Study: Half the Cookie, Save the Calories

If you give a kid half a cookie, will he want more? The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is no, suggests a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Yesterday, Alice wrote about snacking – the good and the bad of it. For many people, including kids, snacking is a part of the day. The researchers in this study looked at whether reducing a snack’s size would change how much children ate. In this case, the snack was a cookie.

In the study, researchers presented 77 first and sixth graders with an abundance of wafer cookie at their afternoon tea – yes, the study was conducted in Europe. About half of the children were offered full size cookies; the other group was served half-sized cookies. (The cookies were rectangular so it wasn’t as obvious they were halved.)

Kids helped themselves, and there was no other food or drink offered at the tea break. Researchers noted the weight of the cookies at the beginning and those of the leftovers.

The children offered the smaller cookies ate more servings, but in total, they ate 68 fewer calories than those served the larger wafers. That worked out to about 25 percent less gram weight. And both groups reported similar ratings on hunger and how much they liked the cookies.

The study is one of many that suggests, what we see, is what we eat. Small plates and portioning out foods are a couple strategies people use to help eat healthy portions.

Any favorite portion strategies? Please share.


INTERCEPTION! Favorite Football Snacks that Fight Cancer

What time is it? GAME FOOD TIME! Football season is getting intense, and it’s the perfect time to host a party with friends (or rivals) and serve up some crowd-pleasing, cancer-fighting snacks and sides.

Turn up the heat this weekend with spicy homemade sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and foods containing beta-carotene are linked to lower risk of esophageal cancer. Beta-carotene is better absorbed with a little fat which you’ll get from the olive oil in our recipe (below).

Love snacking on potato chips during the game, but want something less greasy? Try these lightly salted, crispy kale chips for a delicious game time bite. Kale is one of many cruciferous vegetables widely studied for their potential role in cancer prevention. (Read more in  AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer section.) You’ll hardly know you’re eating kale – these chips are the perfect way to get even picky-eaters snacking on healthy greens!

…What about a winning entrée? Combine two football favorites, beef chili and mac & cheese, with this wholesome recipe for Superbowl Chili Mac.

Now enough cooking, let’s get cheering!

Keep reading to get the recipes. Continue reading