What have you not tried to get your kids to eat more fruits? Your frustration is something most parents feel, but a simple solution may be at hand, and it may surprise you.
Consumption of fruits like apples, bananas and green leafy vegetables can be increased among children while they are playing serious video games, says a new study. Findings from the study reveal that video games based on a serious theme are not just meant to entertain but also promote a behavioural change, that is related to quests and goals. This could help children increase or improve their fruit and vegetable intake during specific meals.
“By using a serious video game, we saw increases in meal-specific vegetable intake at dinner for the children and fruit intake at breakfast, lunch, and snacks time,” lead author Karen Cullen, professor at Baylor College of Medicine, is quoted as saying in an IANS report.
The study was conducted on 400 fourth and fifth grade students and they were made to play 10 episodes of a serious online video game, Squires Quest-II. During the study, researchers observed that kids actually increased intake of healthy fruit options. Six months after the innovative video game intervention improvements were clear. Of the 400 who took part, 79 percent reported that they met all goals during game play, which clearly indicates that completing in-game goals could have helped kids see the benefit in completing real-life goals as well.
This can be especially true when it comes to goals such as eating fruits or vegetables when playing as the game’s character to earn points or energy.
So the next time your young one is throwing a fit about eating fruits, why not let them have a go at the video game console, to see whether their behaviour indeed can be influenced.