Bribing is Not the Way to Get Kids to Eat Healthy

Parenting is always filled with challenges, such as getting your child to sleep through the night and to eat their vegetables. Most parents complain about picky eaters, when in fact, their child actually likes vegetables. They just don’t know it yet. Here are some helpful tricks and tips from one researcher mom.

Bribing Is Not The Best Way

Most parents will resort to bribing their kids with dessert if they finish all of their vegetables. However, this is the wrong way to approach the vegetable issue. Most kids will do the task, but they will end up hating vegetables in the long run. You want your kids to develop a love for vegetables because that will keep them healthy for many years to come. However, getting your child to love broccoli does not happen overnight.

Have a Positive Attitude Towards Vegetables

The best and easiest way to encourage your children to eat their greens is to enjoy them and be enthusiastic about eating them yourself. If you don’t love broccoli, then you either need to learn to love it for your kids’ sake or not expect them to love it. Kids tend to eat what their parents eat, so set a good example.

Also, just because your child turns up their nose to green beans one night does not mean that you should stop serving it to them. Keep introducing green beans to them, perhaps one night a week. Tell them that all that is required of them is to take one bite. You can also serve it different ways, such as one night let your child sprinkle Parmesan cheese on his green beans. Kids need to try something 10-15 times before it can be ruled out whether they like it or not. Their palates are continually changing.

Don’t Make the Vegetables Compete

If you serve broccoli alongside chicken nuggets, don’t be surprised that your child will eat all of his nuggets first. It is better to serve vegetables when they aren’t competing with the child’s favorite food. For example, before dinner when the kids are hungry, they can enjoy some raw vegetables and dip. Since the vegetables are the only thing they have to eat at the moment, they are less likely to put up a fight.

Getting kids to eat their vegetables will always be a struggle for parents. However, just stay positive and keep putting them in front of your child. You may be surprised that your child actually asks for broccoli after a month or two of trying.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Image: Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Randen Pederson

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.