The power of suggestion works on the school lunch tray.
A study published in the February 2012 online issue of the Journal of American Medical Association showed that elementary school students who had a school lunch tray with pictures of vegetables in the compartments where food is served tended to take and eat more vegetables.
The study looked at the number of elementary school kids who took green beans and carrots and consumed them when photos of the vegetables were on their lunch trays, according to a news release from the Hockessin, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation.
The study found that putting the photos on lunch trays increased the amount of green beans consumed from 1.2 grams to 2.8 grams. An even bigger increase was noted for carrots, according to the study, with a jump from from 3.6 grams to 10 grams.
What’s more, the study found that more children took green beans at lunch because of the photos, from 6.3% to 14.8%; the number of students taking carrots rose from 11.6% to 36.8%.
“The results of this new study are interesting and unique in that adding photographs of veggies to lunch trays, or even to compartmentalized plates for use at home, is a simple, easy and very inexpensive way to expose children to a variety of fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables while helping them to eat more,” Elizabeth Pivonka, president of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, said in the news release.