Tags: telling | kids | healthy | veges

Why You Should Never Tell Kids Veggies Are Good for Them

By    |   Tuesday, 22 July 2014 05:04 PM

Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you!
 
It’s a phrase most parents have used at one time or other to get their kids to eat right. But a new study suggests it may be precisely the wrong thing to say, if you’re trying to encourage healthy dietary habits in your children.
 
In fact, telling children that drinking milk helps make their bones strong, or spinach will build their muscles, or that fish is brain food is likely to make kids eat less of those foods. The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, suggests children tend to believe healthy food is also food that tastes bad.
 
"We predicted that when food is presented to children as making them strong or as a tool to achieve a goal such as learning how to read or count, they would conclude the food is not as tasty and therefore consume less of it," said researchers Michal Maimaran (of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) and Ayelet Fishbach (of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business).
 
For their study, the researchers conducted five tests with children between the ages of 3 and 5. In all of the experiments, the children were read a picture book story about a girl who ate a snack of crackers or carrots. In some tests, the story either did or did not state the benefits of the snack (making the girl strong, for instance, or helping her learn how to count).
 
The children allowed to choose among the foods featured in the story. What the results showed is that children ate more of the healthy foods when they did not receive any message about them having health benefits.
 
The findings suggest parents should not emphasize the benefits of healthy foods for their kids and focus instead on more on the positive experience of eating the food.
 
"Parents and caregivers who are struggling to get children to eat healthier may be better off simply serving the food without saying anything about it, or [if credible] emphasizing how yummy the food actually is," the authors concluded.

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Telling kids to eat their vegetables because they're healthful may actually prompt them to eat less of them, a new study suggests. Parents are better off emphasizing how good such foods taste, or serving them without saying anything about them.
telling, kids, healthy, veges
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2014-04-22
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 05:04 PM
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