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!
A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside
Radioisotope couple for tumor diagnosis and therapy
14.05.2019 | Kanazawa University
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
21.05.2019 | Life Sciences