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Researchers at Cornell University found that when kindergartners were told they were eating â€śX-ray vision carrotsâ€ť they ate 50 percent more than when they were told they were eating plain old veggies.
The name of the game? Stealth Health... it's a new approach aimed at getting kids to eat healthy at school, not by banning junk, but by making good-for-them-foods more appealing.
"The general principle is finding changes that push people in the right direction without limiting their choices,â€ť says David Just, a behavioral economist at Cornell University. David who has also worked with the USDA, says that in the cafeteria, that means using environmental cues to make the most nutritious decision the most desirable one.
"Removing food choices is a good solution until they graduate or until they go to 7-Eleven on Saturday," Just says.
Of course, the average boy is not gonna buy that carrots will allow him to see through walls â€" as much as he might secretly wish that they did â€" and of course, they can walk or drive themselves to the nearest candy-stocked convenience store or grease-filled fast-food joint.
But thereâ€™s so many amazing things that foods do naturally, like help prevent ugly things like cancer, diabetes and a whole host of other nasty diseases, that you can still up their appetizing ante without flat out fibbing.
(Want a few examples? Zucchini may help prevent colon cancer, garlic has been shown to help lower blood pressure, and sweet potatoes are packed with free radical-killing antioxidants!)
Of course, a teeny, tiny nutritional lie isnâ€™t the worst thing if itâ€™s going to start him down the path to healthier eating, right?
Whatâ€™s the most ridiculous thing you ever said or did to get your honey to try something?
A spinning instructor and yoga addict, Jenna is the author of Your Big Fat Boyfriend: How to Stay Thin When Dating a Diet Disaster. She has written articles for SELF, Womenâ€™s Health and Menâ€™s Health, and is the health and wellness expert for Philadelphia magazine. To read more from Jenna, check out her blog, YourBigFatBoyfriend.com