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April 13, 2012 > Science Fair project shows children will eat healthier food

Science Fair project shows children will eat healthier food

Article and photos submitted by Tawney Warren

In an unusual nutritional study, third-grade students Emma Warren and Camryn Ambur from Mattos Elementary School in Fremont showed that kids would eat healthier foods, and even prefer them, if presented in a tasty manner. For their Science Fair project this year, the girls tested 211 students, grades K-6, in a double-blind taste test of regular brownies and healthier brownies using a recipe from "The Sneaky Chef"(c)(tm) cookbook by Missy Lapine (http://www.thesneakychef.com).

"We did a double-blind study so we wouldn't influence any of the taste testers," explained Emma. Specifically, the girls helped bake, then bag the brownie samples, and one of the mom's labeled the samples so the girls wouldn't know which brownie sample was A or B. This way they wouldn't influence anyone participating in the survey.

The study is unusual because it involves kids testing kids. With some guidance from Emma's mom Tawney Warren, the girls tried out a brownie recipe that included wheat germ, baby spinach, and blueberries. "It didn't sound good to us, but we were willing to try it," said Camryn. The girls made some sample batches, tasted them, and were surprised that they still tasted like brownies. There was a noticeable difference in texture from regular brownies because of the reduced oil, but they still tasted like brownies.

The findings from the surveys show that even though the majority of kids could tell which brownie was healthier, nearly 80 percent of them said they would eat the healthier brownie if their parents made them. Furthermore, many of the kids who said they didn't like to eat vegetables picked the regular brownie as the healthier brownie, and said the healthier brownie tasted better. The girls effectively showed that if parents add extra nutrition in this way, kids would eat it. This is exciting news for millions of families with picky eaters.

The girls have concluded that if parents make it, most kids will eat it. The girls have set up a Facebook page and are hoping to inspire kids in every state to try this project at their schools. To join in on the conversation, or to find out how to do a project like this at your school, you can access their Facebook page at http://www.brainybrowniekids.com

Find "sneaky" recipes at Missy Lapine's website: http://www.thesneakychef.com including the recipe for Brainy Brownies. Sneak more nutrition into your kids' food for their own good!

For more information contact Tawney Warren at: tawney_warren@hotmail.com

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