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Newsflash: Bribe Your Kids and They’ll Eat Vegetables

So says a recent study, in which children aged four to six were offered small rewards for eating a vegetable they’d said they didn’t like. After three months, when the rewards were no longer being offered, most of those kids still voluntarily ate the vegetable in question. Children who’d received no incentive, for the most part, did not.

I could’ve told you that. Oh wait, I did. It’s been more than two months since we made that incentive chart, and Harry’s list of acceptable vegetables is still approximately 10,000 times larger than it was before we started. Dude eats corn, carrots, edamame, peas, lettuce, cucumber, celery, baby spinach, and green beans. Pre-chart, that list was nonexistent.

Lesson: Trust your instincts. If a small bribe seems like the kind of thing that might motivate your child to do something he otherwise would not, give it a try. I won’t tell.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Kids and Mental Health

    Great blog, Debbie. I love your casual style and the gorgeous photos, too.

  2. debbie koenig

    Thank you, Kids! What a lovely comment.

  3. toto73

    Getting them involved in preparing the food can make a difference. You can even let your kids pick vegetables from the market.

  4. debbie koenig

    Very true, Toto, but I think it totally depends on the kid. Harry loves to use the salad spinner, but until we did the incentive chart he didn't want to taste the actual salad!

  5. Baking shortcuts for techies-- William

    Hehe, ingenious little bribe!

    I wonder what happens in a long term though? Will he demand more money :)?

    What about when they grow up (LOL)

    Nice blog Debbie. Nice artichoke drawing!

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