The many gifts of family meals: Eat better, bond & prevent obesity

By Dr. Ayala

A NEW META-ANALYSIS, INCLUDING 200,000 PEOPLE, FINDS THAT FAMILY MEALS HELP FIGHT OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY IN KIDS. THE FAMILY MEAL OFFERS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE, COMMUNICATE GOOD HABITS AND TO ENJOY HEALTHIER FOOD

Eat-less-of and give-up-on diet advice is really sad to hear and tough to follow. We hate when things we like are taken away from us, especially when it comes to favorite treats like cookies, ice cream and French fries.

That’s why I’m fond of weight control advice that emphasizes what we should be doing more of, especially if that new habit can be pleasurable.

 

Read more on Dr. Ayala >>

Treat Vegetables Like Fast Food and Change the Way Your Kids Eat

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the french fry is the most popular vegetable in America and the possible runner-up is potato chips. They are the default side-dish at almost every fast food restaurant, most major sporting events and wherever food is served in a flash. When kids get consistent exposure to a vegetable because it’s the only option, they learn to eat it from a very young age. Cook that familiar veggie in fat and salt, and studies show that humans will crave the fatty-salty taste combo every single day. In fact, once they are hooked, they’ll eat more calories per day even if there are no fries available.

Read more on Workman Publishing >>

5 Signs Your Picky Child Isn’t Getting Enough Nutrients & You Need To See A Doc

By Jacqueline Burt Cote

There’s a reason why foods like buttered noodles and chicken fingers are clichéd children’s menu staples: Lots of kids aren’t particularly open-minded when it comes to eating, and some of them are downright picky. But as common as this behavior can be, it’s also a little scary for parents. After all, frozen waffles and cheese sticks don’t exactly constitute a “balanced diet.” A child whose daily meals revolve around five foods can’t possibly be getting all the nutrition she needs for proper growth, can she? So what are some signs your picky kid isn’t getting enough nutrients?

Read more on ROMPER >>

4 Surprising Ways to Help Your Kids LOVE Vegetables (That Have Nothing to Do With Eating or Cooking)

Helping your child love vegetables can start outside of the kitchen. 

Problem is, those strategies might make a kid eat, but he’ll likely still hate vegetables. The key is to help kids learn to love vegetables while taking the tension out of family mealtimes. Here are four surprising ways, backed by research, that you can help your kids learn to accept (and even love!) vegetables…

Read more on Parents >>

How To Pick A Lovey For Your Kid & Give Them Perfect, Easy-To-Hold Comfort

By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

My husband and I have what we call Brave Little Toaster syndrome. It’s our theory that the ’80s Disney movie that assigned feelings and personalities to inanimate objects officially scarred us for life. To this day, our 33-year-old selves will see a stuffed animal on the side of the highway and not only mourn the fact that it lost its human, but that we can’t cross four lanes of moving traffic to rescue it. When we had our daughter Claire, we had no idea how to choose a lovey that was a safe and comfortable choice for her, but we knew it was inevitable she would cling to something given her lineage. Still, we weren’t sure: What was the best choice for her?

Read more on ROMPER >>

3 Ways to Play in Food Without the Mess

By Melanie Potock

Speech-language pathologists often recommend kids explore food by getting messy—sinking hands deep into yogurt, painting with pudding or squishing avocados to make “hand-made” guacamole. For kids hesitant to engage in messy play, however, or parents who can’t embrace it every day, try these three tips for encouraging kids to explore food. It’s often the first step to learning to eat new foods.

Read more on the ASHA Leader Blog >>

Make a Choice: Food Police or Food Education

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

In Aurora, CO, a preschool teacher in a public school setting would not allow 4 year-old Natalee Pearson to eat the Oreo cookies in her home-packed lunch. Instead, a note reprimanding the mother’s choice to include cookies was sent home to Natalee’s mother, who had also packed a sandwich and fruit. The note read:

“Dear Parents, It is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable, and a healthy snack from home, along with milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation.”

Read more on The Laboratory >>

Why You May Want to Skip the Sippy Cup for Your Baby

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Are sippy cups really the best cup to introduce after (or alongside) breast or bottle? Experts suggest a straw or open cup instead, and here’s why.

First comes breast or bottle, then sippy cup, right? Not so fast. Experts report you may want to just skip the sippy cup for your baby. Surprisingly, sippies weren’t designed as a tool for feeding development, but were invented years ago by a dad who just wanted to keep his carpets clean! (Ha ha, we can relate.) Today, parents often think that a sippy cup is what they are supposed to offer to help kids eventually learn to drink from an open cup.

Read more on Parents.com >>

How To Deal With Picky Eaters

By Katherine Martinelli

HAVE A PICKY EATER ON YOUR HANDS? YOU’RE NOT ALONE. HERE’S WHY TODDLERS ARE OFTEN SO SELECTIVE ABOUT THEIR FOOD—AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

There are few things as frustrating as working hard to prepare a delicious, nutritious meal, only to have your child refuse to eat it—especially when you know he’d like it if he’d just try a bite. When picky eaters constantly turn down food, it’s all too easy for mealtime to devolve into an all-out battle—or for you to reach for the chicken fingers yet again just to get your child to eat.

Read more on The BUMP >>

Snacktastic Tips for Back-to-School: Keeping Foods Fun, Fresh, Healthy and Interesting

As summer reaches its close, anyone else find a little back-to-school anxiety triggered by the contents of the fridge? Kids aren’t the only ones who may have to work at readjusting to routines when the structure of school kicks back in. Parents have new schedules and routines to take on board again too,  not least when it comes to planning out portable, healthy snacks. Foods that are fresh, fun, interesting and wholesome, too…ideally, ones kids will actually eat.

Read more at LiveWell Longmont >>