Honest incentives for eating fruits and vegetables can be a powerful tool to achieve a desired end result.
The government is currently funding a $31 million grant program to find out that exact question… can incentives increase the fruits and vegetables consumption of low-income consumers?
In 2012 the USDA, performed a similar study in which they allowed SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) households to receive 30 cents on every SNAP dollar spent on specific fruits and vegetables.
The cost savings incentive increased consumption of these specific fruits and vegetables of about one quarter of a cup per day.
In the United Kingdom, researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Essex, and Bath gave elementary students a star for every time they choose a portion of fruits or vegetables at lunchtime or if they brought it from home.
After a student earned 4 stars, they would earn a prize such as a highlighter pen. Once the incentive program was removed from the school, the majority of the children continued to eat more fruits whilst eating more vegetables.
If you or your kids are struggling to eat your veggies, maybe a good incentive is what you need to get them motivated!
Five ways to encourage your children to eat more vegetables
Your household should not give in when it comes to good nutritional meals.
Reinvent yourselves with games. Involve your kids in the journey of vegetable discovery world. Here are a few ideas:
- Inform your kids of the weekly menu: ex: includes chicken, spinach or broccoli and carrots.
- Invite them to watch educational programs, videos where and why you grow your own veggies.
- Give them a role in the kitchen, Ex: sous-chef, prep vegetables together while smelling the produce.
- Take them to farm places or even start growing your own in the back garden. The children will naturally ask questions, learn something and get involved in the near future. Also, they are more likely to eat them.
- Never hide veggies in their school boxes or plate, they are not stupid.
Good luck and remember these five important tips – involve your kids from the very beginning. If you say “eat your veggies otherwise you will not have the ice cream” is like glorifying the dessert.
Let us know what you experience so far in the comments below.