Congratulations, Skylar!

This month, DPRG’s own Skylar Schmidtke successfully defended her masters thesis!

Her project studied the effects of kid-friendly food plating to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in kids. Researchers have long known that exposure to fruit and vegetables at a young age is important for developing a healthy palate and encouraging good dietary habits later in life. However, many caregivers struggle to compete with heavily advertised modern processed foods.

Skylar’s study used an innovative design to bring fruits and vegetables into the home! Participants in the study received a kit at home containing all the ingredients needed for a healthy snack. Half of the kids in the study ate a standard snack, while the other half received a visually appealing kid-friendly snack, prepared by their caregiver.

The intervention in this study uses a new technique called “kid-friendly plating”, where healthy foods are creatively displayed on a plate to make them more visually appealing. Relatively quick and easy ways for caregivers to promote healthy eating, like kid-friendly plating, may help encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.

This study is the first to examine the effectiveness of kid-friendly plating in a home-based setting!

Want to try out kid-friendly food plating techniques in your own home? Skylar suggests the following resources:

A huge congratulations to Skylar for her hard work with the DPRG. It has been an honour to have her on the team, and we wish her the best of luck!