Instead of inspiring your preschooler to eat up all that nutritious food, telling her how healthy it is could lead to some pretty serious consequences, including:
- Making faces
- Vegetable-filled napkins
- Overfed dogs
You see where I’m going with this – in most cases it just means more stress for everyone involved.
Here’s the lowdown. Researchers gathered together a group of 270 preschool-aged children and studied how they respond to the messages about the food in front of them. Here’s what they found:
“Preschoolers seem to think that food can’t serve two purposes, that it can’t be something that makes them healthier and something that is delicious to eat at the same time'” said Fishbach. “So telling them that the carrots will make them grow tall or make them smarter actually makes them not want to eat the carrots. If you want them to eat the carrots, you should just give the kids the carrots and either mention that they are tasty or just say nothing.”
Keep in mind that the study focused just on younger children. How do you present healthy food to your young children to get them to eat more of it?