Jun 03, 2013

    Kid doesn't like veggies? Just add dip

    OFFERING a dip alongside vegetables encourages kids to eat veggies they might normally push aside, according to a new study.

    "It is a good idea to try to pair less-preferred foods, like vegetables, particularly those that your child doesn't like so much, with something to give it a little more flavour," said Dr Marlene Schwartz, of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, who was not involved in the study.

    Dr Jennifer Savage, at the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University, and colleagues asked 34 pre-schoolers to do a taste test of vegetables with and without a low-fat dip.

    More kids said they liked a vegetable if it was paired with a flavoured dip that they liked, compared to a vegetable without a dip or with a plain-flavoured dip.

    Only 31 per cent of kids liked a vegetable on its own, while 64 per cent liked a vegetable when it was given with the flavoured dip.

    Only 6 per cent of kids refused the vegetable and flavoured dip, while 18 per cent refused the vegetable without any dip.

    In another experiment, the researchers gave 27 pre-schoolers celery or squash - two veggies that kids typically didn't like.

    They found that the kids ate about 15g of celery and 6g of squash. When the vegetables were offered with dip, the kids ate more - about 25g of celery and 15g of squash - the researchers reported in the Journal Of The Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics.

    The research team pointed out that the dips were low in calories and given in small portions.

    Each serving was 3.5 tablespoonfuls, which included 50 calories, 4g of fat and 90mg of sodium.