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Fruits and vegetables...and kids

Posted on Aug 13, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera

It seems with the childhood obesity crisis our nation is facing researchers have begun to study the nutrition habits of preschoolers. We know that habits are being learned...formed during this time. Washington University is studying how to get preschoolers to eat more fruits and vegetables.

According to the research, it starts with the parents.  Well, this seems pretty obvious but here is a nice article that summed several studies that shows how parents can really make a difference in their child's eating habits.

Parents, you are the most important role model for your kids. You decide what food is purchased, what the meal will be etc.

So here is a couple of suggestions:

  • make fruits and vegetables part of your child everyday life.
  • have them help pick out the fruits and veggies at the grocery store
  • have them name the veggies and fruits as they help put them away
  • have a vegetable and fruit as part of each of your three meals
  • don't fight with your child if they won't eat it
  • encourage them to just have one bite
  • if they still refuse, then ask them to name the color of the vegetable or fruit
  • make talking about the fruit or vegetable part of the meal conversation
  • introduce a new vegetable and fruit each day to your child
  • keep reintroducing the fruits and vegetables
One study showed that a child may need to interact with a food at least 10 times before they will try it.

Keep it simple, keep it fun. We want them to associate fun memories with fruits and vegetables, not bad experiences like "my mom got mad at me 'cause I didn't eat my vegetables.



1 Comment

Thursday, Aug 14, 2008 @ 03:35 PM

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A new resource being use to improve kid’s nutritional status is a new book “The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond.” Out only a few months and already being bought in quantity for class use. I hope parents and teachers interested in getting kids to develop a friendly attitude towards fruits and vegetables should take a look at it. It is designed for kids of all ages as it is two books in one – children first learn their alphabet through produce poems and then go on to hundreds of related activities. Coauthored by best-selling food writer David Goldbeck and Jim Henson writer Steve Charney. More at

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