Smileys make children eat more healthy food
Marking healthy foods with smiley faces and giving small prizes for buying nutritious items can make kids buy more of such foods and eat them too, suggests a new research.
“It seems like we found a very auspicious, low-cost and efficient way of improving the nutrition of primary school children,” said study author Robert Siegel from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre.
“This kind of program may be a beneficial element in schools trying to improve the nutrition and health of their students,” Siegel indicated.
For the thesis, the researchers designed a two-phase interference to improve healthy eating among daycare through sixth-grade students at an inner-city school in Cincinnati.
The first phase comprised of placing green smiley face emoticons by the most nutritious foods in the school cafeteria, including fruits, vegetables, plain white fat-free milk and an admission with whole grains.
Three months later, researchers introduced the approach of a “Power Plate,” which included the four healthy foods. Kids who chose a Power Plate could receive a small prize, such as a temporary tattoo, sticker or mini beach ball.