How to Get Children to Eat Vegetables

Parents should not reward their children for eating greens, researchers said after discovering that youngsters who are not praised for trying vegetables are more likely to eat them eventually.

The best way to get children to eat food they do not like is simply to give them repeated exposure to it, the study found.

In tests, children repeatedly offered vegetables were more likely to eventually eat them as opposed to those given a reward.

Psychologists from Ghent University in Belgium studied 98 pre-school children on 10 vegetables that were either steamed or boiled – fennel, chicory, zucchini, mushrooms, peas, leeks, Brussels sprouts, beetroot, spinach and cauliflower.

The taste tests revealed that chicory was the least-liked vegetable among youngsters.

The children were then given a bowl of steamed chicory and told to choose how much to eat, while not sharing with other classmates.

After eight minutes, they were asked to rate the dish as “yummy”, “just OK” or “yucky” using cartoon facial expressions.

The trial went on twice a week for a month, with a follow-up taste test after eight weeks.

Children were split into three groups, with one group asked to try the bowl of chicory repeatedly with no further encouragement, while the other two groups were given rewards of stickers, a toy or verbal praise.

After the trial, 81 per cent of children who simply tried the chicory repeatedly liked it, compared with 68 per cent given a toy or sticker and 75 per cent given verbal praise.

The study team said: “All parents know how difficult it is to get children to eat their greens, with many offering rewards or treats in return for children finishing their vegetables.

“The results highlight that repeated exposure remains the best way to establish a liking of a food.”

The findings are published in the science journal Food Quality and Preference.

Source: The Telegraph

Vegetarian Curry with Egg and Peas


4 large eggs
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt to taste
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/3 cup chopped tomato
scant 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 green chili pepper, slit
2 tbsp cilantro leaves
cooked rice to serve


  1. Hard-boll the eggs, remove their shells, then set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the onion and cumin seeds until the onion is light gold in color.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic paste, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander, salt, and garam masala and fry this mixture well for a couple of minutes, adding, whenever needed, 1 tablespoon of water, to prevent burning or sticking.
  4. Add the whole eggs and tomato, stir gently and cook for a minute.
  5. Add 1-1/4 cups of water and let it come to a boil before adding the peas and green chili. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cilantro leaves and remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Serve curry with cooked rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Healthy Vegetarian Cooking

In Pictures: Dishes of Chang Le Vegetarian Restaurant in Hong Kong

Taiwan-style Vegetarian Cuisine

The Restaurant

Researchers Find Low Magnesium Level Makes Vitamin D Ineffective

There is a caveat to the push for increased Vitamin D: Don’t forget magnesium.

A review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found Vitamin D can’t be metabolized without sufficient magnesium levels, meaning Vitamin D remains stored and inactive for as many as 50 percent of Americans.

“People are taking Vitamin D supplements but don’t realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, Vitamin D is not really useful or safe,” says study co-author Mohammed S. Razzaque, MBBS, PhD, a professor of pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Razzaque explains that consumption of Vitamin D supplements can increase a person’s calcium and phosphate levels even if they remain Vitamin D deficient. The problem is people may suffer from vascular calcification if their magnesium levels aren’t high enough to prevent the complication.

Patients with optimum magnesium levels require less Vitamin D supplementation to achieve sufficient Vitamin D levels. Magnesium also reduces osteoporosis, helping to mitigate the risk of bone fracture that can be attributed to low levels of Vitamin D, Razzaque noted.

Deficiency in either of these nutrients is reported to be associated with various disorders, including skeletal deformities, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome.

While the recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 420 mg for males and 320 mg for females, the standard diet in the United States contains only about 50 percent of that amount. As much as half of the total population is estimated to be consuming a magnesium-deficient diet.

Researchers say the magnesium consumption from natural foods has decreased in the past few decades, owing to industrialized agriculture and changes in dietary habits. Magnesium status is low in populations who consume processed foods that are high in refined grains, fat, phosphate, and sugar.

“By consuming an optimal amount of magnesium, one may be able to lower the risks of Vitamin D deficiency, and reduce the dependency on Vitamin D supplements,” says Razzaque.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body after calcium, potassium, and sodium. Foods high in magnesium include almonds, bananas, beans, broccoli, brown rice, cashews, egg yolk, fish oil, flaxseed, green vegetables, milk, mushrooms, other nuts, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, sunflower seeds, sweet corn, tofu, and whole grains.

Source: American Osteopathic Association

Varicose Veins Tied to Higher Odds for Blood Clots

Steven Reinberg wrote . . . . . . .

Those tangled blue varicose veins that can pop up on your legs as you age may be more than unsightly: New research suggests they might quintuple your risk of dangerous blood clots.

Known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT), these clots in the legs can be life-threatening if they travel to the lungs or heart, Taiwanese researchers said.

“Varicose veins are not merely a cosmetic or symptomatic concern, because they may be associated with increasing risk of more serious disease,” explained lead researcher Dr. Shyue-Luen Chang, a phlebologist in the department of dermatology at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan.

Varicose veins are a common condition affecting about 23 percent of American adults, the researchers said.

“Patients with varicose veins may warrant careful monitoring and early evaluation,” Chang added.

Among a group of more than 425,000 people, half of whom had varicose veins, Chang’s team found that the condition was associated with 5.3 times increased risk of deep venous thrombosis.

Whether varicose veins cause the clots, or are a real risk for them, however, is not known, Chang said. More research is needed since the study did not prove that varicose veins cause the clots, he said.

“Not much is known about varicose veins and the risk for these other diseases,” Chang said. “Elucidating potential associations between varicose veins and health-threatening diseases is important.”

The researchers also found a trend for an increased risk of pulmonary embolisms or PE (clots in the lung) or PAD (narrowing of the leg arteries) among those with varicose veins, but they weren’t able to tell if varicose veins were a real risk for these conditions.

For the study, Chang and colleagues used data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance program. Patients were enrolled in the database from 2001 to 2013, and they were followed through 2014.

One weakness of the study is that insurance claims data do not include information on patients who don’t seek medical care.

Therefore, the findings may apply only to risk among patients with more severe varicose veins who needed medical attention, the researchers explained.

One U.S. cardiologist called for more research on the possible connection.

“Given the very high prevalence of varicose veins in the general population worldwide, the results of this trial should trigger future studies to further investigate the effect of varicose veins on the inflammation and formation of a blood clot, and to assess the link between the severity of varicose veins and DVT,” said Dr. Maja Zaric. She’s an interventional cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The study suggests that varicose veins should be taken more seriously and likely treated more aggressively, she said.

“It is prudent to establish which category of patients with varicose veins is at the greatest risk and how aggressive and early the treatment should be to prevent serious complications, given morbidity and mortality associated with both DVT and PE,” Zaric said.

The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: HealthDay

Today’s Comic