We have heard many times the benefit of eating a variety of colors to consume multiple nutrients. Yet we don’t hear much about what colors people prefer to eat.

Understanding what we naturally like (and dislike!)  can help develop strategies for healthier meals. Its important because around 40%  believe the taste of a food is affected by its colour and 41% of kids pick something to eat based on its color.

Researchers from the UK firm Healthspan discovered differences in kids and adults preferred different food colors.  Here’s the scoop-

KIDS

Least Liked: Black and Green

Most Liked: Orange, Yellow and Red

Research shows children demonstrate the most positive emotional reactions, such as happiness and excitement, towards bright colors and the survey supports this as children’s most popular food colors included red and orange.

ADULTS

Least Liked: Black and Purple

Most Liked: Orange, Red and Green

In adults, green arouses positive emotional responses, for example comfort and relaxation, which may be why the respondents reported choosing green foods most frequently.

The pervasiveness of messaging that Green=Healthy can also help adults feel positive emotion when choosing green because they are doing something good for themselves.

So when trying to make a multi-color meal more appetizing here are some ideas:

– Include some favorite color bits with less favored colors

– Create a super delicious recipe in the disliked color to start associating the color with yumminess. For example, we know children who love green because they started on green smoothies at a young age. The smoothies tasted sweet from all the fruit. These children are always game to try something green and have learned to expect a variety of flavors.

– Adjust the shade of a less preferred color with other ingredients. For example broccoli soup can be various shades of green depending on the amount of milk added.

Do you have any tips? Or examples of colorful kinsho bentos that you and your family loved?  Let us know on Instagram @kinshokitchen

Photo credits : Top-@ straight2yourkiddosplate Bottom-CleanEats

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