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'X-ray vision carrots' gets kids to eat: Share your fun vegetable names

Posted by Kristi Palma  September 20, 2012 08:08 AM

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It turns out kids would rather eat "X-ray vision carrots" rather than regular old carrots, a study at Cornell University discovered.

What's the difference between the two? Absolutely nothing, except the name.

In the study, 147 students ranging from 8 to 11 years old took part in a vegetable tasting. When researchers changed the name of carrots to “X-ray vision carrots”, a whopping 66 percent were eaten, far more than the 32 percent eaten when they called the carrots “Food of the Day” and 35 percent eaten when they left them unnamed.

Other vegetables that underwent a name change in the study? Broccoli became either "Power Punch Broccoli" or "Tiny Tasty Tree Tops" and green beans became "Silly Dilly Green Beans."

The study found that using a fun name for vegetables actually gets kids to eat more of them. An effective, free, solution to eating healthier!

When Boston.com Moms interviewed Liz Weiss of Meal Makeover Moms about getting kids to eat their vegetables, she talked about "dinosaur kale," saying, "Now if you’re the mom of a little kid, dinosaurs are where it’s at. So you go to the store and buy dinosaur kale. So now you have everything going for you, because what kid doesn't love dinosaur kale?"

Do you experiment with fun names for vegetables with your kids? Does it work? Help another parent out by sharing some of the fun vegetable names you have come up with!

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Welcome to Parent Buzz, where you can read about and discuss the hot parenting issues of the day, find family-friendly events in Boston and beyond, and get parenting tidbits and tips.

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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.
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