I work in health care. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist, so I regularly tell my clients (mostly adults) strategies for eating healthier and what foods they should eat less of or more of depending upon their medical diagnoses. Dietitians tell people what foods are healthy, and this can translate, naturally to how we feed out families and encourage their food habits at home.
Our expertise lies in many things, the aspects of food science, to counseling, but really the unique piece is our knowledge and ability to provide nutrition therapy for disease conditions. (And this is in fact unlawful to do if you don't have a qualified certification in your state, or the nationwide RDN)
Still, it is often true that many other lay people have a real good idea of what is good for them and their kids, and they should! And many of us tell our kids to eat things because they are healthy....not so fast parents!
Well, an interesting study came out finding that when you tell young kids something is healthy, will make them strong, will make them grow...etc, they eat less of it. It turns out that if you attribute one characteristic to a food (like those I just listed) they see that as ruling out other characteristics for the food, i.e. it's tasty, it's sweet, it's yummy. Basically, if you tell a kid a food is healthy, they translate that to: it doesn't tastes good.
The study authors concluded that if you want your little ones to eat their veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc. don't tell them about how they are good or will make them stronger and smarter. Just put them on the plate like they belong there, and tell them to have their meal.
Michal Maimaran and Ayelet Fishbach. If It’s Useful and You Know It, Do You Eat? Preschoolers Refrain from Instrumental Food. Journal of Consumer Research, October 2014