A recent study showed that preschoolers chose healthier meals if a toy was involved.
The question then becomes, should healthy food companies start marketing toys with their products to get kids interested? The nutritionist in me says no.
I have experienced plenty of children making healthy choices and loving veggies and other whole foods, if that's the environment that they live in. Meaning, clients and friends who never buy junk and fast food, have kids that don't really care for it. They have been weaned on healthy tastes. This is not to say that they never crave sugar or want some French fries, but it's not an every day occurrence.
Also, associating an object such as a toy with food just doesn't seem to be a sustainable method. Yes, young kids love toys and it makes sense they would love anything associated with toys, but I do think it's possible to teach children healthy eating habits without any sort of prize.
I've worked with young clients who wanted to be healthier, but they were held back by poor choices made by their parents. So, lead by example, and stock your house with nourishing whole foods. We develop our tastes from a young age.