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  • Healthy Eating Hack: A Mom 'Brands' Fruits and Veggies With Tot's Fave Character Stickers

    Notice how your tot leans toward anything their favorite characters love? Use that.
    by Rachel Perez .
Healthy Eating Hack: A Mom 'Brands' Fruits and Veggies With Tot's Fave Character Stickers
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Never underestimate the power of advertising, especially to toddlers who are incredibly loyal to their favorite shows and characters. Who else would copy what Frozen's Elsa or Anna does? How many times have you watched Paw Patrol episodes?

    Every parent would love it if their kids would eat anything they're served, but sadly that's not always the case. At some point, they become picky eaters, asserting their independence by making choices any chance they get. Don't get us wrong; that's part of healthy development.

    But as a work-around, mom and blogger Jane Stine shared how she puts her child's obsession to good use — to urge them to eat fruits and vegetables without taking away their choice.

    "You know how kids always want Paw Patrol yogurt or Disney waffles or whatever?" Jane wrote on a Facebook post. "Bring your own stickers to the grocery store and start sticking," she said.

    She tagged it as her best parenting hack. With these "branded" fresh vegetables, Jane shares that her 3-year-old toddler was happy to consume "Winnie The Pooh spaghetti squash" and "Toy Story broccoli."

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    You can also do this at home when you're cooking or preparing meals with your child. Tots love it when they are hands-on and busy helping prepare their own food. They're more likely to eat food they helped prepare, too.

    Other instances wherein you can do this is when making healthy smoothies with your kids or serving them fruits and veggies as snacks.

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    Kids are more likely to choose healthy food with fun stickers

    Jane's healthy eating hack is not without basis. A 2012 study conducted by researchers at Cornell University actually proved it.

    The reseachers collected data by following 200 kids between ages 8 to 10, noting their food choices and eating habits for five days. They found that 40% of them were more likely to include an apple in their meals if it had an Elmo sticker on it.

    Imagine if it worked for older kids, what more for toddlers who tirelessly ask you to let him watch The Elmo Show or who asks you to see one particular episode of any Disney show for months.

    Look at it this way: Putting stickers or branding fresh produce is just one of the many ways to teach and help your little one get in the habit of choosing healthy foods. If he's used to eating fruits and veggies as a toddler, hopefully, you will not get into power struggles during mealtimes moving forward.

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    Remember, food presentation or how you serve food to your toddler is an essential aspect when choosing what they will eat and like. They like food in different colors and shapes. Another study noted that just cutting the kids' sandwiches into cool shapes makes them more likely to eat them.

    Kids are also enticed by meal preparations inspired by their hobbies and favorites shows (animated or K-dramas for the win!) and characters. Your efforts in food presentation will not go to waste.

    Need more anti-picky-eater hacks to get your child to eat healthily? Click here for parents' tried-and-tested ideas.

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