For parents of finicky eaters, meal times can often feel like a never-ending cycle of bargaining, threatening and even begging their kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. But Dutch researchers have released a study that might give some parents an advantage in the age-old battle over getting kids to eat healthier.
A report published in the behavioral nutrition research journal Appetite found kids who were served fruit in a “visually appealing” way ate twice as much as those who were served fruit in a more traditional setting. In order to make the fruit more flashy researchers cut apples, grapes and strawberries into interesting shapes, skewered them with brightly colored toothpicks and even stuck them into a watermelon. In contrast, the “regular” fruit was simply skewered and laid out on a plain white plate.
While researchers admit they can’t prove that the fruit’s more dramatic presentation lead directly to increased consumption, they feel it’s a good indicator of how a fruit’s appearance can indicate how appealing it will be to kids.