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No-Brainer: Kids Eat More Veggies When They're Paid

Photograph by Getty Images/Fuse

What's your trick for getting your kids to eat fruits and veggies? Do you bribe them? Maybe you trick them and hide them in things they like.

Bottom line: You have to constantly innovate. It's rarely as simple as, 'Here, have some broccoli.' Above all, it seems like a no-brainer to give kids an incentive to eat their vegetables--be it a later bedtime, more TV time, fewer chores that night. It's not rocket science; and yet, economists from Bringham Young and Cornell did research to prove that very point.

The researchers tested a group of children with incentives like money and prizes. When money was involved, kids ate the fruits and veggies 80 percent more often than if they didn't have any incentive. Light bulb!

It seems like a waste of time and money to prove this fact—aren't we all slightly motivated by money, after all? Heck, if you gave us a nickel every time we ate a Brussels sprout (doused in butter), we'd be rich!

The real question is whether or not that incentive can actually develop habits. One of the economists is doing a follow-up study to test his theory that kids would develop a taste for healthier foods, ultimately.

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