Parents will be all too familiar with the frustrations of trying to get their children to eat their greens.
While adults may enjoy and understand the benefits of carrots, broccoli, and cucumber, many kids would much rather munch on chicken nuggets. Unfortunately for them, they don’t offer the nutrients that greens give.
Research has shown, however, that simply playing certain music at the dinner table can encourage children to eat vegetables, as it apparently makes them taste sweeter. This could prove ground-breaking for families with picky-eaters.
Researchers from ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, asked 106 participants to rate different foods while they listened to different types of music. Those taking part ate baby carrot, baby cucumber, as well as two types of biscuits.
While they tucked into the foods, soundtracks taken from a research database previously rated for their ‘sweetness’ were played to them.
Oxford University’s Professor Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist who was not involved in the current study, said you should play something with ‘tinkling’ and high-pitched sounds in order to maximise the sweetness of the food.
The technique has been coined as ‘sonic seasoning’ by the professor, and the theory made its way into the study.
The Portuguese research team concluded that people experienced the foods as five per cent sweeter when listening to a ‘sweet’ soundtrack.
Lead author of the study Dr David Guedes said: “It seems to be an effective strategy to enhance sweetness perception”.
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