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Feeding the Child

Simple Tricks to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Let your child choose one of two options--and get his input prior to prepping the meal. (How easy is that?!) A recent Dutch study found that kids appreciated getting the chance to pick a veggie before dinner. In fact, researchers found that "reactive" kids--those who tend to push back or get mad at parental restrictions--ate fewer veggies if they weren't permitted a say in their food lineup; worse, these guys turned up their noses at vegetables they liked if they were just deposited on their plates.

Offer up vegetables as appetizers! "I'll often put out carrots and low-fat dip while I'm making dinner or waiting for the pizza to arrive," says Kerry Neville, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "You'd be amazed at how many vegetables kids will eat this way. The key is not to say anything about it--because that's when they get resistant. But if the veggies are just there, kids will walk by, see food, and grab a bite--especially pre-dinner, when they've got the munchies and are more open to eating, well, anything."