Most parents and caretakers know all too well, the challenges around getting their children to eat more veggies. While most moms and dads spend a good chunk of dinnertime, gently persuading their darlings to eat up their peas and carrots; a new study recently published by the Journal of the American Medical Association is giving parents across the United States a little bit of hope.
According to the research study conducted by Juliana Cohen and her team at the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University, kids in Massachusetts consumed approximately 30 percent more vegetables during school-made dinners, when the veggies were made more palatable. The study also supports the idea that school should continue to provide healthier food choices when creating meals for their students, even if those healthy options are met with resistance by the kids.
Unfortunately the bad news is, ensuring the vegetables are tastier within meals that are made for them now, does not necessarily affect their long-term consumption.
The study was conducted during a single school year, which took place from September 2011 to June 2012. Fourteen elementary and middle schools participated within two urban, low-income areas in Massachusetts. When all was said in done, 2,638 students participated in the study.
Lead author of the study, Ms. Cohen states that the results really reflect how important it is for schools to focus on the palatability of vegetables within meals. Senior author and professor at Havard University chimed in as well, noting that the study highlights how persistent schools, parents, and caregivers should be with school-aged children when it comes to nutrition, in an effort to help them learn to appreciate healthy food options.
Approximately 32 million children across the United States eat meals from their schools each day, with a large amount of low-income students receiving half of their daily caloric consumption from school meals.