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More Thoughtful, Less Boring? Add a Veggie

Woman Cooking with WokMoms who want extra incentive to add vegetables to the family dinner take note: It may make your family think you’re a more thoughtful and better cook, at least according to moms, suggests a new study.

For the study, 500 mothers with at least two children living at home completed an online survey developed by the researchers.

In one section, respondents read about a busy mother’s evening, during which she cooks up chicken and leftover spaghetti for the family dinner. For half the respondents, the scenario included the mother heating up and serving a bag of frozen green beans. When the mother added those beans, respondents were more likely to describe her as thoughtful and loving, and less likely to describe her as lazy, boring, and self-absorbed.

Another part of the survey asked the participants to rate the same four meals with and without vegetables. Not surprisingly, the mothers rated the meals with vegetables as more nutritious and complete than those without. But adding zucchini to the pasta and meatballs or other vegetables to the meals was also described as more tasty and loving compared to the veggie-free dinners.

As the authors note, the survey noted perceptions of how enjoyable the meal was, not actual taste ratings.

Source: Soure: Brian Wansink, Mitsuru Shimizu, and Adam Brumberg. “How vegetables make the meal: their hedonic and heroic impact on perceptions of the meal and of the preparer.” Public Health Nutrition / FirstView Article, pp 1-7 Published online: 15 November 2012.

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