4. We also looked at a possible method to improve fruit consumption at school breakfasts. We measured the change in fruit consumption when a Utah middle school and high school both started offering fruit smoothies as a breakfast fruit option. The smoothies were provided thanks to funding from the Utah Dairy Council. Fruit consumption dramatically increased when smoothies were offered, rising from 4% to 45%. Since the smoothies were made with milk as well as pureed fruits, the smoothies contributed to an increased amount of students drinking milk as well. Offering fruit smoothies is a simple way to increase the nutritional quality of breakfast for many students.
The chart shows what percent of fruits and vegetables a child ate and threw away before, during, and after the small rewards program was implemented. These three periods are referred to as “baseline”, “tokens”, and “follow up,” respectively.
6. One of the most promising results of the veggie project is that the small rewards programs actually contributed to building long-run habits of fruit and vegetable consumption. This can be seen from the significantly higher levels of fruit consumption that occur in the follow up period as compared to the baseline period.
We tested habit formation through a 3-week and 5-week incentives program using Veggie Tokens. We found an increased level of fruit and consumption up to two months after the incentives were removed. Effects were greater for the 5-week program than for the 3-week program. The following figure gives a visual representation of these results.
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