Brian Wansink, PhD, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, developed this method for getting people to choose healthy foods using a “CAN”: convenient (C), attractive (A) and normal (N).
- Put fruit in a bowl on the counter
- Re-arrange the fridge: put the healthiest stuff on the middle and top shelves… found that the volunteers ate three times as many fruits and vegetables after just one week.
- Cut up fruit for your kids
- Cook in big batches
- Make less-healthy snacks inconvenient
- Buy portion-sized snacks: Wansink’s research has shown that snackers will eat fewer calories and still be satisfied if they eat snacks from small packages.
- Make your meals more colourful
- Use colourful plates
- Give food a descriptive name: fun names such as X-Ray Vision Carrots, or Power Punch Broccoli, or Silly Dilly Green Beans
- Add a garnish: studies have shown that people rate a dish higher if it comes beautifully arranged with a garnish
- Ask the kids what Batman would eat
- Set an example for the kids: When kids see their parents eating a variety of healthy foods and trying new things, they will see these eating habits as normal too.
- Set new meal traditions: such as Smoothie Sundays or Stir-fry Saturdays.
- Use smaller plates: The Cornell Food lab has found that people lose all perspective about portion size when they use a large plate.
- Ordering first when you dine out: By going first and choosing a light entree without an appetizer, you’ll set the “norm” of the meal and your dinner companies are more likely to follow suit.