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Parents (USA) - - Contents - by EMILY ELVERU pho­to­graph by PRISCILLA GRAGG

Why you should let your kid play with her food, when to worry about his mood, how to take ad­van­tage of vir­tual doc­tor’s vis­its, and more

It’s per­fectly fine for kids to play with what’s on their plate! In a study at the Uni­ver­sity of East­ern Fin­land, kinder­gart­ners spent hands-on time with fruits and veg­gies in their class­room by bak­ing and cook­ing with them, grow­ing a gar­den, and see­ing food-re­lated themes in books and games. As a re­sult, they were more likely to choose th­ese food groups from a snack buf­fet than kids who didn’t have

th­ese class­room ac­tiv­i­ties. Won­der­ing what else you can do to get your kid to try salad? Dina Rose, PH.D., au­thor of It’s Not About the Broc­coli, shares stress-free tips that could help.

1

STICK TO THE RO­TA­TION RULE.

To help him get into the habit of eat­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent ev­ery day, don’t of­fer the same food two days in a row. Say, “You had car­rots with lunch yes­ter­day. To­day you can have cauliflower or peas, and to­mor­row you can have car­rots again if you want.”

2

BE UP-FRONT ABOUT IN­GRE­DI­ENTS.

You want your kid to trust you about her food, es­pe­cially if she’s picky. If she asks what that green speck is in her smoothie, tell her you added spinach. And if she re­sponds, “Yuck, no way!” say, “Now you know what’s in it. Let’s in­ves­ti­gate those specks.” Then show her what a spinach leaf looks like.

3

LET HIM POKE AND PROD. The food on his plate doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to go into his mouth. If he moves a veg­etable around, pulls it apart with his fin­gers, or sniffs it, then he’s at least get­ting more fa­mil­iar with its look and feel. (And, hey, it might end up in his mouth one day!)

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