A picture’s worth a thousand words, at least when it comes to kids’ diets.
That’s the chief conclusion of new research that found children take and eat more vegetables if they’re served up with photographs along with their plates.
The study, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, tracked 800 elementary school students in Minnesota last year.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota monitored what the students took from the school cafeteria lunch line and ate on a typical day. They then compared the kids’ dining habits when they were served the same meal – three months later – with photographs of the green beans and carrots on the menu.
What they found: More students took more vegetables on the day lunch was served with photos, compared with the non-photo day. But they didn't always eat more vegetables, the researchers said.
“The intervention was associated with an increase in the percentage of students taking green beans,” they wrote, “and the percentage of students taking carrots…”