Wednesday, November 13, 2013

If You Want Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies, Should You Spike Them with Butter?

Maybe you caught this study when it came out earlier this year, but I only just got around to reading it. It was published in the journal Appetite and it detailed the impact of spiking toddlers' vegetable soups with fats and carbs (sunflower oil and maltodextrin - and in so doing increasing the energy density and palatability of the soup) on the intake of non-spiked vegetable soup 2 and 6 months later.

Not surprisingly the kids preferred the energy dense soups.

Perhaps slightly surprisingly, how much the kids liked their soups from the get go didn't impact on how well they liked the non-spiked soups 6 months later. At that point all that mattered was exposure.

As I've mentioned in the past, my house is part of the "one bite to be polite" community and we've found that over time those bites condition our girls' palates to a wide variety of tastes and foods, while the one bite to be polite prevents those exposures from turning new flavours into battlegrounds.

[And please don't read this post as stating that I'm averse to you putting butter on veggies - that's quite delicious - I just used the study to illustrate the point that exposure is king]