The study gave children whole carrots one day. The next day the children were given the same amount, but the carrots were diced. Both days the children had 10 minutes to eat as much of the carrots as they would like (this time limit was set to mimic the time children have for recess breaks when they are likely to have snacks).
The researchers found that, on average, the children ate 8-10% more of the whole vegetable over the diced presentation. Dr. Gie Liem of Deakin University explained, “In this case, children consumed one whole carrot when presented with whole carrots, suggesting that once children started eating a whole carrot (one unit) they were likely to finish it.”
The results of this study are in line with other research that shows food consumption increases with large unit sizes.
What is also interesting is that the reverse of this approach can help limit your child’s consumption of unhealthy food. Dr. Liem points out that “...cutting up a block of chocolate in smaller pieces reduces chocolate consumption.”
Vegetable consumption during childhood is important for optimal health and development, so this “snack hack” could be the key to a healthy future.