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- It is possible to increase fruit and vegetable intake in children by reducing entree size
It is possible to increase fruit and vegetable intake in children by reducing entree size
A new study reveals that reducing the entree size served between dishes could increase the fruit and vegetable intake in children.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found out that when they tried serving smaller age-appropriate entree portions to children 3-5 years of age, the veggie's intake in kids increased.
Focusing on lunch intake, over the course of 6 days, the study varied the sizes of a macaroni and cheese entree and accompanied the meal with as much green bean and applesauce as "side dishes" the kids wanted to consume.
The results showed that when the smallest entree portions were served, kids ate 67% more applesauce and 275% more green beans.
Seemingly the smaller entree 'trick' would be a great boon to both parents and kids, who automatically consume more needed nutrients (and fewer unneeded calories) when the fruit and vegetable intake increases.
Given that as many as 78% of American children under age 5 consume too few fruit and vegetables while more than 80% of teens are deficient in key nutrients, this simple strategy could yield big health benefits.