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Is pureeing the key to getting children to eat their veggies?

I did something recently that I never thought I would do: I tossed a container of mixed-vegetable baby food into a dish I was preparing for the family. It may sound weird (and possibly a little gross) but I figured that sneaking the pureed stuff into my turkey meatloaf was the best way to ensure my 4-year-old consumed some veggies that day. And I was right: She ate it all up.

Hiding the "good stuff" in recipes isn't a novel idea, I know, but it may be a very wise one. As reported by Reuters Health today:

A new study found that youngsters got more of their daily greens when researchers pureed veggies and added them to kids' main dishes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the sly. And the kids didn't seem to notice that anything was different -- or to like the meals any less than non-veggie-packed fare.

"We think of it as not deception, but recipe improvement," said Barbara Rolls, one of the study's authors from Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

"In this group of kids, we got most of them meeting their daily vegetable requirements -- that's pretty amazing," she told Reuters Health.

The paper appears online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition - and the findings may just encourage me to keep up my sneaky ways in the kitchen.

Previously: Can rebranding make kids choose veggies over junk food?
Photo by quinn.anya

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