MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Ashleigh Partin, registered dietitian at Midland Memorial Hospital, sees a lot of kid patients and the parents' number one question is usually how do I get my children to eat the vegetables and like it?
Through a lot of research, she found one strategy she thinks works.
"The philosophy I guess that I take coming off of her research is pretty contrary to normal," Partin said. "So with that I would say the best way to get kid to eat their vegetables is to not force them."
Kids usually do the opposite of what you say.
If you tell them to eat more, they may eat less and if you tell them to eat less, they may eat more.
Lack of pressure at the dinner table she believes will help your kids become more competent eaters.
"So what do you do? I would recommend number one having family meals," Partin said. "More than any advice you can give your kids, no matter how good you tell them vegetables are the best way to help them eat it, is for them to see you eating it."
In a hectic and busy schedule family meals have to become a priority.
How you even talk about vegetables around the kids can affect their opinion on it.
"If there's older siblings or a parent or someone that's in the house that talks negatively about vegetables kids are picking up on those messages," Partin said. "You know there listening to every single thing that we say and so you want all of those to be a positive influence."
Picky eating is extremely common in kids and Partin recommends having four to five foods on the table, an entree and different sides for them to choose from.
Some foods can be put on the table that are more familiar and some that are different.
She said it challenges the children without forcing them to eat a certain food.