Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bitter sensitive children eat more vegetables with help of dip

Date:
December 2, 2011
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
Close to 70 percent of children have a sensitivity to bitter tasting foods, and that can cause them to avoid many of the leafy, green vegetables they should be eating for healthy development. But new research has found that adding a small amount of dip can help children with this sensitivity eat more of their vegetables.

There's an existential crisis that often happens at dinner tables across the country: why won't kids eat their vegetables? Research has found that one reason could be a sensitivity to bitterness, fairly common among children -- about 70 percent have it.

But a new study led by Jennifer Orlet Fisher, director of the Family Eating Laboratory at Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education, has found that adding a small amount of dip to a serving of vegetables helped bitter sensitive children eat more of them.

The study, published on line this month in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, studied 152 pre-school aged children in the Head Start program who were served broccoli at snack time over a 7-week period, and found that offering 2.5 ounces of ranch dressing as a dip increased broccoli consumption by 80 percent among bitter-sensitive children. Low-fat and regular versions were tested, and both were equally effective.

"We know that children can learn to like vegetables if they are offered frequently, without prodding and prompting," said Fisher. "Children with a sensitivity to bitterness may avoid certain vegetables, but offering a low-fat dip could make it easier for those foods to become an accepted part of children's diet."

She added that parents don't necessarily need to stick to dressings high in fat and salt to see a positive effect. "Try applesauce, hummus, or a low-fat yogurt-based dip for more calcium," she suggested.

Dislike of the bitterness in some foods may stem from the TAS2R38 gene, which influences how we perceive bitter tastes. To determine which children in the study had this sensitivity, researchers offered each child a cup with increasing amounts of a bitter-tasting compound common in green vegetables. After each cup, the child was asked whether the fluid tasted like water, or was "bitter or yucky." About 70 percent of the children responded in the latter.

"Parents and caregivers do not make laboratory measurements of children's bitter sensitivity, but most will know if their child is wary of vegetables," said Fisher. "Our research shows that offering dip is another tool that parents can use to help children learn to eat their vegetables."

Fisher is an unpaid scientific advisor for the International Life Sciences Institute of North America Food, Nutrition and Safety Program. The research was funded by a grant from the Clorox Company, owners of the Hidden Valley, The Original Ranch brand of dip used in this study. Fisher has no financial interest in the company.

Contributing authors on this study are Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center; Sheryl Hughes and Yan Liu, of the Baylor College of Medicine; Patricia Medoza of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston; and Heather Patrick, of the National Cancer Institutes.

Fisher and researchers take full scholarly authority over the research designs, methods, data, analyses and interpretation of the findings within this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "Bitter sensitive children eat more vegetables with help of dip." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111201163602.htm>.
Temple University. (2011, December 2). Bitter sensitive children eat more vegetables with help of dip. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111201163602.htm
Temple University. "Bitter sensitive children eat more vegetables with help of dip." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111201163602.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins