If you want your kids to eat more veggies, one strategy that might work.
Giving vegetables cool names might just do the trick.
It’s not just a crazy idea you might turn to in desperation: researchers from Cornell University have found kids were more receptive to eating vegetables when they had cool names like “X Ray Vision Carrots” than when they didn’t.
In one study of 147 students aged between 8 and 11, the researchers gave the kids lunchroom menus that were the same, except carrots were added on three consecutive days. On the first and third days, the carrots were unnamed. On the second day, they either named the carrots “Food of the Day” or “X-ray Vision Carrots”.
The amount of carrots selected wasn’t affected by the three different names, however, they found that the amount the kids ate definitely was.
When the carrots were called “X-ray Vision Carrots”, 66% of them were eaten – much greater than the 32% when they were called “Food of the Day” or the 35% when they were unnamed.
The researchers then carried out a second study where carrots were named “X-Ray Vision Carrots”, broccoli was called “Power Punch Broccoli” and “Tiny Tasty Tree Tops” and green beans were called “Silly Dilly Green Beans”.
The researchers looked at food sales over two months in two neighbouring New York City suburban schools. For the first month, both schools offered veggies that were unnamed. During the second month, in one of the schools, the carrots, broccoli and green beans were given the more exciting names.
The results were remarkable: in the school that had the creatively named veggie choices on the menu, the purchase of vegetables went up 99% compared with the month before. While in the school that had the veggies unnamed two months in a row, the sales actually declined by 16% in the second month.
So if you’ve tried just about everything to get your kids to eat their veggies, this psychological trick might be one thing to consider!
What do you think?
- Kids Health
- Kids Health