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Child Nutrition Eat Your Vegetables: Preschoolers Love Vegetables with Catchy Names

Posted Mar 06 2009 2:15pm
By Colleen Hurley, RD, Certified Kids Nutrition Specialist During the winter months, Mum Mums has discussed several ways to increase kids immunity. One major component of a healthy immune system is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. For many parents, however, getting kids to eat their veggies is a serious challenge. If you thought giving those veggies fun names like ‘X-Ray Vision Carrots would help you kids eat it, would you try it? A new study found it may be that easy. Parents of picky eating preschoolers rejoice! A Cornell University study found that giving vegetables silly names left kids asking for seconds. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the study also found that this technique continued to work for days afterward. One hundred eighty six four year olds were given X-ray vision carrots and ate almost double the amount they did on the lunch days the food was simply labeled ‘carrots. Kids continued to eat 50% more carrots with lunch even without the new labels. The study findings were presented this week at the School Nutrition Associations annual meeting in Washington DC. The premise of the study was based on similar findings with adults. Simply changing the name of Seafood Filet to Succulent Italian Seafood Filet increased sales by 28% as well as increasing taste approval ratings by 12%; a restaurant study found. Researchers feel that although the study was conducted on preschoolers, the results can be extrapolated for children of any age. It was so successful that the study authors have begun naming veggies for their own kids at home with similar results. This is undoubtedly a simple, and fun, way to get your kids to eat their veggies. By sparking imagination, you can also spark interest in new foods. So break out those power peas or turbo charged tomatoes and see what happens.
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