Raising kids is hardly a science. Doctors, relatives, and friends all have plenty of advice for you—and most of it conflicts. But the New York Times article “6 Food Mistakes Parents Make” neatly pulls together nutritional research to formulate a primer on not screwing your kid up, food-wise.
Some of the advice is pretty obvious: Don’t bring unhealthy foods into the house; serve interesting vegetable dishes. Other recommendations are more controversial, bucking conventional wisdom as they do. For instance, the Times states that research has found forcing kids to try foods is actually counterproductive:
Studies show that children react negatively when parents pressure them to eat foods, even if the pressure offers a reward. In one study at Pennsylvania State University, researchers asked children to eat vegetables and drink milk, offering them stickers and television time if they did. Later in the study, the children expressed dislike for the foods they had been rewarded for eating.