Is It Ever Okay to Bribe My Kids with Food?

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Developing healthy eating habits in a child is no easy feat for parents. It is an achievement finding any food item your child actually enjoys, and will happily consume without putting up a fight.

That said, does that make it okay to use these foods as a ploy to get children to exhibit good behavior in other ways? “Bribery implies ‘IF you do this, then I will do that,’ ” Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent’s Handbook co-author Melanie Potock tells PEOPLE. “Kids get a lot of power by ‘not doing it’ and they quickly learn that if they hold out on the parent’s request, they might even get something bigger and better in return!”

Most experts recognize

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