Yummy or Yucky – A Variety of Vegetables Helps Kids Eat More

For that after-school snack, serving your child a platter filled with a variety of vegetables and/or fruit may help your young child eat more of these important foods than if you serve just one kind,http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-happy-boy-eating-salad-broccoli-inside-home-image30044420 suggests a new study.

The study was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Because most American children don’t meet the recommendations for vegetables and fruit according to national food consumption surveys, finding ways to up amounts is important for kids’ weight and health. Continue reading


Study: School Health Programs Get Kids Moving

As summer wanes and back-to-school season approaches, kids may be cringing at the thought of getting back to long stretches at a school desk.  But can the school environment actually help kids increase their activity level? A new study published in Preventive Medicine suggests it can.PE

The study on 1,100 elementary and middle school students measured the effectiveness of a government program called HEROES, which was developed to increase physical activity during the school day.

The schools restructured their physical activity classes to focus more on movement than sports to ramp up active participation. Some schools added ten-minute bursts of physical activity into regular classroom time. Nearly all participating schools started before-school or after-school walking programs, adding another 15-20 active minutes to the school day.

Continue reading


Study: Dessert with meals may help kids eat fewer calories

Did you ever wish your parent let you eat your cake alongside your broccoli? Child eating cookieA small study published in the journal Appetite this week reported that preschool children might actually eat fewer calories when dessert is served right alongside their meal instead of afterwards.

The study out of Purdue University measured how the timing of dessert made a difference in how much lunch 23 chidren ate. Half of the 2-5 year old children were served a chocolate chip cookie alongside their lunch on Thursdays and Fridays while the other half received their dessert after their lunch plates were cleared. Eight weeks later, they switched groups. Thursday’s lunch entrée was fish and Friday was pasta, two favorites of this primarily Asian and Caucasian group of children.

Accounting for age, room, menu rotation, type of meal, and presence of morning snack, researchers found that children consumed 9% more calories overall when the cookie was served after lunch trays were cleared.

Portion size was also addressed by rotating in 50% larger portions of entrée, vegetable and fruit at certain meals, but surprisingly portion size was not found to factor into total calorie intake. The authors surmised that the results might be because the kids served dessert at the same time as lunch filled up sooner and chose to eat less food overall.

Continue reading