Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Bitter sensitive children eat more vegetables with help of dip

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.

Renee Cree | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>