3 Real Kid Food Experiments

Three Food-Related/ Child Psychology Experiments That Will Change EVERYTHING You Think about Eating!!! Not really, C’mon! Read it Anyway!  

By Hugh Gallon 

(Warning: this article will leave you hanging. For the full Hungry Dad’s discussion, you can check out Episode 18 of the Hungry Dads podcast) 

#1 The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment 

This series of studies on “delayed gratification” in the late 1960s and early 1970s at Stanford University had a child (4-6 years old) being offered a choice between one marshmallow (or cookie or pretzel) immediately OR if they waited about 15 minutes, they could have two. The kid was left alone with the one treat and could make their independent choice to eat or wait. What would you do? What would your kid do? The results were not only interesting, but provided society with profound insight into human nature and some secrets to success in life.  

#2 University of Surrey’s Cover/Overt Parental Control Over Food 

Sometimes “exciting” science is really just a bunch of paperwork, surveys, and number crunching. That doesn’t make the discoveries any less impactful. Here, parents of children aged 4 to 11 were asked questions about how they control the junk food eaten by their children. Do they basically tell them not to do it (overt control)? Or avoid exposure to bad foods altogether (covert control)? So, what’s better, being bossy with your kids and letting them see what’s out there, but denying it to them? Or maybe it’s better to be sneaky with your kids, but sparing them the torture of temptation? Or maybe it doesn’t matter at all? 

#3 Carnegie Mellon: Sandwiches Taste Better When Someone Else Makes Them.  

Most people would agree that the fifth bite of chocolate is less enjoyable than the first. But what if you didn’t even take a bite of anything yet? Do you have “mind control” over your appetite? Science says, yes! And science isn’t allowed to lie! Researchers say that when you think about food (like a sandwich you are making yourself) you anticipate its taste and become less hungry for it. But do you trust somebody else to make your sandwich the way you like it? 

Check out Episode 18 of Hungry Dads’ Podcast for the discussion, the answers and more

Hugh Gallon is a dad. A hungry dad. He can be heard on the podcast Hungry Dads, available in iTunes and at www.hungrydads.com