How to get your children to eat more vegetables

Give the vegetables cool names!

When 186 four-year olds were given carrots called “X-ray Vision Carrots” they ate nearly twice as many as they did on the lunch days when they were simply labelled as “carrots.”  The children continued to eat about 50 per cent more carrots even on the days when they were no longer labelled, according to a new study by researchers at Cornell University.

carrot varieties

“Cool names can make for cool foods,” says lead author Professor Brian Wansink of Cornell University. “Whether it be ‘power peas’ or ‘dinosaur broccoli trees,’ giving a food a fun name makes kids think it will be more fun to eat. And it seems to keep working – even the next day.”

Similar results have been found with adults. A restaurant study showed that when the Seafood Filet was changed to “Succulent Italian Seafood Filet,” sales increased by 28 per cent and taste rating increased by 12 per cent.

“Same food, but different expectations, and a different experience,”

said Wansink, author of “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Eat More Than We Think.”

carrot-flowers

Although the study was conducted in pre-schools, the researchers believe the same naming tricks can work with older children.

“I’ve been using this with my kids,” said researcher Collin Payne, “Whatever sparks their imagination seems to spark their appetite.”

Here are some more ideas to tempt your children to enjoy the wonders of the fruit and vegetable world:

  • Ben 10’s Bionic Broccoli
  • Elastigirl’s Shapeshifting Strawberries
  • Hogwart’s Hufflepuff Herbs
  • Lady Penelope’s Pinky Peaches
  • Pokemon’s Powerblast Parsnips
  • Spongebob’s Squarepants Supersonic Squash
  • Thunderbirds’ Hypersonic Rocket Leaf
  • Wonder Woman’s Wicked Watermelon

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2 thoughts on “How to get your children to eat more vegetables

  1. I think this is a great idea, I can definitely see Ben 10 Broccoli being consumed more eagerly now, I’ll have to fit the rest into cbeebies characters though!

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