What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Bribing kids to eat veggies works

Bribing children is the best way to get them to eat vegetables. Children who were rewarded for eating their greens over a fortnight ate far more salad long-term than their peers, say scientists — even when ‘payments’ had been withdrawn.

But while stickers and praise both proved effective, lead author Dr Lucy Cooke, warned offering sweet desserts were counterproductive. A team of researchers, led by Cooke from the University College London, studied 472 children aged between four and six years old who were drawn from a cross-section of society.

They were asked to taste a small piece of six different vegetables — a carrot, red pepper, sugar snap pea, cabbage, cucumber and celery. The child then rated how much they liked each one from one to six. The fourth ranked vegetable became the target food and the youngsters were asked to eat as much of it as they liked. The children were then offered some slices of their chosen green every day over the next fortnight.

Around 100 youngsters were allowed to choose a sticker if they ate their vegetable, another 100 received praised and a further 100 were just offered the green. The rest of the children acted as a control.

The scientists then assessed how much the children liked their vegetable and how much of it they were willing to eat without receiving any reward. They found that all the children who had been repeatedly exposed to their vegetable liked it more than those who hadn’t.

New soybean meal sources are good fish meal alternatives

A new study has suggested that fermented soybean meal and enzyme-treated soybean meal may replace fish meal in weanling pig diets.

“The price of fish meal has exploded and is causing producers to search for new options for weanling pig diets. Pigs are traditionally fed diets containing relatively large amounts of animal proteins such as fish meal from weaning up to 40 pounds when they can digest traditional soybean meal,” said Hans H Stein of the University of Illinois.

The fermentation and enzyme treatment process helps remove some of the antigens found in traditional soybean meal and other compounds that are not easily digested by weanling pigs.

Stein said these new sources of soybean meal might be the answer producers are looking for to keep costs down without sacrificing digestibility of important amino acids.
“In our study, we measured the digestibility of amino acids in these two new sources of soybean meal in comparison to fish meal, casein and soy protein isolate.”

“We observed that enzyme-treated soybean meal has even better digestibility
of amino acids than conventional soybean meal. It appears the enzyme treatment
increases digestibility. Fermented soybean meal has the same digestibility as standard soybean meal, so we now know that fermentation doesn’t reduce digestibility,” Stein said.

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