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Pureed vegetables may improve kids diets

Pureed vegetables can be included in all manner of foods

Parents may be able to boost their children's intake of vegetables by adding pureed versions to their favourite flavour pairings, research suggests.

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University gave three familiar foods to 39 children, aged three to six years - courgette bread for breakfast, pasta with tomato sauce for lunch, and chicken noodle casserole for dinner.

A range of pureed vegetables - including broccoli, cauliflower, courgette and tomato - were added to these recipes, thereby reducing their calorie content by 15 to 25 per cent.

According to lead author Dr Maureen Spill, children found the vegetable-enhanced dishes to be "equally acceptable to the standard recipes".

Youngsters who ate the vegetable-enhanced meals nearly doubled their vegetable intake, while reducing their calorie intake by 11 per cent.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Dr Spill added that the strategy may "substantially increase children's vegetable intake while also teaching them to like vegetables".

Parents who like the idea of courgette bread may want to try John Barrowman's recipe, which was revealed on the TV programme Taste of My Life.

The bread takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, followed by one to two hours of cooking time, and contains vanilla, ground cinnamon and nutmeg for added flavour.

Related Products: Vanilla Pods, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg

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