A new app created by psychologists at Aston University could take the stress off parents trying to feed their kids vegetables and change some children's aversion to green foods. Vegetable Maths Masters is a free app for iOS and Android that teaches math skills and shows veggies in a positive light.
Kids can choose from six colorful characters and feed them vegetables during various activities involving tracing numbers, counting and solving basic equations depending on their age.
The Vegetable Maths Masters app is broken up into three levels. Level one is for kids 3-4 years old with basic 1-10 counting with vegetables and tracing numbers. Level two is for 5-6 year-olds with counting 1-10, some matching and simple addition. Level three, for children seven and older, teaches subtraction, some fractions, and basic multiplication and division--and all with vegetables.
Vegetables displayed in the app are images of real ones, not cartoons. Parents even have the option of editing which veggies are used in the child's game. After being "fed," the characters always comment on how tasty the vegetables are.
"Social norms also influence food preferences, for example if child characters in the game like and enjoy eating vegetables, research suggests that children are more likely to try them," Dr. Claire Farrow told Belfast Live.
The app also has an incentive program where kids earn stars. The stars act as currency in the game to add new characters like Chloe the Carrot and Polly the Pea. Different clothes and accessories can also be added by trading in stars earned.
Of course, veggie-hate isn't the case for all kids, but in the US the CDC said they still aren't getting enough vegetables.
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