Hint: It’s all about the name.

By Marisa Cohen
July 18, 2017

If your child insists on always having the same dinner every night (Chicken nuggets and fries? Plain pasta with butter?) there is a very simple way to get him to try something new: Rebrand it with a funny name.

A new study from University of Buffalo demonstrates the power of language to influence children’s food choices: When a restaurant gave kids placemat menus that listed more nutritious choices under names like “gobble-me-up turkey” and “the nutty monkey,” the kids were much more likely to order those items than when they were simply called “turkey on whole wheat” or “peanut butter and banana sandwich.”

“The world has changed, and many kids are now telling their parents what they will eat rather than the other way around,” says nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, author of The Superfood Swap. “It doesn’t have to be a battle,” she adds. “It may take a few tries, but if you consistently offer a variety of nutritious foods in appealing ways, your kids will eventually try them.” Here are a few strategies to try:

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