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But Why Mommy?

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Explaining may get kids to eat healthier

Getting children to eat healthfully can be a struggle.  Helping them develop healthy habits and getting them in the kitchen are two ways to make headway.  New research suggests that explaining why a (maybe less acceptable) food is good, can get kids to eat healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables and beans. 

Researchers offered 87, 3-6 year olds healthful foods during their school day.  Children were repeatedly offered tomatoes, bell peppers, lentils and quinoa with or without explanations that they could understand.  For example- Lentils will make you run faster or quinoa will help you jump higher.  We already know that children often need multiple exposures to new foods before they may try it, but this study wanted to see how parent or teacher “delivery” could impact a child’s willingness to try a new food or eat more of it!

Both methods were successful, however repeatedly offering foods with age appropriate nutrition messaging for children resulted in twice as much food being consumed! 

While we’re talking about delivery – you’ve heard the saying, “it’s not always what you say, but how you say it”, right?  One UCLA study found that gestures weigh in with 55% impact factor on an audience, compared to meager 7% for the words actually used!  Voice tone and inflection come in with 38%, reinforcing that how you deliver your message is way more crucial in effective communication. 

Smoothies are a fun way to get children to include more veggies in their diet.  Try the Dole Beet ‘n Berry Smoothie, Dole Sweet Green Smoothie or our Pineapple & Carrot Smoothie Remix to include more fruit and veggies in your little ones diet. 

Published September 1st 2019

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