Connecticut Families Extra: Help your kids eat more veggies

Connecticut Families

(WTNH) — If you have a picky eater, you know mealtime can be a struggle! Now a new study shows there may be a simple way to help your kids eat more veggies.

Researchers in Australia examined 32 families with children between ages four and six who didn’t eat a lot of fresh vegetables. They found that when the families offered the kids a small amount of multiple vegetables repeatedly, the children ate more vegetables.

In fact, they went from eating half a serving to more than a full serving. But those who were offered a single vegetable repeatedly, such as broccoli at each meal did not increase their vegetable consumption.

These findings suggest that parents should keep serving a variety of vegetables to their kids, even if they refuse to eat them.

Other ways to encourage healthy habits include using positive encouragement and not forcing your child. They only need to taste a small amount in order to build up a liking over time. Set a good example by eating veggies yourself. Offer low-fat salad dressings and dips.

Authors of the study say while the amount of vegetables increased during the study, it still didn’t meet dietary guidelines. According to the USDA, children who are 4 to 8-years-old should have 1 and a half to 2 and a half cups of veggies per day.

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