It’s sacrilegious to say this in the current era when we’re constantly being told how vital vegetables are, but there are more important things to teach your kids than vegetable eating.

In fact, the techniques we use to get some vegetables into our kids — such as bribing them with cookies so they’ll consume some carrots — often backfire (in this case by making kids like carrots even less than they already do).

So stop worrying about how many bites of broccoli your tyke takes in and foster ANY (hopefully ALL) of the following habits instead:

1) Save room for dessert instead of eating ‘til you’re stuffed.

2) Eat a variety of foods every day and from day-to-day (even if that variety doesn’t include veggies.)

3) Select foods in proportion to their healthful benefits, by keeping moderate and junky fare in check.

4) Avoid emotional eating.

5) Practice proper table manners.

6) Develop a strategy to survive parties, buffets and even Main Street without overeating.

7) Practice proper snacking.

8) Avoid drinking empty or unnecessary calories.

9) Eat without guilt.

10) Plan for parties and holiday eating by “priming the pump” with healthy foods first.

The added bonus of reinforcing these habits? Your kids will eat more veggies. (It’s one of the great ironies of parenting that you can’t always attack a problem head on.) 

~ Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits. ~