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Veggies looking unappetizing? Try changing beverages!

September 4, 2012 in News

“Finish your vegetables!”

Those three words are enough to make a lot of people wince. Some people just don’t like vegetables at all, right? If you don’t like the taste of vegetables, what are you supposed to do to eat healthy?

A recent study published in the journal Appetite suggests that the first thing you might want to try is to change what you are drinking with dinner.

The researchers performed two studies, the first with preschoolers, and the second with adults.

In the first study, they repeatedly observed the eating habits of 75 children between the ages of 3 and 5. At each observation, they served the children vegetables along with either water or a sweetened beverage. The children consistently consumed more vegetables at the sessions during which they were served water.

The adult study focused on 60 individuals ages 19 to 23. They completed surveys about food-and-drink pairings; researchers found that they preferred the combination of soda with salty, calorie-dense food instead of soda and vegetables.
T. Bettina Cornwell of the University of Oregon stated in her news release, “When we look cross-culturally, we can see that food-and-drink combinations are developed preferences. If the drink on the table sets the odds against both adults and children eating their vegetables, then perhaps it is time to change that drink and replace it with water.”

Serving only water at the dinner table can also help you consume fewer calories during your meal as well. A can of regular soda (12 oz) contains about 150 calories. A serving of wine (4oz) will add around 80 to your meal, and sweet tea can add up to 140 per 12 ounces. A full glass of water won’t add any calories to your meal at all.

If you’re interested in learning more about making better beverage choices, the USDA has great information on your web site, including a quick guide that’s easy to post on the fridge, which you can find here.

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