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Serve veggies at dinner to become a loving mom

IANS 29 Jun 2015, 17:23:01 IST

New York: Do you want to be seen as a more loving parent and a better cook too? Serve vegetables to your kids at dinner time. If families want to eat more vegetables, dinner is the place to start.

"If you serve vegetables at dinner, not only will your family think you are a better cook, they will also think you are a more loving parent," said lead author Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at the Cornell University.

"Even if kids may not like the food, simply having a vegetable on the plate can make the whole meal be perceived as tastier," Wansink noted.

Families are most likely to consume vegetables at dinner time yet only about 23 percent of dinners contain a full serving of vegetables.

For the study, 500 mothers were presented with one of five common meat-based hypothetical meals that either contained a side vegetable or no vegetable.

The five meals included entrees such as steak, chicken and lasagna and sides such as potatoes, broccoli and breadsticks.

Those who were presented with a meal including a vegetable side, such as broccoli, indicated that the main dish would taste better and that the server was a better cook.

"Within two days of discovering this, I changed the way I cook. I no longer say I am too tired to make a vegetable. If nothing else, at least I open up a can of green beans," said Wansink, also an author of the bestseller "Slim by Design".

The findings were set to be presented at the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior's annual conference 2015 in Pittsburgh in July.