Colours whet kids’ appetites
If your child is hard to feed, add colour to his plate. That’s what a Cornell University study published in Acta Paediatrica in January says.
The researchers found that while adults are attracted to plates of food containing three colours and three items only, children prefer much more colourful and varied plates.
Specifically, they found that kids like to have seven different items on their plate, and six colours. They also like their food placed in front of the plate, and arranged in shapes of non-food things that are familiar to them, such as animals, letters, or numbers.
This perhaps partly explains why animal crackers and jelly beans are more popular with kids.
The study was conducted by presenting 23 children and 46 adults with 48 pictures of plates containing different items, with the entrees arranged in a variety of ways.
Kevin Kniffin, one of the study’s authors, reported, “Compared with adults, children not only prefer plates with more elements and colours, but also their entrees placed in the front of the plate and with figurative designs.”
Co-author Brian Wansink added, “What kids find visually appealing is very different than what appeals to their parents.
“Our study shows how to make the changes so the broccoli and fish look tastier than they otherwise would to little Casey or little Audrey.”