YOU DOCS TIPS
Winning the kid vs. veggie wars
Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 9, 2012 at 4:34 p.m.
Desperate to get your child to eat anything that isn't beige or white? We've just come across an (almost) foolproof way to get broccoli off the plate and down the hatch. It's so effective that kids happily eat 80 percent more of the formerly dreaded green stuff.
“How?” you ask, and “Will it work for my significant other?” Yep.
Many kids won't touch broccoli or other strong-flavored veggies (cauliflower, spinach, kale) because little taste buds (often male ones, too) are hypersensitive to their bitter undertones. They recoil like a slingshot.
While most people (not all) outgrow this reaction, if that's the problem -- not a war of the wills to determine who's boss -- try dunking the rejected veggie in low-fat, no-added-sugars ranch dressing. Boom. Broccoli vanishes. It's more effective than, oh, covering ants in chocolate.
We YOU Docs are thrilled with almost anything that gets kids to eat more veggies. But we're not fans of bottled creamy dressings, which are usually loaded with sugar and saturated fats. Instead, whip up a homemade dip from nonfat yogurt seasoned to kids' or a certain adult's taste with some or lots of the following (you know your targets): chives, parsley, salt, pepper, mustard, walnuts, raisins, a splash of orange or lemon juice, grated orange rind, and -- if you really need it to sell it -- a bit of honey.
Big plus: Kids who get in the habit of eating fresh vegetables (fruits and nuts, too) do better in school. They're also more likely to stay slim. Same goes for you and you-know-who.
The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic, are authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” For more information go to www.RealAge.com.
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