UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., May 6 (UPI) — Many parents say their children won’t eat vegetables, but U.S. researchers found children eat more vegetables if served as the first course.
Barbara J. Rolls of Pennsylvania State University and colleagues served lunch to 51 children at a day-care center on four occasions and measured the amount of vegetables eaten.
Children were provided with no carrots, about 1 ounce of carrots, about 2 ounces of carrots or about 3 ounces of carrots as the first course of their lunch.
The children had 10 minutes to eat the carrots. Then they were served a lunch of pasta, broccoli, unsweetened applesauce and low-fat milk.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found the preschool children, who received no carrots, consumed nearly 1 ounce of broccoli from the main course.
However, the children who received 1 ounce of carrots before lunch ate 50 percent more broccoli than those who had no carrots and the children, who are ate 2 ounces of carrots, increased broccoli consumption to more than 2 ounces of broccoli.
“We gave the children carrots first without other competing foods,” Rolls said in a statement. “When they are hungry at the start of the meal, it presents us with an opportunity to get them to eat more vegetables.”
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