German researchers have (perhaps) found “the” ultimate technique to get children to eat more vegetables. Explanations.
This is “the” question that all parents ask themselves: how to get children to eat more vegetables? How do you trade hazelnut spread, super-sweet cakes and soda for soup, steamed broccoli and mashed carrots?
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the University of Mannheim (in Germany) have looked into the question: they have managed to find a scientifically proven trick to help parents at mealtime.
Make meals longer so that children eat more vegetables
Thanks to an experiment involving 50 pairs of parents and 50 children (average age 8), German scientists found that by extending the meal time by about 10 minutes (to reach 30 minutes at the table, in total) , the children ate about 100 grams more vegetables than normal.
However, two conditions for it to work: that the vegetables are available “free access“on the table and let them be cut into small pieces,”bite size“. Of course, it also works with fruit!
How can this curious phenomenon be explained? For the researchers, the fact of extending the duration of the meal leads children to put themselves in “nibbling” mode… and pushes them to eat what is available on the table, vegetables in this case. Good news: according to scientists, this lengthening of the meal does not encourage children to overindulge in sugar or salt. Why not test?
Source : JAMA Network Open