Should Kids Be Paid To Eat Fruits And Vegetables
Every parent in the world knows how difficult it is to make your kids eat fruits and vegetables. You’ve probably tried begging, bargaining, and sneaking them in (kale in smoothies is a good trick). A study was conducted in Utah and suggests a new approach: bribery.
“The rewards can be used to encourage children to repeatedly try fruits and vegetables, and there is some evidence to suggest that repeatedly tasting novel foods increases their acceptability,” study co-author Greg Madden, a Utah State University psychology professor.
A program called “Food Dudes” which is an ongoing school lunch program is where the conclusion was based. Basically, this program utilized superhero role models, tasting experiments and an incentive plan in order to make kids eat fruits and vegetables. After four months, Madden found out that kids are 40 percent more fruits and vegetables.
Madden and fellow scientists decided to study further and learn the reasons why kids would eat more fruits and vegetables. The study included 882 students offered monetary prizes for eating more fruits and veggies, 640 children who received praise by teachers for doing this, and a third group of 770 kids who got nothing for their food choices.
The study went on and on as scientists observed the behaviour of the kids. Six months after the incentives stopped, researchers checked back to find that those who had received awards were still eating significantly more fruits and veggies than the other kids.
Madden simply stated “Rewarding good behavior such as healthy eating is a step in the right direction.”
But is it really the best approach?
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