Parenting 101: Help your kids eat more veggies

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Most parents know that their kids should eat lots of fresh veggies to stay healthy, but that's often easier said than done.

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Most parents know that their kids should eat lots of fresh veggies to stay healthy, but that’s often easier said than done. According to one study, about one in five parents of one-year-olds reported that their toddlers ate no vegetables at all on the days they were surveyed.

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. The children went from eating half a serving to more than a full serving.

Those who were offered a single vegetable repeatedly, like broccoli, at each meal did not increase their vegetable consumption.

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

Here are some other ways to encourage healthy habits:

  • Use positive encouragement and do not force your child
  • Set a good example by eating veggies yourself
  • Offer low-fat salad dressings and dips

Authors of the study said while the amount of vegetables increased during the study, it still didn’t meet dietary guidelines. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, children who are four to eight-years-old should have one and a half to two and a half cups of veggies per day.

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