New game trains kids to eat their greens – Tech| Top Stories

Everyone knows that getting to eat anything that’s green or even remotely resembles a vegetable is difficult.

A new smartphone game could help parents out, by making veggies more appealing to youngsters.

The idea behind the app is to use simple psychology to encourage kids to think of their greens in a more positive light.

Vegetable Maths Masters gets kids counting veg – so it’s educational as well as good for making sure they get their five a day.

To play the game, children choose a character and feed them veggies throughout the game. Their character is happy and animated when they eat vegetables and gives positive feedback.

It’s designed to expose 3-7 year olds to vegetables through maths to stop kids rejected vegetables on sight.

The game was created by a team of psychologists at Aston University.

Fruit & vegetables
Fruit & vegetables pie chart/colour wheel

Dr Claire Farrow, Aston University said: “We have developed an app which draws on psychological research to integrate different methods known to increase interest in vegetables and eagerness to try them.

“These include repeated exposure to real images of vegetables, token rewards for playing with vegetables and ‘feeding’ them to other children / characters.

“Social norms also influence food preferences, for example if child characters in the game like and enjoy eating vegetables, research suggests that children are more likely to try them.”

The app uses simple psychology to encourage kids to eat their greens

Eating more vegetables is associated with the prevention of all kinds of chronic illnesses in later life.

Fewer than 1 in 10 children in the UK consume the recommended amounts of veg.

Vegetable Maths Masters is free and can be downloaded on iTunes and Android .

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