Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How Do You Get Your Kids To Eat Their Veggies?

A Recipe for Coaxing Your Kids to Eat Their Vegetables The Wall Street Journal Online 11/21/06 "Try, try and try again. One of the biggest mistakes parents make when it comes to kids and food is that they give up too soon. But Pennsylvania State University researchers have conducted studies using foods that most kids don't typically eat a lot of, such as vegetables and Asian dishes. They discovered it can take up to 15 exposures to a new food before a child will accept it...kids and animals are naturally neophobic -- meaning they have an instinctive tendency to reject an unknown taste as a way to protect themselves from foods that will make them sick. If parents would keep trying, putting the food on the table and asking kids to just take a bite, most kids will eventually learn to accept a new food, says Dr. Birch...Don't react. Child experts say parents need to stay low key when offering a food. Don't bribe or threaten punishment, and don't celebrate when kids eat their vegetables. Studies show that when kids are cajoled into eating a food or even rewarded or praised for eating it, the child often develops an aversion to it...Use tasty toppings. Use foods like ketchup, cheese sauce and ranch dressing"

This might make sense for most kids... but not for me and my loathing of brussel sprouts. Which brings up the issue of super tasters and having more taste buds than average that bring out the bitter taste in veggies. It could be that no matter how hard you try, or how persistent you are... your child will never enjoy veggies like broccoli all that much.

Gotta love the term "neophobic." That's a wonderful descriptor, but it's new to me... so I'm afraid of it.

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