Don’t Tell Kids It’s Good

by Charles Platkin, PhD
healthy food

If They Know it’s Healthy and Good For Them, Will They Eat It?

Children reject food simply because they know it is good for them, and once they know that, they assume the food won’t taste good, according to research appearing in the Journal of Consumer Research. Even telling children that food will help them achieve a goal, such as growing strong or learning to read, decreases preschoolers’ interest in eating the food, say the researchers from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “The preschoolers seem to think that food can’t serve two purposes, that it can’t be something that makes them healthier and something that is delicious to eat at the same time. So telling them that the carrots will make them grow tall (or make them smarter) actually makes them not want to eat the carrots. If you want them to eat the carrots, you should just give the the carrots and either mention that they are tasty or just say nothing.”

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