A study published in a supplement of the Journal of Food Science shows that consuming raisins may contribute to lower daily energy intake in children. Snacks are an important part of children's dietary intake, but the role of dried fruit on energy intake in children is unknown.
Therefore, the researchers wanted to study the effect of consumption of an after-school snack of raisins, grapes, potato chips, and chocolate chip cookies on appetite and energy intake. The study involved 20 normal weight children, ages 8–11. On four separate weekdays, one week apart, the children were given a standardized breakfast, morning snack (apple), and a standardized lunch. After school, the children randomly received one of four snacks and were instructed to eat until “comfortably full.” Appetite was measured before and 15, 30, and 45 min after snack consumption.
The researchers found that children consumed the least calories from raisins and grapes and the most from cookies. However, weight of raisins consumed was similar to potato chips (about 75 g) and lower compared to grapes and cookies. Raisins and grapes led to lower cumulative food intake (breakfast + morning snack + lunch + after-school snack), while the cookies increased cumulative food intake compared to the other snacks. Grapes lowered appetite compared to all other snacks.
The researchers concluded that the “consumption of raisins has potential as an after-school snack to achieve low snack intake prior to dinner.”