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Want children to eat healthy? Tell them about health benefits of food

ANI | Updated: May 08, 2019 15:59 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], May 8 (ANI): Parents do find it hard to convince their kids into eating healthy foods. But a new study suggests a way to trick children into healthy eating.
The study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour found that parents if they communicated the food benefits to their kids, there are more chances of kids eating the food.
During the study, researchers also found that statements like 'eat your lentils if you want to grow bigger and run faster', proved to be more effective in persuading children to eat healthy food. The phrases focus on goals children have and are based on accurate nutrition information.
The study incorporated data from kids ranging between the ages of three to five. The duration of the study was six weeks.
Before beginning, the 87 children in the experiment ranked how much they liked four foods chosen from different food groups including, green peppers (vegetable), tomatoes (vegetables), quinoa (grain), and lentils (protein).
The kids were then offered two of the foods they liked the least twice a week. Over the six-week experiment, the researchers presented the children one of their low-rated foods with pre-selected age-appropriate facts about the benefits of the food. The other food was merely given to them to taste.
The researchers then measured how much the kids ate at three times: pre-test, post-test, and one month after the study ended. The immediate post-test showed no result, likely because the kids "got sick of eating the same foods," Lanigan said.
"Every child wants to be bigger, faster, able to jump higher. Using these types of examples made the food more attractive to eat," said Jane Lanigan, author of the study.
The study also pointed out those kids ate twice as much healthy food after they were communicated the health benefits of certain foods.
"We found that a month later, the kids ate twice as much of their CCNP (child-centered nutrition phrases) food with the repeated exposure compared to the food without the positive words," Lanigan said. (ANI)