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The way parents can get children to eat their veggies — without them realizing it

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RICHMOND, Va — Most of us can remember a time when our parents had to force us to eat our vegetables. For parents, it can be a challenge.

A new study, though, suggests, there may be a way to get children to do it — in a subtle way, without them realizing it.

Researchers at Texas A&M looked at the trash from schools that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program.

They found schools that paired vegetables with popular foods, like burgers and pizza, had more veggies end up in the trash. In schools that paired veggies with an entree and a less-popular food, like potatoes, the opposite was true.

Scientists say strategic pairing of foods in school meals could thus improve vegetable consumption in the lunch room, especially on students who rely on school meals.