Debate: Could the lure of a toy help children make healthier food choices?

What makes a Happy Meal so attractive to a child? Chances are kids have their eye first and foremost on

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What makes a Happy Meal so attractive to a child? Chances are kids have their eye first and foremost on the toy that’s offered with it.

So could the lure of a toy also persuade kids to choose a healthier meal? According to researchers, yes. "The inclusion of a collectible toy influences the children’s perceptions of how the food is going to taste, and whether they will like it" says T. Bettina Cornwell a professor of marketing at the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business.

By pairing collectible toys with a healthy food choice‘which in the case of this study included soup, mixed vegetables and milk’children may be encouraged to eat healthier.

According to the study, 73 percent of parents were supportive of this type of approach to encourage healthy eating, whereas 93 percent were against the use of collectible toys with traditional, less-healthy fast-food meals.

What do you think of rewarding healthy meal choices with a toy? Is this the approach we should take to encourage our children to eat healthier?

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