A study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that the frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption increased from 2.97 to 4.09 times daily following the introduction of a salad bar.
The children's intake of cholesterol, saturated fat and total fat also decreased significantly.
Lead author Dr Wendy Slusser, assistant professor of paediatrics at Mattel Children's Hospital and the UCLA School of Public Health, said that the fact that lack of fruit and vegetable consumption is one of the major contributing factors to the high rate of overweight children in the US.
"Increasing the availability and accessibility to healthy foods is one way to improve children's diets. In turn, this sets up opportunities for kids to have repeated exposure to healthy food and positively impact their choices," she claimed.