1 Simple Way to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Fruits and Veggies
Photo credit: Shutterstock
But one school has come up with a simple, ingenious and intuitive fix that has caused the amount of produce eaten during lunches to soar. The answer is to tire them out and make them ravenous. Then they'll eat anything—even if it's good for them!
The National School Lunch Program, which provides free and low-cost meals to more than 100,000 schools across the country, noticed that when children were required to put a fruit and a vegetable on their trays, they weren't necessarily eating them. About 70 percent of them were getting thrown away—more than $3.8 million worth every day. And while offering a small reward did increase consumption, a lot was still wasted.
So researchers Joseph Price from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and David Just from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York sent observers to seven schools in Orem, Utah, to see what kids in grades one through six were actually eating, documenting how much produce they tossed in the trash.
Then they tried an intriguing experiment. Most schools schedule recess immediately after lunch with the idea that kids could work off what they just ate. But the researchers theorized that they were rushing through lunch, eating only what they liked and throwing the rest away, eager to get out and play.
"Recess is a pretty big deal to kids," Price told the Salt Lake City Tribune. "So if you make them choose between recess and vegetables, recess is going to win."
So they decided to see what would happen if they flipped the order, sending kids to recess before lunch. They moved three of the schools to that new schedule.
The results were striking. Apparently, the kids worked up quite a health appetite. They ate 54 percent more fruits and vegetables and there was a 45 percent increase in the number who ate at least one serving of produce.
"Not only do kids eat more vegetables, but they throw less away," Price told the Tribune. "For a school trying to serve good fruits and vegetables, it’s encouraging to know you can get more in the tummy and less in the trash."
Modern Farmer reported on the story, noting, "The researchers recommend that every single school make the switch, and though this study only looked at kids of a certain age in one town in Utah, the results certainly seem promising enough to convince schools to try it. What’s the worst that could happen, after all?"
Your kid might discover that broccoli isn't poisonous after all?
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Brett Wilkins
One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Scientists Discover New Population of Endangered Blue Whales ... ›
- Endangered Blue Whales Make 'Unprecedented' Comeback to ... ›
- Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Calves Spotted Off Coast ... ›
- Only 366 Endangered Right Whales Are Alive: New NOAA Report ... ›
By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson
The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.
Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.
- Guardian/Vice Poll Finds Most 2020 Voters Favor Climate Action ... ›
- Climate Change Seen as Top Threat in Global Survey - EcoWatch ›
- The U.S. Has More Climate Deniers Than Any Other Wealthy Nation ... ›
By Tara Lohan
Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.
A monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on common milkweed on Poplar Island in Maryland. Photo: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program, (CC BY-NC 2.0)