If lower-income mothers want kids with healthy diets, it's best to adopt healthy eating habits themselves and encourage their children to eat good foods rather than use force, rewards or punishments, says a Michigan State University study.
The study, which appears in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is one of a few that focuses on the eating habits of low-income families. The results demonstrate that the mothers who led by example and persuaded, rather than ordered, their kids to eat their vegetables had kids with healthier diets, said Sharon Hoerr, MSU professor of food science and human nutrition.
"Mothers should stop forcing or restricting their kids' eating," she said. "They'd be better off providing a healthy food environment, adopting balanced eating habits themselves and covertly controlling their children's diet quality by not bringing less healthy foods into the house."
Overtly restricting certain foods from a child when others are eating them at mealtimes can lead to unhealthy eating, she added.
Additional parental tips include maintaining regular meal and snack times, offering smaller portions of healthy foods and allowing the children to decide how much they will eat. And what about kids who'd rather play with their food or consume only junk food?
"With picky eaters, it's best to coax and encourage them to eat rather than yell at them," Hoerr said. "Other ways to get them interested in having a balanced diet is to take them to the grocery store or garden, and help them select new foods to taste as well as allow them to help cook at home."
In continuing this research, Hoerr hopes to develop home-based and interactive educational materials for parents who want to encourage healthful eating.
Michigan State University: http://www.newsroom.msu.edu
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
Volunteers in Sweden were tricked into thinking their bodies had vanished, and the "superpower" seemed to ease social fears
Scientists have for the first time captured how taste sensations are processed on the tongue
Researchers set hungry mosquitoes loose on identical and fraternal twins. They found that inherited genes do play a role in making you a mosquito magnet.
State education committee passes a bill banning parents exempting kids from vaccination because of "personal beliefs", as lawmakers around the world discuss similar measures
The torturous trial-and-error process of finding the best cancer drug for an individual could be a thing of the past thanks to a couple of clever devices
A flu strain deadly to chickens and turkeys is striking farms in the West and Midwest. This week, it hit an Iowa facility with millions of egg-laying hens. No one knows how it's entering houses.
Doctors, it turns out, often don't follow evidence-based guidelines. One result? Unnecessary tests. Scientists who study this contrariness think they know why.
Analysis of millions of audio files has led one US company to claim that their software can predict how a person’s voice will make a listener feel
Bird flu outbreak now spreading through Midwest poultry could head east with fall migration
A little MRI video seems to settle the decades-old debate about that loud pop of the joints: It's all about bubbles. But imagine an air bag inflating, not the bursting of a balloon.