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How to Raise Vegetable Eaters

By Rachel Cernansky, The New York Times, 04/09/19, 12:00PM CDT

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Simply introducing new foods repeatedly can help children become willing to taste them. That doesn’t guarantee they’ll like them, but it can go a long way.

Cereal bars with spinach mixed in or veggie-infused tater tots are great at fooling children into eating greens or broccoli or carrots. But experts say that aside from the fact that these products often use only traces of vegetables, this strategy assumes the children can’t like kale or broccoli itself, and relying on such products makes it far more likely that they won’t.

“If kids are not given the opportunity to actually experience the vegetable — how it looks, its taste, its texture — then they aren’t getting a chance to ‘train their taste buds,’” said Dr. Natalie Muth, a pediatrician in Carlsbad, Calif., and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.