Parents should avoid pestering kids for meals

London: Parents who keep nagging their children to make them "eat their greens" would do their kids` health a big favour by avoiding to do so, say researchers.

Constantly badgering youngsters to finish foods they don`t like is counter-productive, the Daily Express reported, adding that toddlers are more likely to eat nutritious food if they aren`t put under pressure.

During tests, a group of four-year-olds who were nagged to finish bowls of corn or butternut squash soup consumed less than those who were left to get on with it.

The study, by US researchers at the Pennsylvania and Appalachian state universities, concluded: "Pressurising children to eat was not effective in promoting intake.

"These findings provide evidence that the use of pressure contributes to lower intake and can foster negative responses to foods. In fact, children were more likely to increase their intake of an initial unfamiliar food if they were not pressured to eat it."

Accodring to child psychologist Richard Woolfson, although constant badgering of children does not work, it`s unlikely that leaving them completely to their own devices does either.

"I think the answer is gentle encouragement rather than a full-scale battle," he advised.


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