Praise Doesn’t Get Children to Eat Better

This Canadian study of 50 child care centers observed teachers’ behaviors and children’s food intake to find some very interesting correlations. What I found most interesting, however, was that “satiety recognition and verbal encouragement were not associated with children’s intake of nutrients nor vegetables and fruit.” You can’t coax a child to eat the way you want him to eat. You have to model the behavior you want if you expect results.

Ward S, Blanger M, Donovan D, et al Association between childcare educators’ practices and preschoolers’ physical activity and dietary intake: a cross-sectional analysis BMJ Open 2017;7:e013657. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013657

What action will I take? I’m gonna stop wasting my breath on telling my children they did a good job eating dinner. I don’t think I really said that phrase much before reading this, but now I definitely won’t. This also reinforces for me the importance of me using good mealtime habits. It’s a lot easier to skip my snack & just eat her leftovers instead, but I need to take the time to eat healthy food WITH her.

For an introduction to this blog series, click here.

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