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The Name’s the Thing!

November 15, 2011  • 

Dix Hills, New York high school student Matthew Klinger is putting research into action in his local community. As a member of the Nutrition Committee at Half Hollow High School East, Matthew was well aware of the importance of developing good eating habits, especially at a young age. After reading their research on making fruits and vegetables more appealing to young children, Matthew created a study along with researchers at the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs to find out if there would be an increase in student consumption of broccoli when the name was changed.

With the cooperation of the Half Hollow School District, along with the support and direction of the district’s Lunch Director, Bonnie Scally, Matthew studied the impact of renaming broccoli to “Tiny Tasty Tree Tops” at Signal Hill Elementary School. In addition to changing the name, fresh broccoli was roasted with garlic, allowing the broccoli to obtain a vibrant attractive green color. After compiling and reviewing the data collected, Matthew’s study concluded that there was an increase of 102 percent in the students’ consumption of broccoli during the time the name and appearance were changed!

Thanks to Matthew’s research, Lunch Director Bonnie Scally decided to change the names of several items available on the elementary school’s lunch menu to names like X-ray Vision Carrots, Veggie Dunkers and Super Salad. Parents, students and foodservice directors can do the same in their local communities – a little creativity in naming veggies packed or served for lunch or at the dinner table can go a long way!