Filling half of a child’s plate with fruits and veggies isn’t just recommended by the United States Dietary Guidelines, it also helps increase the amount of produce that kids end up eating, according to Penn State research.
In a controlled feeding study, the researchers tested two strategies for encouraging kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.
The first was simply adding 50 percent more to fruit and vegetable side dishes at kids’ meals throughout the day. The second was substituting 50 percent more fruits and vegetables for an equivalent weight of the other foods. For example, if they added 50 grams of veggies to the lunch meal, they also subtracted 50 grams of mac-and-cheese.
The researchers found that adding more fruit and vegetable side dishes resulted in the kids eating 24 percent more veggies and 33 percent more fruit compared to the control menus. Substituting fruits and…