Miracle Food Spray Gets Kids to Eat Veggies, But Would You Use It?

This Just In 52

carrotHey there, moms! Are you sitting down? I sure do hope you're sitting down. Because when you hear about the results of this super high-tech, top-secret scientific study on kids and nutrition, heaven only knows what the shock might do to you! Truly, the way you feed your children could change forever.

Are you ready? Wait, wait -- let me set the scene for you:

Picture a team of doctors and researchers in white lab coats, Bunsen burners, beakers filled with fizzing, popping liquids of every color. (Every so often one of them starts to smoke menacingly.) There is some SERIOUS medical studying stuff going on up in here, y'all.  At last, one of the scientists looks up from his microscope and shouts, "Eureka! I've found it! I've found the secret to making kids eat their vegetables!"

Can you guess?? The secret is …

Sugar!! Yes, it's true! Now we have scientific proof that dousing veggies in sugar makes children more likely to eat them all up.

You're not really all that shocked, I bet. Sorry to set you up like that, I just … DUH! Like, really?? Just a spoonful of freaking sugar makes the vegetables go down?!

More from The Stir: 13 Questionable Things We Do to Get Picky Eaters to Eat

No sh*t.

I'm really NOT oversimplifying here, either. This is exactly how the study was conducted:

Preschoolers who were served lightly sweetened vegetables (sprayed with a mist of sugar) at lunchtime ate more of the healthy foods compared to those who were served unsweetened vegetables.

Although the researchers tested other ways to mask the vegetables' bitterness, including various salts, plain sugar worked the best.

Maybe I'm being unfair. Perhaps there is some sort of take-home message here: If sugar spray makes veggies more tasty to tots, maybe a sweet (but not outrageously unhealthy) sauce would do the same. It might be worth dipping a couple of stalks of broccoli in some maple syrup or applesauce to find out. Or if your kid is like that adorable fibbing boy, maybe sprinkles are the way to go?

Would you spray veggies with sugar to get your kid to eat them?


Image via Cyn74/Flickr

nutrition, picky eaters


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Raven Rei

My daughter eats a very healthy diet. I exclude dairy in both of our diets as well (My reactions are now allergies, her are very mild) but I still give breast milk as often as she wants it. I feed her veggies daily and she eats them up without alteration or "covering up" said bitterness. All veggies have natural sugar in them, I don't believe adding any would be a good idea. I started her on healthy food from the moment she was ready to eat (7 mo). And what has made it more effective? Mommy eats them too. Sometimes I make a plate and we share (yes I will eat mashed/minced and unsalted foods) because she always wants whats on my plate. So I make sure what she wants is actually whats good for her. There isn't a fruit or veggie my child wont eat! I consider myself lucky!

Meghan Rogers

I agree with Schlis comment above. I have 3 kids (15 Mo, 3 Yr, 6 Yr) and they eat what we eat. Do exactly as Schlis said and it works like a charm. There are no battles at our table, rarely any whining or complaining. We do not force them to stay till their plate is empty (although it normally is). They simply.....eat, like little adults. If they do not like something, they do not have to eat it, but as mentioned, no other food.

We VERY rarely ever have desert, and serve a wide variety of things, mostly veggies. The kids love pretty much all of it except spicy hot, so we put very little spice on theirs. They eat brussel sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus  egg plant, fish, etc., and rather than them choking it down, they LOVE it. My 3 year old's favorite food is brussel sprouts and sushi (not at the same time).

So, all of you parents having a hard time with kids and food, you are literally trying to hard.

ranti... rantingmom

Congrats to all of you with perfect eaters! I have 8 kids and all of them were served the same food. Some eat veggies. Some don't. All are healthy.

Beth Wankel

It's not really a matter of whether or not I would do that, or anyone, but rather that someone STUDIED this. I mean, duh.

RitaS... RitaSchwarcz

I remember my grandma putting sugar on various things like strawberries but never on vegies....worth a try?...not sure.....It's only on the outside....once they start to chew it the real taset comes out....correct me if I am wrong :-) I let them just come to like it in their own time......of course demonstrating how tasty it is daily.....I am raw vegan...she sees me eat it and love it daily!


Chelsea Renee Taaffe

Maybe not for all vegetables... idk When I was a kid my mom bought some weird chocolate dip and it was the only way I would eat raw carrots, but I loved all the other veggies. And I love veggies now. I can't imagine being that desperate though

gamer... gamermom81

I am guessing some of the responces are written by people who did not actually read the article. The article stated the study was done using a "light mist of sugar water"..not "doused in sugar" not "covered in sugar" and certaininly not covered in chocolate....some kids like veggies and some dont..many adults use some sort of seasoning or spray on their veggies too...

handy... handy0318

As we all know, kids are different and eating the veggies is just one more difference... I put sauces, dressings and honey butter on veggies when they were smaller... My daughter loves veggies and eats salads and veggies all the time, always has, even before the honey butter days. However, she doesn't eat fruit, no grapes, apples, no citrus of any kind, no bananas, no fruit at all.  

My son, loves all kinds of fruits, but will only eat cooked carrots with honey butter, and plain lettuce. 

I worked with hundreds of kids over decades of years at day cares and in schools. It's horrible to see how many day care and school lunch veggies go straight from the plate to the garbage can. I've always known my daughter is in the minority when it comes to kids and veggies...most are far more like my son, very picky about eating them. Anything as harmless as sugar water spritzed on veggies to entice kids to eat more of them is OK in my book.

Jilectan Jilectan

My daughter loves broccoli. We call them dinosaur trees and told her Little Foot from Land Before Time ate them, lol. She also loves raw tomatoes, she'll eat a whole one for a snack. Other veggies are hit or miss, though. My other two are pretty much the same.

tuffy... tuffymama

We have to be careful about sugar. LO is on the spectrum and sugar is a trigger food for him (anything processed will wreck his tummy). He has his set amount of fruit every day, and he eats vegetables like a rabbit. The only one that he won't eat now is avocado, but I think that may be a texture and/or appearance thing for him. It was one of his first foods, though, and he ate it happily as a ten month old. I think he eats so well because we we feed him what we eat, and he has been breast feeding for so long. I haven't had a lot of the food conflicts that many ASD kids and parents have, and I feel very blessed indeed. I cannot fathom feeling forced to resort to sugar spray to get a kid to eat. It seems like the researchers would have to be either lazy parents or childless to think this is a good idea to promote.

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