New research on food-beverage pairings highlights yet another reason parents should encourage their kids to choose water over soda.
PROBLEM: Previous studies have suggested that children's early attitudes toward salt, sugar, and fat influence the way they eat later in life. What beverage would be ideal to encourage kids to eat vegetables and to promote more healthful food-drink pairings down the line?
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- How to Make Kids Eat the Vegetables They Hate
METHODOLOGY: Researchers T. Bettina Cornwell and Anna R. McAlister surveyed 60 young adults, ages 19 to 23, about their preferences for different food-drink combinations. They also tested 75 children, ages three to five, who were served either a sweetened beverage or plain water with their vegetable snacks on multiple trials. In a take-home survey, a parent for each of the preschoolers reported on their kid's degree of fussiness when eating.
RESULTS: Older participants favored the combination of soda served with salty, calorie-dense foods rather than soda and vegetables. Regardless of their fussiness, preschoolers in the trials ate more raw vegetables, either carrots or red peppers, when they were served water instead of a sweetened beverage.