How to Talk to Your Kids About Healthy Eating


As a dietitian, I had big plans about creating a healthy family lifestyle while pregnant with my daughter Madeline. I would make my own baby food, pack Pinterest-perfect lunchboxes, and buy only whole, unprocessed foods. We would be an active family that went on hikes and played outdoors. In fact, the kids would be so happy running around that I’d probably have to drag everyone in from the yard at the end of the weekend!

But, let’s be honest: living this idyllic, healthy lifestyle doesn’t always happen (and rarely, if ever, happens to the extent that I envisioned), and raising kids in a perfect environment doesn’t guarantee they will be healthy.

Genetics play a role, too—something that I worried might not be on my kids’ side in terms of body weight. While I hoped this wouldn’t ever be an issue, I was determined to figure out the best seeds to plant so that my kids would have a healthy body, body image and relationship with food—regardless of how genetics might influence their weight. 

So I became an avid reader of all that came across my desk on feeding children, obesity trends, psychological approaches to encouraging healthy eating, and what role parents should play in all of this. I’ve agreed and disagreed with what I read, and kept a few of the more thought-provoking articles. But I also got frustrated. Were these advice-givers actually living in the same reality that I was? Did they have real, live children in their homes?  And did their day have more hours in it than mine?

After 11 years of critical reading and many parenting failures with my own kids, I have compiled a few approaches and thoughts I’ve found that have actually been practical and helpful - see my feature in Cooking Light :: Parents: Here's How to Talk to Your Kids About Healthy Eating for more!