Healthy VegetablesTeaching modern children healthy eating habits is quite a hard task, and a lot of parents fail to fulfill it, thus putting their kids under increases risks of many diseases and health conditions like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, or type 2 diabetes, to name a few. The importance of developing healthy eating habits in children is obvious, and using innovative psychological methods and approaches offered by today’s specialists can be a great help. In particular, the experts at the University of Minnesota have discovered that images of healthy fruits and veggies can actually influence children’s eating habits and choices.

For the practical experiments, 700 children from an elementary school in Richfield, Minnesota, were invited. On certain days, they were shown pictures with some vegetables, and in some days the pictures were not shown. The main goal of the study was to find out how images of healthy foods (veggies) will influence kid’s choices when choosing their lunch or snacks, Healthy Eating Habitswith the purpose of using the findings for creating effective strategies to assist children developing healthy eating habits. Thus, children’s choices with and without their being exposed to pictures of veggies were thoroughly monitored.

It turned out that on an average day, without an exposure to the images of healthy veggies,  77 children out of 700 choose carrots, and 42 out of 700 take green beans. After exposure to the pictures of carrots and green beans in the morning, 238 children took carrots and 96 took green beans for lunch. The scientists reported that the main motive of children for taking the veggies they’ve observed in the pictures is the thought that their friend would also choose the mentioned veggies. Traci Mann, a member of the research teams, said: “What kids want to do is what their friends are doing or what they think their friends are doing.”

After receiving these interesting results, the scientists tried another approach to increase the consumption of vegetables and develop healthy eating habits in kids. Veggies were placed in attractive containers and located in the first line in the school canteen, but nothing worked out better than being exposed to the pictures in the group of peers. “Kids don’t want to listen when you tell them what to do. The photographs make them think that’s what all the other kids are doing,” Deb LaBounty, a study leader told to the local mass media. The findings of the study were published in the University of Minnesota Daily, and is advised for consideration of all today’s parents.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

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