Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • Please Pass the Vegetables

  • Getting kids to eat healthy foods

    Want to call a truce at those dinner-table battles? You can by taking a fresh approach in getting your children to eat well. Mix a little child psychology with creativity and you've got a recipe for good nutrition with less anxiety.

    • First, involve children in preparation of meals. "Tell your children food always tastes better when they help," advises Hasbro Children's Hospital dietitian Barbara Robinson. They love to add ingredients or roll out dough. Keep the tasks simple, like scrubbing vegetables or sprinkling grated cheese. Another smooth move from Robinson--occasionally ask your child: "Do you think we should have a red vegetable like tomatoes or a green one like broccoli?" It's a win-win situation.
    • Next, disguise vegetables. You can camouflage cauliflower with cheese or conceal a carrot with brown sugar glaze. Dressings or salsa make veggies more appetizing to youngsters.
    • Be a good role model. If you turn up your nose at turnips, children will follow suit. Turn off the TV, sit down for meals, and when it come to snacking, grab an apple instead of chips. If you eat well, your offspring eventually will pick up the habit.

    One last piece of advice: the old adage "breakfast is the most important meal" is still true. Kids need to re-fuel after not eating for up to 12 hours. "Studies show that children perform better in school if they've eaten a balanced breakfast," says Robinson. Today's breakfast foods are easier than ever to fix, even for grade-schoolers. Instant oatmeal, cereals and microwave pancakes will help get your youngsters get off to great start.