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Want kids to eat veggies? Psychology says do nothing

June 10, 2014|Counseling & Psychotherapy

Parents often struggle with their kids around meal times. And, the battle of wills is often most pronounced when kids are faced with having to eat vegetables.

But, new psychological and behavioral research from the business world offers hope for parents everywhere. Turns out, the psychology of kids and veggies says the best thing parents can do is simply nothing.

Excerpt from related article:

New research shows why parents — and food marketers — might be doing themselves no favors. The problem is the pitch: It is too aggressive, even at its most well-meaning and heartfelt. The best way to pitch food to children, the research finds, is to present it with no marketing message whatsoever.

Don’t tell them it’s healthy or it will make them smart or strong. Telling them it’s yummy is O.K., but even that message doesn’t seem to help the cause. “You just need to give them the food. You mess them up by giving all kinds of messages,” said the paper’s co-author, Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioral science and marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. When giving food to children, “nothing helps beyond no message whatsoever.”

via In Pitching Veggies to Kids, Less Is More – NYTimes.com.

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