- Enhancing children's vegetable consumption using vegetable-promoting picture books: the impact of interactive shared reading and character-product congruence
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- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The present study investigated whether and how a picture book promoting carrots can increase young children’s carrot consumption. One hundred and four children (aged 4-6 years) participated in shared reading sessions using the book on five consecutive days in school. These children were assigned randomly to one of four experimental conditions. In a 2 × 2 between-subjects design, the reading style and character in the book were manipulated. The reading style was either passive (listening to the story) or interactive (also answering questions about the story). The character in the book fitted either conceptually well with carrots (a rabbit) or not (a turtle). Compared to a baseline group of 56 children who were not exposed to the book, the children in the experimental groups consumed almost twice as much carrots (in proportion to other foods consumed), F(1, 159) = 7.08, p < .01. Results suggest that picture books are particularly effective when children are actively involved, answering questions about the story. Young children seem to enjoy this interactive shared reading style, triggering positive feelings that increase children’s liking and consumption of the healthy food promoted in the book.
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