How do you teach kids to like vegetables?

January 31, 2017
in Kids

Parents resort to elaborate negotiation to get children to eat nutritiously, but perhaps it's much simpler than that. A few months ago, I wrote about a study that tried bribing children to eat vegetables. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that kids were quite willing to fill up on nutritious produce if monetary incentives were involved. (Who wouldn’t?) The study, however, raised questions about whether something as fundamentally necessary to one’s health as vegetables should be subject to negotiation of any kind in the home. One reader left a wonderfully detailed comment, explaining his approach to training three kids how to eat, and enjoy, vegetables. An excerpt: “In our household, we focus on providing fresh fruits and vegetables that taste good. Our children eat these foods, because they enjoy them. Humans have evolved to have a quite satisfactory pleasure response to eating in general, and this is easily leveraged to induce healthy eating in children, without resorting to bribes or other cajolery.” He has two food rules, which resonated with me and my own tough-love approach to food and kids. I wanted to share these and expand on them slightly, as I think they’re valuable advice to parents struggling to teach their kids how to enjoy nutritious food. Rule #1: Don’t mess with perfection....

Read the full article here