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Eat Your Vegetables: Preschoolers Love Vegetables With Catchy Names Like 'X-Ray Vision Carrots' And 'Tomato Bursts'

Date:
March 4, 2009
Source:
Cornell Food & Brand Lab
Summary:
Do you have a picky preschooler who's avoiding their vegetables? A new shows that giving vegetables catchy new names -- like "X-Ray Vision Carrots" and "Tomato Bursts" -- left preschoolers asking for more.

Do you have a picky preschooler who's avoiding their vegetables? A new Cornell University study shows that giving vegetables catchy new names – like X-Ray Vision Carrots and Tomato Bursts – left preschoolers asking for more.

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When 186 four-year olds were given carrots called "X-ray Vision Carrots" ate nearly twice as much as they did on the lunch days when they were simply labeled as "carrots." The Robert Wood Johnson-funded study also showed the influence of these names might persist. Children continued to eat about 50% more carrots even on the days when they were no longer labeled. The new findings were presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the School Nutrition Association in Washington DC.

"Cool names can make for cool foods," says lead author Brian Wansink. "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," said Wansink.

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% and taste rating increased by 12%. "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."

Although the study was conducted in pre-schools, the researchers believe the same naming tricks can work with children. "I've been using this with my kids," said researcher Collin Payne, "Whatever sparks their imagination seems to spark their appetite."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell Food & Brand Lab. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "Eat Your Vegetables: Preschoolers Love Vegetables With Catchy Names Like 'X-Ray Vision Carrots' And 'Tomato Bursts'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302120019.htm>.
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. (2009, March 4). Eat Your Vegetables: Preschoolers Love Vegetables With Catchy Names Like 'X-Ray Vision Carrots' And 'Tomato Bursts'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302120019.htm
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "Eat Your Vegetables: Preschoolers Love Vegetables With Catchy Names Like 'X-Ray Vision Carrots' And 'Tomato Bursts'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302120019.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

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