Want to be seen as more loving and a better cook?

Serve vegetables to your kids

Do you want to be seen as a better cook and a more loving parent? It’s as easy as serving a vegetable at dinner, according to recent Cornell Food and Brand Lab research.

In the first study, 500 American mothers were presented with one of five common meat-based hypothetical meals that either contained a side vegetable or no vegetable. The five meals included entrees such as steak, chicken, and lasagna and sides such as potatoes, broccoli and breadsticks. Those who were presented with a meal including a vegetable side, such as broccoli, indicated that the main dish would taste better and that the server was a better cook. “Simply having a vegetable on the plate made the whole meal be perceived as tastier,” said lead author Brian Wansink, PhD director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design, “Even if they didn’t particularly like the vegetable.”

In the second study, these same 500 people read a day-in-the-life story of a woman named Valerie as she woke up, went to work, ran errands, made dinner for her family, and watched TV with her husband before going to bed. In one version of the story she prepared frozen green beans with¬†Families are likely to eat vegetables at dinner time, however Only about 23 percent of dinners have a full serving of veggies. “If families want to eat more vegetables, dinner’s the place to start. If you serve vegetables at dinner, not only will your family think you’re a better cook, they’ll also think you’re a more loving parent,” said Dr. Wansink, “Within two days of discovering this, I changed the way I cook. I no longer say I’m too tired to make a vegetable. If nothing else, at least I open up a can of green beans.”

Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab
Funder: Pinnacle Foods, Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University
Image: Daniel Miller

Categories: Cooking Eat Health