Turns out that a new book called "'Eat Your Vegetables' and Other Mistakes Parents Make: Redefining How to Raise Healthy Eaters" has the answer to the question: "How do you raise healthy eaters without constant mealtime struggles?"
Registered dietitian Dr. Natalie Digate Muth, a pediatric resident at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and mother of two, provides parents with a step-by-step plan to help kids embrace fruits, vegetables and other healthful foods without battles, bribes and coercion.
Among the topics the author covers is "learning the (reverse) psychology of getting kids to eat healthy."
Why did I suspect that the oft-tried "reverse psychology" has a prominent role in our author's ambitious strategy?
"Hey kids eat the Cheetos, please! Leave the baby carrots alone; they're mine!"
This topic - picky kids and parents' advice to "eat your vegetables" - is a time-honored struggle in American life. Isn't this table talk a common touchstone we want to pass on from generation to generation? Wouldn't the world stop spinning if getting kids to eat veggies was easy?
I admire the author's bold attempt to scale the cliff of changing kids' eating behavior with nary a bribe, battle or coercion.
Our Fresh Talk contributor Gen X Mom Sarah Krause has talked about her strategy for nudging her kids toward fruits and vegetables. While Sarah's approach may be more artful and intuitive, this book promises a step-by-step scientific approach. Check the book out at www.drnataliemuth.com/
But wait....this report says a team of researchers in Oregon "may have at last discovered how to get children to eat their vegetables."
The key, researchers say, is serving children a glass of water at every meal. People associate healthy food with water, while they link sugary drinks with "junk food."
If vegetables go with water, and water is served, then pass the peas.
I have to say I like this simple approach. It is something that I could handle.
If there is one thing we want more than changing our kids, it is finding a way to change ourselves and our habits. This story talks about research that showed that just getting off the couch is a start that can lead to other healthy changes in lifestyle.
Serve water and get off the couch.. now we are getting somewhere!