Print Your Vegetables!

Here's a new way to get kids to eat healthy.

For years, parents have tried all sorts of tricks and enticements to get children to eat their vegetables. Too often, these efforts are in vain. But, researchers think they have found a new way to encourage kids (and maybe some grownups) to eat their veggies.

Shehab Khan of The Independent, a UK-based online newspaper, reports that using 3D printers to print vegetables in interesting shapes may be the answer. The researchers experimented with various fruits and vegetables, combining them in unique ways and printing them out in the shape of an octopus. Researchers hope this process might be used in schools as a way to introduce children to foods they might not normally eat.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. Ask students if they were picky eaters when they were younger. How were they encouraged to eat foods they didn't like? How do they think they would have responded to 3D printed foods when they were younger? How do they feel about it now?
  2. Does your school have a 3D printer? If so, have students had an opportunity to see it in use? Consider scheduling a short "field trip" to learn more about the 3D printing capabilities at your school. If your school doesn't have this technology yet, is there a local business or organization that uses 3D printing and would be willing to demo the process for students?
  3. As an individual project, ask students to research 3D printing projects and pick one that appeals to them. Students should create a brief presentation about the project and include information about the creators, the concept, the use of the printed object, etc.


  1. I wasn't a picky eater when I was young but my son was. I use to tell my son if he ate his vegetables we would go to the park or some type of activity he enjoyed. I think if food was printed 3D back in the day he might have ate more with no problem.

    No 3D printer at the school.

    3D printing looks alive!

  2. I was a picky eater when it came to vegetables. I had to be told I would go hungry if I did not eat my entire plate. I loved fruit, so that was not a problem.
    I am not sure if we have a 3D printer at school. I think if we had a 3D printer back when I was a kid I would have eaten my vegetables a lot more. As for now, I don't think I would eat them. It is too weird.


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