Mothers perceive Food and Chef more positively when Vegetables are served

Credit: National Cancer Institute Len Rizzi (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - While every mother knows that kids may complain about the vegetables on the plate, a study found that some mothers perceive vegetables as a better meal served by a more caring and loving person. Maybe over time, children too, will look forward to eating green beans and broccoli. The study involved interviewing 500 mothers in the United States to find out what they thought of meals served with vegetables and the people who prepared them.

The lead author, Brian Wansink, PhD, the John Dyson Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behavior at Cornell University, explained that only 23 percent of American dinners come with vegetables served with the main course.

Most people are aware of the health benefits of eating vegetables. However, if the preparer knew that their food was perceived as more desirable and the preparer was thought of as being more loving and caring, would they serve more meals with vegetables?

In this study, Wansink along with colleagues, surveyed mothers about what they thought of four different meals. The four meals were varied from having vegetables and having no vegetables. The women were asked to describe what they thought of the person who prepared each of the four meals. They also were asked to describe the personality of women who did or did not add vegetables to the family meal.

Adding vegetables to the plate improved the response to the meal and the meal preparer. The meals with vegetables were described by the mothers as appearing more “complete,” “loving,” and “tasty.” They also said that the meals with vegetables were prepared with more effort and thought. They considered the moms who served vegetables as being more loving and thoughtful, and not as boring or selfish.

"If a parent believes that adding a vegetable gives their family a better perception of the cook and what's cooked, it may encourage them to serve vegetables more often," Wansink said. "Considering that most kids are not eating adequate amounts of vegetables, we need to explore new approaches to increase consumption."

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

ref: 1, 2
Credit: National Cancer Institute Len Rizzi (Photographer) - PD

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