Kids and Veggies

Veggie Delights

by Joyce Bauer.

Q: What’s the best way to get my kids to eat vegetables?

Joy Bauer, MS, RD

A: Trying to get children to eat their vegetables can be frustrating — and parents often resort to bribery: “Eat your broccoli and you can have ice cream for dessert.” Unfortunately, this technique teaches our kids that broccoli and other vegetables are less appealing, because their consumption requires a reward. At the same time, this approach positions dessert as the prize, something to be valued over other foods.

Instead, encourage your kids to try at least one small bite each time vegetables are offered, and continue to offer them over and over again. Eventually, as vegetables become more familiar to them, their distaste may wear off. The most important thing you can do, though, is to model good eating behaviors yourself. Pile plenty of vegetables onto your own plate, and let your kids know how much you enjoy them.

by Joyce Bauer.

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