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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 04 March 2012
in Earth Blog

Don't Turn Your Dining Room into a House of Lies

Familiarity breeds comfort and that applies to the relationship children have with vegetables. A new study has found that both labeling and exposure to vegetables affect what a child will eat and that sneaking vegetables into meals may not matter as much as we think.

Parents with picky eaters have turned to specialty cookbooks to teach them how to sneak around their kitchens.vegetables

User reviews of these popular cookbooks are as mixed as the bag of vegetables children supposedly refuse to eat. Some parents have enjoyed success through the method and their little ones are blissfully unaware they are eating macaroni & cheese laced with cauliflower. Other parents have found the recipes lacking and feel they are doing their children a disservice by not fostering a love of vegetables which will cause them to abandon vegetables into adulthood.

Lizzy Pope and Dr. Randi Wolf of Columbia University snuck chickpeas into chocolate chip cookies, zucchini into chocolate chip bread, and broccoli into gingerbread spice cake to test sixty-eight elementary and middle school children. What the kids didn’t know was that the samples both contained the vegetable and only the labeling differed for example: “chocolate chip cookies” or “chickpea chocolate chip cookies.”

Pope and Wolf asked the children if the two samples tasted the same and if they preferred one over the other. They found the children did not prefer the labeled sample over the unlabeled sample when it came to the zucchini chocolate chip bread or the broccoli gingerbread spice cake.  But when it came to the cookies the students preferred the unlabeled cookies over the chickpea samples. 

The preference for the “non-chickpea” cookies had to do with the frequency in which the children were exposed to chickpeas. The study said eighty-one percent of the children had not tried them in the past year as opposed to broccoli and zucchini which were consumed more frequently.

“The present findings are somewhat unanticipated in that we were expecting students to prefer all three of the ''unlabeled'' samples. These findings are consistent with previous literature on neophobia that suggests that children are less apt to like food with which they are unfamiliar," said Pope.

eat yo greensDr. Wolf adds, "Food products labeled with health claims may be perceived as tasting different than those without health claims, even though they are not objectively different. I've even read studies that have shown children like baby carrots better when they are presented in McDonald's packaging. These prior studies suggest the potential power that food labels can have on individuals. Although anecdotal reports suggest that children may not eat food products that they know contain vegetables, little is actually known about how children's taste preferences may be affected when the vegetable content of a snack food item is apparent on the item's label.”

The study’s conclusion: “it seems more important to introduce children to a variety of vegetables rather than trying to hide them” makes sense. Throw enough choices out there and some are bound to stick.  Children like to know what to expect so tell them to expect vegetables because that’s what they need and that is exactly what they are going to get for dinner.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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