The Veggie Project's Mission
*Evaluate the degree to which different approaches increase the number of children eating fruits and vegetables as part of their school provided lunch.
We designed an iPhone app that makes it easy to record the number of servings of fruits and vegetables that each child ate or threw away during school lunch. We used this data collection tool to accurately measure the degree to which different approaches increase fruit and vegetable consumption and decrease waste.
*Examine how long a child must eat fruits and vegetables during lunch before it becomes a long-run habit.
We designed a special veggie token that schools used to implement a short-run rewards program. We found that providing a small reward dramatically increased the fraction of children eating a serving of fruits or vegetables during lunch. However, the real question is how long this type of program would need to be in place before it translated into a long-run change in children’s eating behavior. We found that three to five weeks is enough time for increases in consumption to be sustained for over two months after the rewards program ends.