Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Power Peas and Colassal Corn

When I read the article on picky eaters in NY Times earlier this week, I was especially intrigued by this line in the sidebar:

"Giving food cool names can help. In one experiment, Dr. Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, found that when peas were renamed ''power peas,'' consumption doubled."

I thought this was a simple and intriguing idea, so I decided to try it with Cole, my 5-year-old, last night. I told him we were going to have some "Colossal Corn" and "Super Sweet Potatoes" along with soup for dinner, and his eyes decidedly widened. And when the food arrived on the table, he did indeed eat significantly more than usual.

He hesitated about eating the carrots and onions in his bowl of No-Chicken Noodle, but I told him they were actually flavor packets that exploded to release delicious tastes when they entered someone's mouth. After hearing that, he enthusiastically slurped them up. (I guess that last one was a bit of a fib, but then again, isn't the main reason we add onions to soup to make it more flavorful?) Overall, I'd rate this experiment a resounding success, and I expect I'll be rebranding a lot of foods over the next few weeks. Awesome apples, anyone?

5 comments:

Jan said...

That's very true. Make something seem more appealing to get the appropriate actions and responses.

Any advice for working with the elderly who just don't want to eat anymore and aren't easily reprogrammed?

KC said...

Lying is hard to do unless you buy into it. I don't think I could call the peas Powerful Peas with a straight face.

dad said...

freedom fries!

Rob at Kintropy said...

Really? That works? We'll have to try it. Our son was able to tell the difference between water and water + a little no-flavor Pedialyte from a really young age. Maybe we can trick those taste buds yet....

meghan said...

This is definitely true. When I was a little girl I wouldn't eat anything from McDonald's (still true, but for entirely different reasons now) and my parents used to call the chicken nuggets "chicken cookies" to get me to eat them.