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Parents on dessert with dinner

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Blog Posts | 4 comments

Parents on dessert with dinner

I asked my facebook readers  and a few past clients to share their experiences with serving dessert with the meal. For many workshop attendees or new clients, this is the idea they struggle most to accept: “How will I get them to eat anything if I can’t bribe with dessert?” or, “I can’t accept that he gets rewarded with something he likes if he hasn’t eaten anything healthy first.” After serving family-style, serving a child-sized portion of dessert at the same time as other foods is the second most helpful tip, according to my...

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Constipation and Picky Eating

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Blog Posts | 3 comments

Constipation and Picky Eating

“Our gastroenterologist keeps lecturing me about getting more fruits and vegetables into our son. We have a selective eater and any pushing backfires. We feel stuck.”   “I have been trying to get her to drink more to deal with her constipation, but I feel like it’s making her drink less and she resents it.”   This issue keeps coming up for clients, so I thought I would post this excerpt from my book, Love Me Feed Me, with some minor changes and additional thoughts… (Excerpt in...

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Negative Emotions and Appetite

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Blog Posts | 4 comments

Negative Emotions and Appetite

Our kitchen table is as much a stress-free zone as we can make it. If something tough comes up during mealtimes, we ‘put a pin in it’ and talk after dinner. Recently, it hit me how profoundly negative emotions can kill appetite, when something came up during the meal that was emotionally charged for our daughter. Watching her reaction  took me right back to my own childhood. It didn’t happen often, but if something came up that I was embarrassed about or when I felt guilty (I was exquisitely sensitive to guilt and shame)...

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Survey Says? Chicken Suqaar is Favorite School Lunch

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

Survey Says? Chicken Suqaar is Favorite School Lunch

  I had lunch the other day with my second grader. I watched as tiny Kindergartners (I swear they look smaller every year) hung on to precariously balanced trays with pineapple juice slopping everywhere as they happily served themselves carrots and celery from the veggie bar. This is not a lengthy erudite discussion about school lunches, weight worries etc., but just my challenge to the assertion that kids* can’t or won’t eat “grown up foods” or anything other than fries and pizza. They can and do. I surveyed the...

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Scaring Parents to Motivate Healthy Feeding? (With a Note About Accurate Measurements)

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Blog Posts | 7 comments

Scaring Parents to Motivate Healthy Feeding? (With a Note About Accurate Measurements)

Does this look like the chart of a child who is “failing to thrive?”   Worry, worry, worry! All good parents are doing it! “She’ll need a feeding tube if you can’t get her to eat more.” “She has pre-prediabetes…” The parents I talk to, and emails I read are increasingly suffused with fear and anxiety. A very few cases are true emergencies, with children dropping weight or refusing anything by mouth, but many terrified and tearful parents are facing relatively minor feeding issues and...

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Family Meal Resolutions Part II: be a parent, not a food cop

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

Family Meal Resolutions Part II: be a parent, not a food cop

It’s human nature. We want to continue doing what makes us feel good, and stop things that don’t. Family meals aren’t always a lot of fun, especially if there is a worry about rapid weight gain,  or nutrition with a selective eater who isn’t gaining weight. When parents worry, the kitchen table is no longer a place for connection, joy and sharing time together. Rather, it becomes a place of anxiety, power struggles and counting calories or bites. This worry and focus on the child in question and how much of what she is...

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Resolution More Family Dinner Part I: the Kitchen Island

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Blog Posts | 3 comments

Resolution More Family Dinner Part I:  the Kitchen Island

If having more meals together as a family is your New Year’s Resolution, one often overlooked piece of the puzzle is the physical space where meals happen. Let’s consider the kitchen island. Other than just being a place to throw keys and homework, the kitchen island in many houses and apartments has replaced the kitchen table. Granite countertops sell homes— humble tables don’t. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, most Midwestern middle class kitchens I visited did not have elaborate islands or counters with stools. I remember...

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Cut Kids Some Slack: Musings on Food Fears and “Helpful” Others

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Blog Posts | 5 comments

Cut Kids Some Slack: Musings on Food Fears and “Helpful” Others

Scared of dogs When M was little she had a dog phobia. I’m talking screaming, climbing on me, uncontrollable fear of even a toy poodle.  I can’t count how many people tried to talk her out of her fear, usually with a dog thrust into her personal space, and often against my explicit requests for them to stop. Take the German Shepherd owner whose dog was off-leash, jumping on me while M clawed at my hair shrieking, and the owner kept smiling, “Oh, she won’t hurt you! She’s very gentle.” Well-intentioned dog...

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Fat and Fit. Not Fiction.

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in Blog Posts | 2 comments

Fat and Fit. Not Fiction.

“Researchers, clinicians, and public health officials should focus on physical activity and fitness-based interventions rather than weight-loss driven approaches to reduce mortality risk.”   I  remember literally scoffing about 10 years ago as a family doctor when I first heard you could be fit and fat. I am so glad I learned more. The quote is linked to a meta-analysis looking at ten studies on fitness and BMI. I can get behind this conclusion! Fitness was the best predictor of health, not fatness…   Here’s...

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African Peanut Stew/Soup, chicken recipes, and menu plan

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

African Peanut Stew/Soup, chicken recipes, and menu plan

I roasted these two ladies yesterday and have dinner planned for the rest of the week.  (Easy roasted chicken recipe.) This is a slightly more ambitious meal plan than usual. Chickens? Same time/same oven, the one on the left had crispier skin, and overcooked legs (I’m too lazy to truss properly.) I will use the chicken for the soup and enchilada casserole (making two, one for a friend.) I love the casseroles that have all the veggies in them (beans/onions for enchilada, and mushrooms/shallots/peas for tuna casserole.) Today...

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