A new study finds that getting a professional chef’s input actually does improve fruit and vegetable selection in school cafeterias, leading students to eat more of them.
The study included more than 2,600 students in grades 3 through 8 at 14 elementary and middle schools in two urban, low-income districts in Massachusetts. At some of the schools, a professional chef taught school cafeteria staff how to improve the taste of healthy meals.
The schools also received advice about presentation, such as putting fruit in attractive containers, having vegetables at the front of the lunch line, and placing regular milk in front of chocolate milk.
After three months, students at the chef-assisted schools selected 8 percent more vegetables than those at schools without assistance. After seven months, students at the chef-assisted schools were 30 percent more likely to choose a vegetable and 20 percent more likely to choose fruit than those at other schools.
Adapted from an article in MedlinePlus – Health Information from the National Library of Medicine