How to make fruit more enticing to kids? Cut it into slices, a new study finds.
Researchers from Cornell University in the US found that American school kids gobbled up sliced apples, while whole apples went mostly ignored.
In their month-long study, the scientists recruited six middle schools in New York, with three of the schools selling apples in slices. Three schools, meanwhile, sold apples whole -- and selection, consumption, and waste of apples were measured for all schools before, during, and after the experiment.
Findings showed that kids dislike eating large pieces of fruit for two main reasons: for younger students, who have smaller mouths and might have braces or missing teeth, whole fruit is too difficult to eat. For older girls, eating whole fruits in front of others is messy and potentially embarrassing, they say.
The study found that fruit sales increased by an average of 61 percent when sliced apples were served.
Plus researchers said that the percentage of students who ate more than half of their apple increased by 73 percent when it was sliced, an effect that lasted long after the study was over.
Findings, announced April 18, appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.