Kids are so impressionable. In the midst of school lunch crises and the obesity epidemic, two new studies could help parents feed their kids better.
The first is obvious: Commercials work on kids. Commercials work on adults, too, but in a study from The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers say that children will usually choose a food they saw in a commercial. Namely, if a kid sees a commercial for french fries, he or she will most likely choose a coupon for french fries. If he sees an apple commercial, he’s less likely to choose the french fries coupons.
In the same study, researchers found that if parents urged their children to pick the healthier option, more children chose apples.
The second study suggests that parents feed their children the same snack over and over, so the children become more familiar with a specific food. “Children who are familiar with a particular snack food expect it to be more filling than one they are unfamiliar with. Similarly, they tend to select a bigger portion size of a snack food with which they are unfamiliar,” researchers say.
If little Johnny tries a new snack food, he will overestimate how much he’ll need to eat before he gets full. So the trick, we suppose, is to show your kids commercials of apples and always feed them apple sticks for snacks.
The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.