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.

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Report: Kids Eating Fewer Calories, Still Work to Do

With approximately one-third of US kids overweight or obese, a new government report finding that children of most ages are eating even slightly fewer calories overall is positive news, even if the dip is relatively slight.Boy drinking

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report found that overall caloric intake for most girls and boys ages 2 through 19 decreased over the 12-year period between two national health surveys. One survey was conducted over 1999–2000 then it was given again in 2009–2010.

Girls overall ate approximately 75 fewer calories; boys ate 150 fewer.

The report highlights the importance of healthy eating habits for kids. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults. And excess body fat increases the risk of seven types of cancers, including post-menopausal breast, colorectal, and pancreatic.

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How Does Your Family’s Diet Rate for Cancer Prevention?

Healthy kids today, prevents cancer tomorrow! That’s the reason I’m working with AICR to develop the “Healthy Kids Today, Prevent Cancer Tomorrow” campaign. The foods we feed our bodies do more than just fuel us, they shield us from viruses, bacteria, and diseases.young people with children

Are you curious about how your diet and knowledge level rates for cancer prevention? Take this quiz, then take a look at our recommended solutions, tips and advice to boost your body’s cancer shielding power!

1. One in three cancers could be avoidable by taking certain precautions. What are they?
A)  Exercise once a week
B)  Eat fruits every day
C)  Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and get 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, and stay a healthy weight
D)  Eat one balanced meal a day Continue reading