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GOOD Design Daily: 17 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food

IDEO's problem-solving platform OpenIDEO publishes the findings from its first challenge: Jamie Oliver's quest to introduce kids to healthy eating.

A few months ago, the design firm IDEO announced a new open-source platform for solving problems, OpenIDEO. The idea was that IDEO would toss out challenges related to what they were working on within their own agency, to see if their audience had any bright ideas. The first major challenge was announced in conjunction with last year's TED prize winner, chef Jamie Oliver, whose TED wish is to eradicate childhood obesity by getting families to prepare and serve healthier meals. After 198 suggestions flowed in, the field was narrowed through voting. This week, IDEO published the top 10 ideas from their community, plus seven more highlighted by Oliver's team, in a free downloadable PDF, An Open Food Revolution.

The 70-page book highlights first a series of inspirations, which are split into eight recurring themes. So under the theme Regulate is the thought that we might end the idea of "kid-friendly food" in our culture; under Play is the idea that we could redesign utensils to make them more relevant for picking up fresh fruits and vegetables. The ideas from the finalists range from product-based ideas, like a shopping cart with prescribed bins for vegetables and fruits, or healthy eating flashcards, to more organizational ideas like student-run farmers markets and programs where students plan and cook meals for the entire school. I especially like What's for Dinner?, the idea that the last class of the day at school would be focused around what meals they'd be making at home that night.

A nice touch by IDEO is that they've given ample credit to the ideas that were chosen. The finalists each include headshots and detailed feedback on each of their ideas that was posted by community members. The book also includes an exhaustive list of everyone who contributed—an overwhelming 166 countries participated—a nice touch to make people feel like their voice was heard. In some cases, IDEO mapped the web of inspirations, comments and related projects that supported a certain finalists work.

What's intriguing is seeing how different audience members actually built upon other concepts, referencing them in their own ideas, and incorporating feedback from the community into their ideas—which shows that IDEO did manage to create a vibrant, interactive platform for collective brainstorming. The result is a collection of very thoughtful ideas that could easily be used by an educator, a chef, or even a parent. Download the PDF and see for yourself.

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