Let’s take a break from Chinese chicken, shall we? 🙂
For weeks I’ve been wanting to tell you about a new book, It’s Not About the Broccoli, by Dr. Dina Rose, the sociologist and child feeding expert behind the “It’s Not About Nutrition” blog.
Rose has guest posted here in the past and I’ve always been impressed with her no-nonsense, provocative style. She’s never afraid to question a lot of the standard feeding advice out there, like teaching children to eat well by parental modeling of good habits. (That always seemed like sound advice to me until Rose debunked it in about ten different ways on her blog.)
The central premise of It’s Not About the Broccoli is that American parents are locked into what Rose calls the “nutrition mindset.” We read food labels religiously, can tell you all about antioxidants and fiber, and are always focused at some level on the nutrients our children are consuming (or not consuming) each day. But, according to Rose, this sort of micro-level thinking often creates difficult mealtime struggles (wringing our hands over exactly how many green beans are eaten at dinner) and it tempts parents into bad food compromises, like giving kids a pass on pizza and hot dogs because, after all, the pizza crust is 51% whole grain and the hot dogs have protein.
Rose asks parents to drop the emphasis on nutrition and instead focus on habits by teaching children three basic rules of healthy eating: proportion, variety and moderation. According to Rose, once children adopt these three habits, dinner time struggles will end and lifelong healthy eating will naturally follow.
In teaching parents how to instill these three habits, Rose addresses virtually every conceivable problem a parent might face, and gives very concrete advice, complete with charts, graphics and even actual scripts to teach parents how to talk about food with their children. It’s a provocative read that will give many parents an entirely new perspective on how they approach feeding, and the good news is that, according to Rose, it’s never too late to instill these three habits, no matter how old our kids may be.
And now for the giveaway! If you’d like your own free copy of It’s Not About the Broccoli, just leave a comment below by Friday, January 24th at 6:00pm CST. You can tell me why you’d like to win or you can just say hi. I’ll use a random number generator after the comment period closes to select
one FIVE lucky winners** and if you comment twice (e.g., to respond to another reader’s comment), I’ll use the number of your first comment to enter you in the drawing. I’ll email you directly if you win and I’ll announce the winner on TLT’s Facebook page, too. This offer is open to U.S. residents only.
[Blogger disclosure: As with most of my book reviews, I received a free copy of this book for my perusal. However, I never accept any other form of compensation for the book reviews you see on The Lunch Tray.]
** [Editorial Update, 1/23/14 at 11:50am CST: An anonymous donor, who believes changing kids’ eating habits can change the world, has offered to pay for four additional copies of the book. So I’m giving away not one but FIVE copies today. Thank you to this healthy eating fairy godmother! 🙂]
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