Serving "X-ray Vision Carrots" and "Power Punch Broccoli" had a "stupendous" effect on school children who participated in the study conducted by researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
When "X-ray Vision Carrots" were added to the lunchroom menus of five schools, kids ate 66% of the carrots, compared to 32% when they were called "Food of the Day" and 35% when they went unnamed.
When a school offered "Silly Dilly Green Beans" and "Power Punch Broccoli" or "Tiny Tasty Tree Tops" for a month, vegetable sales increased 99%, while they declined by 16% in a neighbouring school that offered plain old green beans and broccoli.
It's a cheap and easy way for schools to encourage healthy eating, the researchers said. "The success of the changes is stupendous, and the fun, low-cost nature of the change makes it all the more enticing."
The findings will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Preventive Medicine.