Using pictorial nudges of fruit and vegetables on tableware to increase children's fruit and vegetable consumption

Maxine Sharps, Eleanor Thomas, Jacqueline Blissett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Children's fruit and vegetable consumption is lower than recommended. Increasing consumption is important for children's health. Nudges influence children's eating behaviour, but less is known about the influence of a pictorial nudge on tableware on children's fruit and vegetable consumption. Two studies examined this. Study 1 examined whether a pictorial fruit nudge (a grape image) on a plate influenced children's fruit (grape) consumption relative to a control condition (no image). In a between-subjects design, children (n = 63, Mean age = 8.9 years, SD = 1.41, 38 females, 25 males, 73% had a healthy-weight) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (fruit nudge vs. control). Study 2 examined the influence of a large portion pictorial nudge (a large portion carrot image) vs. a small portion pictorial nudge (a small portion carrot image) vs. control (no nudge) on children's vegetable (carrot) consumption. In a between-subjects design, children (n = 59, Mean age = 8.57 years, SD = 2.13, 31 females, 28 males, 85% had a healthy-weight) were randomly assigned to a condition. In Study 1 children consumed significantly more fruit in the pictorial nudge condition than the control condition. In Study 2 children ate significantly more vegetables in the large portion pictorial nudge condition than the other two conditions. The small portion pictorial nudge did not affect children's vegetable consumption relative to control. The results indicate that pictorial nudges on tableware influence children's fruit and vegetable consumption, and the portion size of this type of nudge may be key to whether it influences children's eating behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104457
Early online date13 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


Bibliographical note

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Children
  • Eating behaviour
  • Nudging
  • Portion size

Cite this