Sick of chucking out uneaten carrot sticks that you lovingly cut up for your schoolie every day? Well Australian scientists have discovered kids are more likely to eat veggies if they’re served them whole.
In a recent study, researchers at Melbourne’s Deakin University gave 72 primary school aged children a 500g box of peeled whole carrots on one day and the same amount of diced carrots on another.
On both days kids had 10 minutes to eat as much of the carrots as they liked. Surprisingly they found when kids were given the carrots whole they ate them for longer and usually ate one whole carrot. Can you even?
Researcher Dr Gie Liem says on average this meant they ate about 8 to 10 per cent more of the whole vegetable, by weight, than when given diced carrots to try.
“This shows that if parents want their children to consume vegetables, especially as a snack food, whole might be better than diced,” Dr Liem said.
“This is easier for parents too, as they can just put a whole carrot in the child’s lunchbox.”
Just the thought of my kids eating vegetables at school is enough to make me jump for joy. And while serving whole vegetables is no silver bullet, it’s worth a try right?
While we’re talking school lunches, have you considered getting your kids to make their own?
Sure it might be hard for those of us with five and six-year-olds, but there’s plenty of research to suggest that kids will actually eat more lunch if they’ve made it themselves.
But won’t they just pack junk, I hear you ask? Well yes, but you can police this or have a cull of the fridge or pantry so there’s no chance they’ll pack tiny teddies for morning tea and lunch.
5 benefits of making your child pack their own lunch:
- It will save you time in the morning (or night if you’re super efficient).
- They’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.
- You should get less wastage as they’ll only pack what they will eat.
- It teaches them responsibility and about nutrition.
- There’s a chance you’ll tame your fussy eater.