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The Behavioral Science Of Increasing Fruit Consumption

One of the most common reasons many of the resolutions people made on January 1st will be abandoned is that people choose resolutions that are too difficult, and promise themselves changes that are too big because they want big results. Here are three, simple evidence-based ideas you can share with consumers to help them stick to their fruit resolutions:

Create a habit

If you can manage to create a habit, your desired behavior will become automatic – and so much easier to do. Habits aren’t easy to create, but there is a formula that works if you can put in the early effort to keep on track: pick a simple behavior, pick a time and place to do it, repeat the behavior at that time and place, and enjoy a little reward when you do it.

Make It Easy

Easy to see, grab, find, eat immediately, plan, keep around, buy, get in your mouth, get in your kids’ mouths, swallow, like, clean, pack, remember and habitualize.

Cultivate enjoyment

The evidence is strong: systematic exposure increases liking over time. It’s all about repeatedly trying to eat fruits and find new ways to incorporate them into your diet. Exposure works well with kids if you keep the experience positive by giving praise for trying and if you remain realistic: change won’t happen overnight, and the goal isn’t to create a connoisseur – just a kid who at least tolerates fruits.

You can read more about these and other evidence-based tips at fruitsandveggies.org.

This article was originally featured in the Have a Plant Ambassador Activation Kit, Winter 2022, and was written by Dr. Jason Riis, Chief Behavioral Scientist for the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH).

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