Which sounds more enticing: an “eggplant” or an “ultra-electro-magnetic eggplant”? Although you may think that a veggie by any other name would taste just as yummy, for children, it’s all about how interesting you name it.
MedicalNewsToday.com reports two very interesting studies by Brian Wansink, David Just, Collin Payne, and Matthew Klinger that may just have solved the problem of making your finicky child eat vegetables--it seems that all you need is a just a little imagination. For the first study, researchers worked for three consecutive days with 147 students from different schools, whose ages ranged from eight to eleven years. The star of the cafeteria show was carrots, which remained as “carrots” for the first and last days of the experiment, but were transformed to either “x-ray vision carrots” or “food of the day” on the second.
When the results came in, the researchers found out that the amount of “x-ray vision carrots” eaten was an amazing 66 percent--way more than the unnamed carrots at 35 percent and “food of the day” at 32 percent.
Encouraged by their interesting discovery, researchers did a second study, this time adding broccoli to the mix as “power punch broccoli” and “tiny tasty tree tops.” Beans also joined the super menu as “silly dilly green beans.” For over two months, the team observed food sales in two neighboring suburban schools in New York. The veggies remained unnamed for the first month, but eventually revealed their secret identities to only one institution on the second month.
The results were astounding. Sales of fancily-tagged vegetables rose to a whopping 99 percent, while sales of those that remained unnamed dropped 16 percent.
So the next time you try to make your hotdog-loving child eat healthy, try serving food with a dash of imagination. Your creative efforts may just be rewarded with a clean plate.
(Photo by Cyn74 via Flickr Creative Commons)