Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us

Water the Perfect Apertif for Carrot Sticks

• June 21, 2012 • 7:00 AM

Food and drink pairing isn’t just for winos. From a very young age, we form opinions about what we should drink with, say, pizza (soda), Lunchables (Capri Sun), and vegetables (plain ol’ water). Mix these pairings up and we’ll lose a little interest in one or the other.

“Preferences start to develop very early in children,” explains Annemarie Olsen, a postdoc researcher at the University of Copenhagen who has studied child food preferences. “Several studies have demonstrated that they start to form already in the uterus!”

To test how beverage might influence food choices, researchers from the University of Oregon and Michigan State University offered preschoolers a healthy snack—raw carrot sticks and red bell peppers—paired with either water or Hawaiian Punch. They found that the zero-calorie beverage led the kids to eat a bit more of the veggies than when the snack was offered alongside the sweet one.

Whether it’s because kids see parents drinking sweet with starch or because they’re repeatedly served it, these preferences are culturally hardwired by adulthood. In a survey of college-age students, the researchers found that with high-calorie foods like pizza, french fries, and hamburgers, soda is the beverage of choice. It’s no wonder the soda habit is so hard to kick.

Rachel Swaby
Rachel Swaby is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. She is a frequent contributor to Wired, Gizmodo, and Afar, and a senior editor at Longshot Magazine. She can be found on Twitter (@rachelswaby), or playing the newest iPad puzzle game.

More From Rachel Swaby

Tags: , ,

If you would like to comment on this post, or anything else on Pacific Standard, visit our Facebook or Google+ page, or send us a message on Twitter. You can also follow our regular updates and other stories on both LinkedIn and Tumblr.

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and, delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow us

Subscribe Now

Quick Studies

When a Romance Is Threatened, People Rebound With God

And when they feel God might reject them, they buddy up to their partner.

How Can We Protect Open Ocean That Does Not Yet Exist?

As global warming melts ice and ushers in a wave of commercial activity in the Arctic, scientists are thinking about how to protect environments of the future.

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

Pollution’s Racial Divides

When it comes to the injustice of air pollution, the divide between blacks and whites is greater than the gap between the rich and the poor.

Hunger and Low Blood Sugar Can Spur Domestic Quarrels

In an experiment, scientists found a correlation between low blood glucose and higher levels of spousal frustration.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014