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Can't Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables? Call them X-Ray Vision Carrots and Power Peas!
Written by April 23, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Can’t get your kids to eat vegetables? Call them x-ray vision carrots and power peas!

According to research presented by Brian Wansink, of Cornell University, at the School Nutrition Association’s Legislative Action Conference (March, 2009), kids eat more vegetables when they’re given cool names. In his study, 186 four-year-olds were given regular carrots on some days and “X-Ray Vision Carrots” on other days, as part of a preschool lunch.

What did they find? Kids ate nearly twice as much when given “X-Ray Vision Carrots” than regular, unnamed carrots! Furthermore, the kids continued to eat about 50% more carrots, even on the days when they were no longer labeled.

To make vegetables tastier, researchers suggest “playing the name game” to invoke positive thoughts and make healthy eating fun. Additional fun names include:

  • Tomato Bursts
  • Power Peas
  • Dinosaur Broccoli Trees
  • Succulent Italian Seafood Filets
  • Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

What catchy names can you come up with?

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