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X-Ray Vision Carrots

October 24, 2012

Giving vegetables catchier names could get kids to eat more of them.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

X-ray vision carrots…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

As any parent knows, getting kids to eat vegetables can be a challenge. But giving vegetables catchy names could help. Working with several elementary school cafeterias, Cornell behavioral economist David Just and his colleagues jazzed up veggie offerings with new names.

DAVID JUST (Cornell University):

We used x-ray vision carrots, power punch broccoli, silly dilly green beans and tiny tasty tree tops.

HIRSHON:

He says the fun-sounding names doubled hot vegetable consumption at the schools. Of course, names alone aren’t enough to get every kid eating veggies.

JUST:

We can appeal to them by talking about the sensory experience of the vegetables that they’re going to be eating. So, talking about how crunchy it is or how savory or whether they’re going to get a buttery taste out of it.

HIRSHON:

He adds that kids are also more likely to choose vegetables if they’re presented alongside fruits, rather than higher calorie sweet snacks. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Catchy names could get some kids interested in eating vegetables. (Jupiter Images)