Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Placement And Appearance of Fruits And Veggies Help Your Kids Eat More?

TheBUZZ: Placement and appearance of fruits and veggies help your kids eat more?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Putting fruit in a colorful bowl or placing it in easy reach for children can increase fruit sales by 104% in lunchrooms.

WHAT WE KNOW

Oh, the wonders of product placement. Often unknown to most consumers, there is a strategic reason for the location of most foods on grocery store shelves, eye level in vending machines, and of course those convenience foods that catch kids’ eyes (and hands) while you’re waiting in the checkout line. Research has shown that kids choose high-calorie fast food because they are easily accessible, but what if apples or oranges were just as easy to grab and go?

Most schools try to provide nutritious lunches for children, but a tour through your local school’s cafeteria might show otherwise. Many schools, unfortunately, still offer cheesy, salty, or deep-fat fried foods alongside the usual lunch selections. While many states are cracking down on nutrition requirements of school meals, a new study shows that simply moving the fruit to make it more visible for children can increase fruit consumption!

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

New research by Cornell University analyzed multiple lunchroom layouts and designs that hindered student selection of nutritious foods. The study found that putting the fruit in a colorful bowl and moving it to be in reach for students could increase fruit sales by 104%! The study found that revamping lunchrooms with easy, low-cost/no-cost changes in placement resulted in an increase in healthy food choices.¹

In support of Cornell’s findings, a study published in Public Health Nutrition found that introducing a salad bar increased fruit and vegetable consumption at lunch by an average of 84% in three (3) Los Angeles elementary schools!²

OUR ADVICE

While packing healthy school lunches and increasing kids’ fruit and vegetable intake have been hot topics of discussion lately, this study shows you may not have to employ sneaky tactics or master complicated recipes to get your kids to eat more healthfully. A little product placement on your part can go a long way. You can start by simply putting fresh fruit out in a colorful bowl to see what happens…

Worried about your kids’ food choices at school?

What else you can do to increase their fruit & veggie consumption?

 

¹ Just, B. and B. Wansink. “Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program (BEN).” Paper presented at American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, San Diego, California September 24-27, 2011.

² Slusser, W., W. Cumberland, B. Browdy, et al. “A School Salad Bar Increases Frequency of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Children Living in Low-Income Households.” Public Health Nutrition (2007); 10(12); 1490-6.

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