New research that appears in the journal Nutrition & Dietetics reveals that Popeye commercials, junior cooking classes and tasting parties possibly aides in additional vegetable consumption for kindergarten children.
University of Bangkok researchers discovered that the kind and amount of vegetables children consumed became better after they had participated in a program that used multimedia and role models to advocate healthy food.
For the study which lasted eight weeks, twenty six children in kindergarten aged for to five had took part. The researchers documented the types and amounts of fruit and vegetables children had consumed prior to and after the program.
Professor Chutima Sirikulchayanota head researcher of the study stated they had gotten children to plant vegetable seeds and participating in fruit and vegetable tasting parities, cooking vegetable soup and watching cartoons of Popeye. They had also sent out letters to parents providing suggestions on how to inspire their children to consume more fruits and vegetables, also teachers had sat with the children at lunch time to be a role model for healthy eating.
Professor Sirikulchayanota and her associates had discovered vegetable consumption had doubled and the kinds of vegetables the children had eaten had gone up from two to four. Children’s parents had also remarked that their children talked about vegetables more frequently and were happy they had consumed them in their school lunch.
According to Professor Sirikulchayanota there were no prominent changes in the types of fruit consumed by children however, this could be due to the fact they had already began to consume more fruits and vegetables at the start of the study.
In the last nutritional survey in Australia on children it had state that children in Australia are consuming way to much saturated fat, sugar and salt and are not consuming enough fruit and vegetables. Among four to eight year old’s that were surveyed only 61% had consumed the recommended amounts of fruit and fewer than one in four children had consumed enough vegetables.
In studies it has been revealed that food habits along with eating patterns which are learned in early childhood follow them into later childhood and adulthood. Professor Sirikulchayanota remarked that concentrating on healthy food options at an early age could have considerable influence on the future health of adults.
The research also had emphasized the following:
When sitting next to children and consuming the identical foods as theirs makes them feel important in their own way.
Tasting parties is a fun method for children to examine the tastes of fruits and vegetables.
Allowing to children to help in food preparation tasks such as measuring and stirring foods, enables them in learning the names and colors of the foods along with promoting their hand and eye coordination.
Nutritional Guidelines for children and toddlers:
Fruits and vegetables two servings a day.
Whole grains four servings each day.
Milk and diary three servings each day.
Protein two servings each day.
Vitamins and minerals as given each day by recommendations of health practitioner.
Nutritional Guidelines for school aged children:
Vegetables three to five servings each day. A serving can be one half cup raw veggies.
Fruits two to four each day. A whole banana works good as a serving.
Whole grains six to eleven each day, this would equal to one slice of wheat bread or one ounce of cereal.
Protein two to three servings each day such as an egg or two tablespoons of peanut butter.
Dairy products two to three servings each day like one cup of yogurt makes one serving.
Zinc which is shown in studies to help increase memory and school performance. Zinc can be found in various foods such as beef, pork and fortified cereals.
To aide in our fight to have our children eat healthy there are a few ideas to achieve this.
Have more meals at home instead of restaurants or fast food places. You have the ability to cook a healthy meal showing the child importance in good healthy foods. Plus sitting down as a family at dinner time which is usually the same time everyday helps the child increase appetite, general communication within the family.
Make sure healthy foods are available for after school snacks such as fruits, yogurt, granola bars try and limit any junk food as potato chips and soda.
Fun things can be making fruit smoothies after school. Let them help with the grocery shopping. Take them to the Farmers Market to see all the varieties of fruits and vegetables and let them pick a few out they may like to try.
Some Farmers Markets in or around Detroit Area:
Detroit Eastern Market
2934 Russell Street
Hours 5 am to 5 pm each Saturday
Northwest Detroit Farmers Market
Bushnell Congregational Church, South Parking Lot
15000 Southfield Freeway
313-387-4732 extension 103
Every Thursday, 4 PM -8 PM (Sept and Oct., 3 PM – 7 PM)
Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market
Memorial Park at corner of Grand River and Oakland Street
Saturday through November 20
9 am to 2 pm
Meldrum Fresh Market
Capuchin Soup Kitchen at 1264 Meldrum
June 3 through end of October
Thursday 11 am to 1 pmSources:
Medical News Today