Should We Add Sugar to Everything Kids Eat?

Veggies

How do you get kids to eat more vegetables? Reports show that kids tend not to enjoy eating veggies at school lunches, often discarding them uneaten.

This is not a joke: At the recent meeting of the American Society for the Advancement of Science a radical new method was discussed. Researchers have found that putting sugar on top of the veggies makes kids like them more:

In the community, 2 of 3 preschoolers preferred vegetables lightly misted with small amounts of sweetener to plain vegetables. Serving lightly sweetened vegetables weekly across 4 weeks was associated with increases in vegetable intake compared with little change for preschoolers served plain vegetables.

Great. So now that kids are already addicted to sweet junk food we’re going to give up and put sugar in everything they eat?

Crazy times.

There’s another, better, solution. My 17 months-old daughter loves veggies like broccoli and carrots, she can’t get enough of them. Why? Her veggies are fried in butter. A healthy choice: Butter is better.

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20 Comments

  1. Kruuann
    thank you .
  2. JAUS
    It would actually be better for them to skip the vegetables altogether than eating sugarcoated ones. Vegetables dosen't contain anything unique that you can't also get from animals.

    I'm pretty sure that the children of the eskimos were perfectly healthy even though they didn't consume vegetables.

  3. Eric
    I found that adding chocolate to milk helped my son drink more milk.....I also found that adding cheese to his broccoli helped him eat that too....then I woke up from that BS nightmare to realize this.....he eats what he sees me eat. My son eats broccoli plan and drink water at his meals.....it is called "Monkey See Monkey Do".
  4. Lote
    "Butter is better". brilliant!
    I'm going to steal this.
  5. Marcy
    That is so disgusting, sweetened veggies. I loved veggies, especially spinach, because of Popeye, when I was little. Maybe they should have some of the modern cartoon characters shown eating veggies as a role model to today's kids.
  6. Sabine
    It is NOT all that important to eat vegetables. It is not worth forcing children to eat them, they are overrated.
    Most everything (all nutrients) can be found in animal derived products.
    Adding a bunch of finely cut fresh herbs into the sauce (fatty sauce), when serving a meat or seafood dish, with some added spices, are a more than sufficient replacement. And it tastes more appealing too.
    Of course, adding some butter, cheese, or double cream will make any vegetable more palatable, but that does not fit well with the low-fat craze, and fat is expensive.
  7. yuma
    Yeah, let's put honey and maple syrup on vegetables to make them more "palatable."

    Hey, put it on all the "healthy" foods you are supposed to eat.

    After all, Comrade Lenin said 'the end, justifies the means."

  8. murray
    Our kids love kale, coated in just olive oil and salt and lightly roasted in the oven until crispy. No sweetener required.
  9. Galina L.
    Most of the time veggies don't taste good by itself, especially green leafy ones. In order to make a kid to eat it, something has to be added. If fat and salt are enemies, the only logical choice is sugar.
    I use a ketogenic diet to control my neurological disorder, and it also makes me generally healthy. I found out that the green veggies it the way to go for the people who want to eat a high-fat diet - great fat carriors.
  10. Yeah I wouldn't voluntarily eat nasty steamed veggies either! They taste like damp cardboard.
  11. Sel
    My son doesn't like vegetables (but will have them occasionally with creamy/cheesy sauce). He doesn't like fruit. He never ever liked fruit juice. He never liked lollies, rarely eats dark chocolate ( he always preferred it to milk chocolate). I didn't teach him any of that. I just never forced the sweet stuff on him or encouraged it.

    I really had a hard time with everyone around me saying what an indifferent mother I was letting him eat only his meat dishes, full fat yoghurt, whole milk and the nuts that he loves so much and occasionally potatoes.

    They told me I wasnt giving him 'proper nutrition'. They told me I was going to 'make him fat'. He is so healthy, and smart and active and NOT fat. His naturtal instincts haven't been destroyed.

    Let's not use vegetables as another way to get our children addicted to sugar. I would rather not give vegetables than sweeten them.

  12. @Sabine - Fat is expensive?

    The other day the girlfriend bought some meat from the butcher and he prepped it by cutting off the fat! She was like "hey, my boyfriend eats all the fat, can you put it back in?".

    The butcher weighed the meat, then put the "offcuts" fat back in for free!

    I've found fat and fatty cuts of meat to be the cheapest around - *because* of the low-fat lunacy.

  13. Yeah,let's just drown them in sugar like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtuZLCI7LRI

  14. robert
    I recently was chopping some capsicums (bell peppers) and had a byte of the raw stuff. They were surprisingly sweet, almost too sweet for my taste. So not all veggies are as bland as steamed cauliflower.

    I think the answer to the problem 'kid won't eat veggies' is to be persistent and offer a wide variety of tasty meals and keep the house free of crap-food. And if they keep refusing... well they will get hungry at one point.

    "Hunger is the best sauce."

  15. Sophie
    'Butter is Better" was actually a slogan from the Canadian butter producers and everyone was saying it in the 80s. In French: "Le beurre c'est bien meilleur!"
    Kids will eat whatever you give them. If you tell them "eat your veggies to get your dessert" you are telling them veggies are boring.
    My mother always served us a great variety of veggies and I remember loving most of them. Veggies are actually pretty good. Probably kids who don't want to eat them were told by their parents that they were "boring" food.
  16. Kurt Lao
    Apparently now it's a choice between butter or sugar. If only God created sweet vegetables. I agree with Sophie though, I always loved vegetables since I was young because I wasn't forced into it. I mean, I ate it because it was served on the table and my parents never forced me to eat them and I ate vegetables as a way to change the taste in my mouth. Eventually I got to liking them. Giving the impression that vegetables are "boring" food via making them conditional (i.e. the eat your veggies or no dessert thing) does leave a bad taste in the mouth of kids, if you know what I'm saying.

    - Kurt, editor of Weight Rater

  17. Kindke
    Remind me again, why are we trying to force vegetables down kids throats?

    I hated all vegetables when I was a kid and I hate most vegetables now too. Although I do enjoy tomato, bell pepper, chillies etc. aswell as Sauerkraut, but THATS IT.

  18. Galina L.
    @Kindke,
    It is possible to have cravings for veggies and green staff, and in my mind it allows me to suspect there is some reason for it. I remember a moment from the movie about animals made by David Attenborough, when after a raid on another group of chimpanzees , the group members who won were eating teared apart baby chimpanzees killed during the ride. I remember watching how they were snacking on some fresh leaves to supplement the meat and looking like gourmands in the proses.

    When I was a child, we didn't have a fresh produce whole year round ,and I also remember how we (adults and children) craved something fresh and green by the end of the winter, and first green cucumbers at the end of February were considered to be a delicacy. We also kept an onion bulb in a jar with water on a windowsill and used growing green shots in soups and added it to our sauerkraut.

    To the veggies you mentioned I would add onions, garlic and herbs. Sauerkraut is grate with sliced raw onions. Green leaves with salt and vinegar could be a very fitting addition to a meat dish (if you don't worry about food being too palatable). I also like eggplants.

  19. I agree with Jaus and Sabine above--veggies are not only unnecessary, there is no proof that they provide any health benefits! It is even possible that they are harmful:

    http://diagnosisdiet.com/food/vegetables/

    There may actually be very good reasons why kids hate these things:)

  20. Your child can learn to eat and enjoy vegetables. My kids eat broccoli now because I regularly put it on their plates. You could also use bribes such as ice cream for dessert if they eat all their veggies.
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