Researchers at Cornell University found that giving funky names to everyday vegetables prompted preschoolers to eat—and enjoy—produce offerings.
Brian Wansink, PhD, director of Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, and his team presented 186 preschool children with “X-ray Vision Carrots”—the same carrots normally offered on lunch days. Transfixed by the new name, the kids ate almost twice their normal portions, he says.
And even after the “X-ray Vision” label was removed from the serving tray, children continued to eat about 50% more carrots in school.
“Cool names can make for cool foods,” Dr. Wansink says. “Whether it be ‘power peas’ or ‘dinosaur broccoli trees,’ giving a food a fun name makes kids think it will be more fun to eat. And it seems to keep working—even the next day.”
Adds researcher Collin Payne: “I’ve been using this with my kids. Whatever sparks their imagination seems to spark their appetite.”