The airplane trick. Bribery. Begging. Promising sweets in exchange. All tactics used to get kids to eat their veggies. Helpful or harmful?
A recent study 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. An article about how to teach kids to eat veggies said this:
“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.”
So, you feed them veggies that are well cooked and taste good and they begin eating them. Seems reasonable to me! I always fiddled with my veggie recipes or the way I prepared them if my kids didn’t respond well to a veggie. Sometimes it took trial and error, but I completely agree with him. If you serve them soggy broccoli, they probably will hate it, as I would. But if you serve them veggies that taste great, they’ll more than likely find a veggie or two they really like.
I think constant exposure, quality prep and the occasional negotiation work wonders for getting kids to eat their veggies. What has worked for you? Do you think bribery is a bad way to go? Did you struggle to get your kids to eat veggies?
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