Kids Will Eat Their Veggies
Here’s another great article from Susan Bowerman of The Los Angeles Times. You want your kids to eat more veggies? Feed them more veggies! From the report:
In a report published in the journal Appetite in 2003, for example, researchers at University College London randomly assigned children ages 2 to 6 and their parents to one of three groups for a two-week study. In one group, parents offered their child a daily taste of a vegetable for which the child had indicated a low preference ranking.Dr. Fuhrman agrees—kids will eat their veggies! Don’t believe me? Just check out this excerpt from Disease-Proof Your Child:
In a second group, parents received only general nutrition information about how to increase fruits and vegetables in the diet. The third group served as a control — receiving neither dietary recommendations nor literature.
The kids who received daily exposure increased their liking and consumption of the food, and increased the ranking of the vegetable in question significantly more than children in the other two groups.
And, a majority of parents in the "exposure" group felt that the intervention could have a lasting effect on their children. In some cases, foods their youngsters previously wouldn't touch had actually become their favorites. One parent commented that her child looked forward to the daily tasting, because it had "made food more fun."
It is not uncommon or abnormal for a child to prefer a narrow range of foods at a young age. It is also not unusual for parents to be in an ongoing battle to coax their child to eat in a manner they feel is appropriate. Fortunately, it is possible to put an end to the food wars and solve the problem of how to get your child to eat a healthful diet…Of course, you could always try a veggie sneak attack.
… It is not necessary to coax them to eat or to eat healthfully. In fact, battling about food with your child is counterproductive. The trick here is to adhere to this one most important rule: only permit healthy food in your home. Children will eat whatever is available. They will not starve themselves to death; they will adapt easily and learn relatively quickly to like the food that is offered.
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