A study published two weeks ago revealed something startling about how kids think about food: They react more to the appearances and reactions of the person eating it than they do the taste, smell or look of an edible item.

To be more specific, if they already enjoyed a food they would want it no matter what. If they were neutral, a person’s expressions and emotions while dining were very likely to sway their interested in the food. If they already didn’t like a food, an overweight or unhappy person eating it made them want it even less.

This is nearly a direct contrast to the way that adults in the same study viewed and then thought about the appeal of food. Adults are least likely to see the appeal of an edible that they have seen being eaten and enjoyed by an obese person. Therefore, the sight of someone joyously kicking off a much-needed diet won’t be taken as encouragement, but rather as a detriment.

How is this relevant to your family? If you’ve got fussy eaters in the house, try introducing them to new foods that are good for them with a smile on your face. It especially helps if your children see you regularly eating and enjoying nutritious foods. Meanwhile, staying fit and healthy contributes as well, since your young ones will be less likely to want foods that they relate to people who are overweight or out of shape.

By visiting the Greenville gym and eating healthy yourself, you’re setting a provable good demonstration for your children. In turn, this will allow them to lead longer, healthier and happier lives—based on mommy’s and daddy’s good examples.