What Prompted Kids to Put 3 Times More Vegetables On Their Plates?

What Prompted Kids to Put 3 Times More Vegetables On Their Plates?

I’ll tell you the answer at the end of the post.

Children are exposed to $2 billion – yes that’s a B, of food marketing a year, most of it for sugary cereals, beverages, and snacks.

You don’t see marketing for broccoli, carrots, garlic, and onions – which by the way make a tasty side dish, add a significant source of protein and you’ve got a healthy meal.

A group called Super Sprowtz is working to “use the educational power of media to help children learn about nutrition and wellness.”

They’ve created Veggie cartoon characters and using “multi-media channels, live shows, a permanent museum exhibit, mobile app, educational products and curriculum, and our school, grocery store and hospital programs,” are already reaching one million families. – See more at: http://supersprowtz.com/about/#sthash.usKWMHUK.dpuf

VeggieCharactersSuper Sprowtz recently teamed up with Ohio State University Food Innovation Center and a behavioral economist at Cornell to do a study in 10 different schools with kindergarten through fifth-grade students to see what would help influence kids to eat more vegetables.

First, the schools had a salad bar, so the option for more vegetables was available.

In the schools where they only placed TV’s showing the Veggie characters near the salad bar, there wasn’t a significant increase in vegetables on the kids lunch trays.

In the schools where a large banner graced the salad bar, kids put twice as many vegetables on their plates.

In the schools which had both a large vinyl banner gracing the salad bar AND the Super Sprowtz Veggie cartoon character videos playing on a TV near the salad bar, kids put 3 times more veggies on their lunch trays.

Children really will eat their vegetables, with the right ‘fun and cool’ influences.

Read more about this study where marketing influenced kids to eat more vegetables.

4 Responses to What Prompted Kids to Put 3 Times More Vegetables On Their Plates?

  1. While I was teaching elementary school in the 90s, Mrs. Gooch’s (later purchased by Whole Foods) adopted our classroom. All of a sudden it was cool for my students to eat a variety of vegetables and even some fruits that were new in the U.S. (like kiwi). And other students got involved as well by asking to taste what we were given by the store each month. Perhaps there are additional ways to get more veggies into our young people.

    Great post!

    Connie Ragen Green

    • Connie, this is amazing. I know, kids WANT to eat veggies and fruits – they are usually just lacking exposure to them.

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