Want your kids to eat more veggies? The results of a new experiment suggest upselling broccoli as “Tiny Tasty Tree Tops” to watch them eat it -- and the parental marketing pitch -- all up.
That’s according to a new experiment conducted out of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, which found that adding a fun, positive spin on vegetable names helped increase consumption rates among kids by up to 99 percent.
The research was published in Preventative Medicine and announced this week.
In the first study, when carrots were presented as “X-ray Vision Carrots” to 147 kids ages 8 to 11, 66 percent of the food was eaten off the plate -- more than double the rate when they were labeled as “Food of the Day” (32 percent).
When the carrots were unnamed, the kids ate 35 percent of their portion.
In a second study, researchers analyzed food sales over two months in suburban New York City schools. For the first month, food items were unnamed.
The following month, however, broccoli was given superhero powers and turned into “Power Punch Broccoli,” or “Tiny Tasty Tree Tops,” while green beans were sold as “Silly Dilly Green Beans.”
Results showed that when vegetables were given fun and playful names, sales shot up 99 percent.
“These results demonstrate that using attractive names for healthy foods increases kid's selection and consumption of these foods and that an attractive name intervention is robust, effective and scalable at little or no cost,” scientists say.
Meanwhile, other studies suggest exposing children to a wide array of veggies, hiding pureed veggies in their food and leading by example to get kids to meet their nutritional requirements.