A new study to be published in Appetite magazine showed that children are willing to eat twice as much fruit when it is prepared in a visually appealing way. These results give parents and the food service industry new ideas about how to increase a child’s overall fruit intake. They already have one advantage to making fruits and vegetables good looking –they are naturally colorful!
- Included children aged between 4 and 7 years old.
- Held tasting sessions that featured one plate of fruit simply cut up into squares and one plate of the same types of fruit that was made more visually appealing by being cut up into fun shapes.
- Researchers had the children eat the fruit, monitored how much they consumed and then compared the amount of fruit eaten from each individual plate.
Study Conclusion: Researchers found that the children ate twice as much of the visually appealing fruit as they did the fruit that was simply cut up into squares.
What does this tell us?
1) Parents, schools, supermarkets and food producers can benefit by using this information because if they offer children fruit and vegetables that are presented in a more visually appealing manner, it will increase the children’s’ intake. As a bonus, the people that would most benefit from everyone taking notice of this information would be the children because they would be filling up with good nutrition!
2) It is necessary for parents and food producers to remain innovative to keep children excited about eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.
3) This is a good lesson to use when trying to increase your family’s fruit and vegetable intake.
Use some of these ideas to create fun shapes with fruits and vegetables:
- Create fruit & veggie kabobs by cutting up fruits and/or vegetables and placing them onto wooden skewers. Then eat the kabobs with a yummy dip such as yogurt, low-fat ranch dressing or hummus because these are all healthy choices that taste great!
- Make ants on a log, all you need is celery, natural peanut butter and raisins. Fill the celery with the peanut butter and top the peanut butter with raisins running in a row.
- Make homemade fruit popsicles in different shapes by using 100% fruit juice, pre-shaped muffin tins, and wooden popsicle sticks. Pour the juice, add the sticks, freeze and enjoy!
- Cut any type of melon into large slices and then use fun-shaped cookie cutters to create fun shapes.