Playing with food may help kids become less picky eaters

Letting your child play with their food may help them become a less picky eater.

British researchers asked a group of kids to search for buried toys in mashed potatoes and jelly.

They found children who were comfortable getting their hands dirty at the table were less likely to have a fear of tasting new things.

Pediatricians say it's fairly normal for young children to go through a phase where they refuse to consume more than a handful of different items as long as they maintain a healthy weight.

But they add previous research has linked this behavior to limited fruit and vegetable consumption while this study only provides an association and does not prove playing with your food will cut back on picky eating.

Study authors say their findings are good news for parents on how a little play at the table may go a long way in helping their kids eat healthy.

Findings appear in the "Journal of the Academy of Nutrition And Dietetics."