Over at Penn State University, a research group found that filling half of a child’s meal plate with fruits and vegetables can increase their consumption.
The study began by testing either of two strategies: implementing 50 percent more fruits and veggies in the children’s meals through the day or substituting the 50 percent more fruits and veggies for other foods of equal weight.
The findings were publicized in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“This study tested the effects on children’s intake of 2 strategies for increasing the proportion of vegetables and fruits: either adding or substituting extra portions as side dishes at meals and snacks over 5 days,” according to the findings.
Researchers determined that both the Addition and Substitution strategies led to an increase in fruits and veggie consumption over a span of five days among the young children.
“Both the Addition and Substitution strategies promoted increases in vegetable and fruit intake over 5 days in preschool children. When excess energy intake is a concern, substituting vegetables and fruits for other foods is a better option than simply serving more,” researchers concluded.