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Don’t Do This If You Want Your Kids to Eat Nutritious Foods!

Have you ever tried to talk your young kids into eating something that’s good for them by telling them how “healthy” it is?  If so, you may already know what researchers are discovering. This strategy may actually have the opposite effect you’re looking for.

Instead of inspiring your pre-schooler to eat up all that nutritious food, telling them how healthy it is could lead to some pretty serious consequences, including:

  • Tantrums
  • Making faces
  • Vegetable-filled napkins
  • Overfed dogs
  • Etc.

Joking aside, researchers gathered a group of 270 preschool-aged children and studied how they respond to the messages about the food in front of them. Here’s what they found:

“Preschoolers seem to think that food can’t serve two purposes, that it can’t be something that makes them healthier and something that is delicious to eat at the same time,” said Fishbach. “So telling them that the carrots will make them grow tall or make them smarter actually makes them not want to eat the carrots. If you want them to eat the carrots, you should just give the kids the carrots and either mention that they are tasty or just say nothing.”

Keep in mind that the study focused just on younger children. How do you present nutritious food to your young children to get them to eat more of it?

Healthy Dining Finder is a member of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. Healthy Dining’s signature website, HealthyDiningFinder.com, enables millions of nutrition-conscious restaurant diners, as well as those dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and other nutrition-related conditions, to easily find dietitian-recommended Healthy Dining and Kids LiveWell choices served at more than 60,000 restaurant locations. For more information please visit www.HealthyDiningFinder.com.

For more tips on healthy dining, dig into some of these other Together Counts favorites:

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