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Encouraging kids to eat their vegetables

Narrator:          This is Science Today. "Eat your vegetables" has long been a parental battle cry, but a UCLA dietitian is hoping to redefine how parents can raise healthy eaters without too much struggle. One issue, says Dr. Natalie Digate Muth, is that over the years the battle has remained the same, but the landscape has changed.

Digate Muth:     What's different now is the overabundance of junk food, calories, un-nutritionally dense foods out there that kids naturally have a preference to eat. So, if there's not something in place to help them eat the healthy stuff, they're just not going to. And along those lines, physical inactivity is just a huge problem right now. Back in the day, when parents and kids were fighting out this stuff, kids were outside playing all day, getting lots of activity. Nowadays, they're inside, they're watching video games and they're eating this junk food that's readily available.

Narrator:          One tip that Digate Muth recommends is that parents simply make sure there are a lot of healthy foods and snacks readily available. 

Digate Muth:     So that kids will choose it because it's all that's there, for instance. Or making it taste delicious, which is the No.1 predictor of whether a kid is going to eat something, is if it tastes good.

Narrator:          For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.