Most schools in America serve fruits and vegetables in their cafeterias; however, children tend not to eat them. Therefore, millions of dollars of healthy foods are being thrown in the trash every day.
Researchers recently found a way to get children to eat their fruits and vegetables – pay them. Payment to the children for eating their fruits and vegetables came in different forms. Some schools paid a quarter, some paid a nickel, and others used more creative means such as raffle tickets for a special prize. This experiment cost money; however, it also saved quite a bit of money because approximately 80 percent of the fruits and vegetables served to school children were eaten!
Although the experiment seemed to be an investment in America’s most precious “commodity” – children – many people felt that this type of bribery was unhealthy and that it hampered a child’s ability to develop a sense of internal motivation to do what is right.
The experiment only lasted one week. After the experiment ended, children returned to the habit of throwing their fruits and vegetables away.
The researchers are considering doing the same experiment again; however, they would like for the experiment to last up to five weeks. They feel that this project is an experiment in incentive training.