Smaller entrees up veggie intake in kids

Washington: Researchers have come up with a creative solution to increase fruit and vegetables intake among children - shrink entree size.

Pennsylvania State University researchers found that when they tried serving smaller age-appropriate entree portions to children 3 to 5 years of age, the veggie`s intake in kids increased.

Focusing on lunch intake, over the course of six days, the study varied the sizes of a macaroni and cheese entrée and accompanied the meal with as much green bean and applesauce as “side dishes” the kids wanted to consume.

As a result when the smallest entree portions were served, kids ate 67 percent more applesauce and 275 percent more green beans.

Seemingly the smaller entree `trick` would be a great boon to both parents and kids, who automatically consume more needed nutrients (and fewer unneeded calories) when the fruit and vegetable intake increases.

Given that as many as 78 percent of American children under age 5 consume too few fruit and vegetables while more than 80 percent of teens are deficient in key nutrients, this simple strategy could yield big health benefits.

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