|Don't forget Donna Dressing.|
A salad bar called Super Sprowtz, featuring 10 characters with super powers, has some evidence that kids are more likely to pile on the veggies if they are named Miki Mushroom, Zach Zucchini, and Suzie Sweet Pea.
The researchers at Ohio State emphasize that a healthy diet improves learning.
The group invented the system while at Cornell and placed it in 10 NY elementary schools.
They wrapped the salad bars in the art of the characters. And they played Super Sprowtz videos in the lunch room. In some cases, they did both.
In the schools with the banners, 24% of the kids took veggies, twice what the researchers observed the week before. In the schools with both banners and videos, the veggie crunching increased to 35% of kids.
Boys usually selected fewer veggies, but with the characters, both genders went for the healthy stuff in equal numbers.
This has to be rolled out in elementary school, they said. Later and it doesn't do much.
And--discouragingly, the researchers learned not many schools even have salad bars.
If a child selects the vegetable, he or she is more likely to eat it than if a careteria worker plops it on the plate.