Including a substantial amount of fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet is imperative to gain nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. They also boost the immune system and help prevent a number of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. A recent study has shown that if you let your child play a serious online video game, they might increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables.
An experiment was conducted by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in the US using a video called Squires Quest! II: Saving the Kingdom of Fivealot. They witnessed how engaging in a serious game and creating plans made the fifth and sixth graders eat more fruits and vegetables.
The study included 400 middle school children who were led to play ten episodes of an online video game called Squires Quest! II that encourages eating vegetables and fruits. The researchers observed the kids as they planned to cope actions or did not conceptualize intentions during the process of goal-setting in the game to eat more fruits and vegetables at particular meals.
All groups of children were asked to confirm whether they were able to reach their goals by the following episode and families were sent a newsletter with a link to the parent website.
The researchers tracked the effects of the game on the kids’ vegetable and fruit intake. After six months they completed the 24-hour recall with the kids over the telephone, three times a day recording every meal and the fruits and vegetables consumption.
The researchers noted that out of 400 children 79% were recorded meeting all the game’s goals. As it is already known that online games can entertain as well as promote behavioral change, the experts attributed the results of the study to the contents of the game and admitted that involvement of the parents might also have played a positive role.