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A ‘superpowered’ way to make kids eat veggies

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Washington : If you want your kids to finish their greens, just turn those veggies into animated superheroes, suggests a new study.

Marketing vegetables in school lunchrooms using the Super Sprowtz, a team of fun-loving characters with super powers, as much as tripled the percentage of elementary school students choosing items from the salad bar, found the Ohio State University researchers.

“If we put the time and good resources into marketing healthy choices to kids, it can work,” said team leader Andrew Hanks, adding “These interventions don’t need to be costly and there is a great opportunity to improve nutrition, performance in school and behavior as well.”

Marketing to children is controversial in some circles, but Hanks said this study illuminates its potential if done well and with the best interest of kids in mind.

Hanks noted that not many U.S. schools have salad bars, something he found surprising given the recent federal push for healthier options in the schools. “Salad bars could be met with more enthusiasm than a spoonful of cooked carrots on a lunch tray,” he said.

“If we can encourage kids to take vegetables of their own accord, rather than have someone put it there for them, they’re much more likely to eat them,” Hanks said.

The study appears in the journal Pediatrics. (ANI)

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