An extra ten minutes could be all it takes to get kids eating more vegetables
Struggling to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables at mealtimes?
Extending meal times by less than 10 minutes significantly increases the amount of fruit and vegetables children eat, according to a study from the Max Planck Institute.
Children ate 2.4 more pieces of fruit and 3.7 more vegetables when meal time was extended by 50% (an average of 10 more minutes at the table).
The team tested the impact of meal length on 50 parent-child pairs. All pairings were observed in the context of two meals that were the same, only the duration varied.
At the first meal, companions announced that they would clear the table after a time equal to the typical duration of their meals at home (on average, about 20 minutes). In the second, the time increased by 50% (approximately 10 additional minutes).
When more time was available, children ate more fruit without increasing consumption of other foods; moreover, they ate more slowly and reported a greater feeling of fullness at the end of the meal.
The results are important for public health as children worldwide do not meet the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.