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Kids found to eat more veggies when part of a game

The secret to eating your fruits and vegetables may be all fun and games.  One study published in PLOS One, suggests that combining fruit and vegetable taste tests in the elementary school lunch room with games and stories may actually increase fruits and vegetables consumption.    

Researchers in one school energized 180, K-8 grade students to eat more fruits and veggies by creating a story line where students could impact the outcome.  They told students that they could help capture the villain in the story, by helping the hero harness energy by eating more fruits or vegetables than they normally do during lunch.  Goals were established and food waste was measured for accuracy.  Over 13 days, researchers saw fruit intake go up by 66% and vegetable intake went up by 44% over usual levels!  We think those are winning numbers indeed!  Teachers observed that the program was practical to implement and enjoyed by students.  And the best part is that parents said more fruits and vegetables were consumed at home as a result! 

The moral of the fruit and vegetable story is that fruits and vegetables can enthusiastically be consumed more by children.  They just need to be presented in a more appealing way, by adults that either lead by example or that make them more fun and engaging through stories just as they did in this example.  At Dole we have a variety of kid friendly recipes; here are a few of our favorites:    

Make fun shapes with Dole Kids with Almond Toast

Make it fun size with BLT mini bites or Lunch-box Sushi!

For some reason, anything on a skewer is immediately 100% cooler to kids.  Try our Banana Bob Appetizers, Fruity Caribbean Slaw with Jerk Turkey Skewers, or a sweet Banana Tot Pops to see how yours react!

Published December 20, 2018

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