The Acceptability of Different Squash Varieties in Lasagna to Increase Red-Orange Vegetable Consumption for School Nutrition Requirements.
Presented at Scholarship and Creativity Day, 2016. Pulvermacher, A. & Evenson, A. (2015-2016)
Children and adolescents struggle to meet dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable intakes. School nutrition requirements for red-orange vegetables are higher compared to other varieties of vegetables. The objective of this study was to determine if three different squash varieties were acceptable for use in school nutrition recipes.
A lasagna recipe was selected and adapted to create different versions with squash varieties (buttercup, butternut, and acorn). Computrition Hospitality Suite Version 18.7 was used to analyze the nutritional profile of the recipes. Sensory analysis assessed liking of overall taste, squash flavor, lasagna flavor, appearance, and texture using a 7-point hedonic scale (7=like extremely, 1=dislike extremely). Sensory panels were conducted in duplicate (n=66; mean age=18.89). Anova determined differences among lasagna recipes. Significance was set at p<0.05. All three lasagna recipes provided approximately 0.76 cups of red-orange vegetables, 280 calories, 11.5 g fat, and 245 mg sodium for a one cup serving. There were no significant differences in liking of overall taste, squash flavor, lasagna flavor, appearance, or texture among the three lasagna recipes (p>0.05). Average overall liking scores ranged from 4.64-5.00.
The recipes developed for this study could be implemented into school foodservice to increase red-orange vegetable consumption in adolescents as they were generally liked. Buttercup, butternut, or acorn squash could potentially be used in additional recipes to help increase red-orange vegetable intake. Future research could determine acceptability of different red-orange vegetable recipes in younger age groups.
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Research Advisor: Alexa Evenson PhD, RDN, CFS