Brian Wansink, the great communicator of consumer behavior and nutritional science, says our words effect our enjoyment of food.
A clever experiment in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign food lab (that looks like a restaurant) compared wine (and food acceptance) of “Two Buck Chuck” wine compared to Noah’s Winery from California. Both groups of diners were served the exact same inexpensive wine, yet the people who thought they were served a Noah’s California Cabernet not only liked the wine, they enjoyed their food more as well.
What’s our lesson? No need to tell your kids or family that what you’re serving is “good” or “healthy” or “good for you”. Like Wansink suggests, add some descriptors and suddenly your carrot and celery sticks and ranch dressing becomes hors d’oeuvres with dipping sauce. Could your cheese snack become Italian mozzarella with crostini? Put it on a cheese board or fancy plate; now it’s not “good” it’s special.
Yogurt layered with fruit is transformed when it’s titled a strawberry parfait. Put it in a clear glass sundae dish and it’s called dessert. A quarter sandwich tastes an awful lot better when you term it a deli quarter – cut on the diagonal of course.
It doesn’t take much effort or creativity to transform the ordinary, GOOD, GOOD FOR YOU and HEALTHY SNACKS into a real treat.
Snacks matter at every age but as our kids head back to school, it’s a good time to get organized and plan those snacks, to be better than just GOOD.