Food News Today for May 15th, 2014

The Appeal of Forbidden Foods. The Sound of Food.

May 15, 2014


It’s no surprise that kids want what they can’t have. But now, a recent experiment from Pennsylvania State University gives us a little more insight into the minds of kids when it comes to food. 

Researchers gave preschool children the opportunity to “work” for a food reward. The child had to click a computer mouse four times to earn a cinnamon-flavored graham cracker. The more they clicked the more they got.  A second treat required eight clicks. Then 16. Then 32. Some stopped after one cracker, most were done after about 15 minutes, but some kids just kept clicking until researchers ended the task after 30 minutes, accumulating as many as 2,000 clicks! It’s the kids who are the most motivated by food that are of interest to child health experts. Researchers call them “reactive eaters”.  In another element of the experiment researchers placed some graham crackers out openly and others in a closed glass bowl “off limits”.  Not surprisingly, the graham crackers that were “off limits” were enticing to all the preschoolers and also not surprisingly,  the children who had worked hardest in the clicking task — the “reactive” ones — had the strongest motivation to get their hands on the “off limits” food. 

What does all this mean? Brandi Rollins, lead author of the study says “The message is that restriction is counterproductive — it just doesn’t work very well. Restriction just increases a child’s focus and intake of the food that the parent is trying to restrict.”

This doesn’t mean kids should have open access to whatever sugary treats heart desires, but for parents it’s good to know that tight restrictions over food can often set off overeating in some kids.

Instead of focusing on foods that are “forbidden”, stock the house with healthful foods, and then allow children access and make them feel as if they have control over what they eat.  


Food is not just about taste, it’s about all of our senses. There’s the visual, the smell, texture,  and let’s not forget…sound!    There are countless delicious food memories that can be conjured up by the simplest sound from a kitchen, grill or bar. The Huffington Post put together a list of some of the sounds we love, here are a few of our favorites:

Meat grilling!  The smell of a grill is definitely enticing, but nothing beats the sizzling, cracking sound that goes along with it. 

Another favorite sizzling meat sound? The sizzle of bacon!  That sizzle sound that will be sure to get everyone out of bed!

And speaking of getting us out of bed what about Pancake batter dropping onto the griddle!  The batter drop and then that immediate sizzle definitely makes breakfast the best meal of the day.

One of the most refreshing sounds? Pouring cold beer into a glass! 

And finally, who doesn’t love the sound of whipped cream sprayed from a can! Ok, maybe homemade whipped cream is better, but the sound of the canned stuff is pretty good too! 




Back to Top