Want your kids to eat more veggies? Serve them as an appetizer, before you sit down for dinner. In a recent study, ten minutes before researchers served lunch to 3-to-5-year-olds, the kids got carrots of varying portion sizes (1 ounce, 2 ounces, and 3 ounces, or no carrots at all.) The preschoolers were free to eat as much (or as little) as they pleased. Two surprising results here:
#1) The bigger the portion of carrots, the more the kids ate. (We all know this is true of chips, but who knew the phenomena also applies to veggies?)
#2 After eating their veggie first course, you might think that the preschoolers who ate the most carrots would pass on the the veggie served with their lunch (broccoli) but all the kids went on to eat about the same amount! (Which means that the kids who ate the most carrots first got the most veggies overall.)
Try it! We did -- and were amazed at how successful we were getting our kids to down those veggies. The trick is to give them a veggie first, without any other food offered at the same time. If they're hungry, they'll eat.