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Cut up Your Kids’ Food So They Won’t Be Jerks: a Study

Or better yet, mama bird it.

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Apparently kids are not only what they eat, but how. A study from Cornell University suggests that children are more likely to act aggressively when eating food with their hands and front teeth. So, cut up that apple and un-cob that corn! Future generations depend on it!

Published recently in Eating Behaviors, the study Biting Vs. Chewing: Eating Style and Social Aggression In Children (what a mouthful!) claims that letting a kid eat like an animal also makes them act like one. Brian Wansink, Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, says the team’s research showed that children whose food wasn’t cut up “were twice as likely to disobey adults and twice as aggressive toward other kids.”

If you suspect your offspring might be chomping their way into assholery, relax—the research was conducted over a short period of time and on a very small pool of participants. The study observed 12 elementary school students at a camp over two days. Participating campers were given chicken either on or off the bone one day, then the two groups switched. Children in the cut-up and non cut-up groups were instructed to stay inside a circle with a 9 foot radius while eating, and the meals were videotaped and then evaluated for atypical aggressive behavior. Although, can you blame the kids for having a bone to pick? Sounds like that camp blew.

The study determined that, during every meal, the different groups served chicken on the bone were more likely to display aggression, disobedience, and leave the circle than their cut-up counterparts. In conclusion, Wansink advises parents and school teachers, “If you want a nice quiet, relaxing meal with your kids, cut up their food.”

Or just feed them peanut butter and jelly.

(via Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, images via TheGiantVermin)

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