Three years ago when Sam was a toddler, he went on a strike. A dinner strike to be exact. It went on for months, with Sam sometimes eating no more for dinner than a lick of ketchup or a couple bites of fruit. I nearly lost my mind. (read: “Dinner Drama“).
So I got in contact with “food sociologist” Dr. Dina Rose because I was a big fan of her blog It’s Not About Nutrition and because her advice seemed different from what I’d already tried. And by that time, I felt like I’d tried everything.
In my phone conversations with Dr. Rose, this was the typical pattern: She’d give me a strategy to try. I’d say “Really?” and be doubtful. I’d try it anyway. Then it would work.
Like the time she suggested putting just a couple bites of food on Sam’s plate. But I want him to eat more than just a couple of bites, I thought. Then he ate the two bites and asked for more.
Or when she recommended nixing the “no thank you bite” policy I had at my table. Turns out, by calling it a “no thank you bite” I was sending my kids the message that it was something they wouldn’t like–and for Sam, it was creating even more resistance to new foods. The atmosphere at the dinner table immediately became lighter and more enjoyable.
The three habits that Dr. Rose writes about in her new book It’s Not About the Broccoli–proportion, variety, and balance–are certainly familiar, but it’s the way she suggests teaching them to kids that’s really different. In fact, some of her strategies may sound completely contrary to what you’ve heard before. For instance, she explains…
- Why you should let your kids spit out food at the table.
- Why a candy-and-treats drawer is a good thing.
- Why you should let your child go on strike against certain foods.
- Why sometimes it’s okay to tap into your inner “permissive parent” when it comes to food.
In a style that’s relatable and easy to read, Dr. Rose lays out a plan that’s doable for parents, will reduce the stress in your house surrounding food, and most importantly, will teach your kids how to make their own healthy choices–something that will serve them well for life. Her strategies have worked with my own kids and influenced how I feed them and how I talk to them about food. And they’re better eaters for it.
I’m hosting a giveaway for one copy of It’s Not About the Broccoli. To enter, leave a comment with your most frustrating feeding dilemma when it comes to your kids. For an additional entry, “like” It’s Not About Nutrition on Facebook, then leave me another comment telling me that you did.
This giveaway ends Monday January 13 at noon Eastern Time. U.S. residents only, please.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of It’s Not About the Broccoli.