Food Fights Helps with Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood
If you are looking for help establishing healthy eating habits in your home, check out the newest edition of Food Fights.
Whether you are dealing with picky eaters, over-eaters or just struggling to make the best food choices for your family this book, by two Pediatricians & Moms themselves- Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, combines practical insights from parents who have been in your shoes with the science of Nutrition. Food Fights will help you deal with many of the Nutritional challenges in your home (and out) and is stamped with a seal of approval from American Academy of Pediatrics.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was also sent two free copies of Food Fights- One to Keep as a reference guide to use with clients and another to giveaway to one of my readers. All opinions are my own and I only write about products I truly adore.
As a Registered Dietitian and Mom of three kids (7, 5 and 2) I also know challenges of getting kids to try new healthy foods. My oldest is the pickiest (a Dietitian’s curse) I put spinach in my kids’ smoothies, add ground flax to pancake batter, make homemade sweet potato chips and reward my kids with star stickers & small toys that I keep in my pantry (10 stickers = 1 small toy) for tasting new foods. They also can earn stars by having great table manners. After all, dinner without whining is a treat for everyone and makes for a happy mealtime.
And why should kids only get little toys in their fast food Happy Meals? One of my biggest peeves… Think about it, kids get toys for eating unhealthy foods or without eating anything in the meal but the greasy french fries. What’s wrong with that picture.
The following excerpts are taken from the new edition of Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup (American Academy of Pediatrics, March 2012) by Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP. For more information about Food Fights, please visit www.HealthyChildren.org, the official American Academy of Pediatrics web site for parents.
Food Fights is an easy and entertaining read written with real Nutrition Science (Science defined as: “knowledge attained through study or practice” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”
Bonus: Leave a comment about how you deal with one of your Nutritional Challenges as a parent, and I’ll send a free FOOD FIGHTS book to the parent with the funniest or dealt with the most challenging situation.
whining and dining
According to the dictionary, whining is defined as complaining
through the use of a high-pitched or distressed cry. By our definition,
whining is an incredibly annoying yet seemingly unavoidable part
of childhood that at the end of a long day can have the same effect as
fingernails on a chalkboard. As it relates to dining, children are quick
to learn that whining can be an extremely effective way to get what they
want to eat and/or drink everywhere from the crib to the kitchen table
to the grocery store. It’s not hard to see how a child’s persistent whining
about food can cause a parent’s nutritional decision-making abilities to
become temporarily impaired. After all, it is a whole lot easier to yield
to whining for food rather than something you just can’t give in to—
When you find yourself faced with a child who whines about food, the
best thing you can do is come to the table prepared.
• Expect the Expected. Simply being aware that whining about food
(and just about everything else) is inevitable will hopefully allow you
to prepare yourself and keep it from grating on your nerves quite as
much as it otherwise might.
Whining and Dining
• Keep Your Cool. Whining is an intuitive way for your child to get
what she wants. It’s also her way of luring you into battle. We highly
recommend that you refuse to take part. If it’s food she wants, then
resist the urge to give it to her when the whining intensifies and you
find you can’t take it anymore. If whining is met with reward—or
even if you hold out but it becomes clear that it drives you nuts—
you can expect the agony to be prolonged.
• Let Whining Fall on Deaf Ears. Once your child is old enough to
really get into the swing of whining—usually around 3 or so—start
reinforcing the fact that her whining is going to fall on deaf ears.
If she is sitting at the table whining about what she does or doesn’t
want to eat for dinner, tell her as calmly as you possibly can that you
can’t understand her when she talks like that and ask her if she has
something to tell or ask you. If she continues to whine, go about your
business. If, on the other hand, she makes an attempt to rephrase
her “request,” be sure to acknowledge her efforts. Remember that
stopping mid-whine is a tough task at any age, so don’t expect her
to drop the whine entirely. It’s not settling for less to respond to a
What’s in a Whine?
• 9 Months. Starting as early as 9 months, kids learn to point with a purpose
as they figure out the benefits of pointing out what they want, including
• 12 Months. Children typically utter their first words, and “no” is often one
of the stand-alone favorites.
• 2 Years. By this age, you can expect your child to put 2 words together—
as in “no way” or “want that.”
• 2–3 Years. Kids begin to make better use of basic manners such as
“Please” and “Thank you.” This, in turn, allows for the development of the
characteristic “puhleeeeeeeze” so commonly employed in the context of
whining and dining.
3 Years. At this age, kids can typically string together 3 or more words in a
single sentence, and 75% of what they say is supposed to be understandable
to parents and other caregivers. This means that the “I want one!” or
“I don’t like it!” is likely to come through loud and clear for all to hear.
• 4 Years. Even innocent bystanders should be able to understand most of a
4-year-old’s speech, whining or not. A more sophisticated form of whining
may ensue, including the classics: “How come she gets to have one and
I don’t?” “You never give me anything good!” and “Please, just this once
a juicy update
The answer to whether or not young children should be allowed to
drink juice on a regular basis has been a bit of a sticky one for years.
After all, the fight against childhood obesity has most definitely included
a focus on limiting sugary liquids. And juice—whether it is delivered in
a box or carton, sippy cup or straw—most definitely contains sugar. In
fact, when we set out to write the first edition of Food Fights, the latest
research at the time had us all but convinced that fruit juice was almost
as much to blame for childhood obesity (not to mention tooth decay)
as soda pop. Sugar was sugar, after all, and it was hard to look past
the fact that a 12-ounce serving of 100% grape juice had been shown
to have 11/2 times the calories as grape soda. Additionally, a few small
initial studies suggested a worrisome connection between obesity in
young children and their fruit juice consumption. But unlike soda pop
and its utter lack of redeeming nutritional qualities, 100% fruit juice has since (more in the book….)
Kristie Finnan is a Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist, Freelance Writer and Published Children's Author. She is the Mom of 3 and Food Snob with a passion for Nutrition Education, Healthy Kids Foods, Marketing and Social Media. Kristie is the Creative Director/Editor for www.DivaDietitian.com and www.KidsLoveFood.com & Founder of www.DoylestownNutrition.com. Diva Dietitian blogs in Full Disclosure. Please see: http://kristiefinnan.com/about/disclosure.