than others. By lightly sweetening their veggies, kids were encouraged to eat more veggies than they would have unsweetened. And scientists didn't use a lot of sugar, but only a half teaspoon per 3/4 cup vegetables.

So apparently a half teaspoon full of sugar helps the veggies go down. Sorry, I couldn't resist.  ;-)

What are some ways you encourage your kids to eat their veggies?

Tags: picky eaters, sugar on veggies, veggies

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Another great way to get them to eat them is to use the food processor slicer. Thinly slice sweet potatoes or squash to make chips. A little olive oil and sea salt it all you need. My kids eat them as they come out of the oven. Also, kale chips take 8 minutes. These they like sprinkled with Parmesan. I like them best this way too. I also make avocado smoothies with dates, hemp milk, tahini, spinach and a frozen banana. It is sweet, with no refined sugar.


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