Parenting books often go one of two ways for me. They either completely overwhelm and freak me out (sorry, What to Expect…) or they provide me with insight and advice that makes sense (thank you, Bringing up Bebe and Oh Crap, Potty Training). But today, I have to talk about It’s Not About the Broccoli. If there is one book I’ve come across that discusses the relationship between kids and food in a way that feels spot on, this is it.
The author, sociologist Dina Rose, has an approach to children’s eating that makes sense on every level. Her premise: we need to change the conversation from food itself to the eating habits being created. We need to focus more on how to feed our children than what to feed our children. In other words, it’s less about the nutritional aspect of each meal and more about the overall food culture in your home. Rose believes it is this nutrition mindset that can cause children to overeat, stress, become picky, or become junk food lovers. But when families shift their emphasis instead to creating healthy behaviors – the skills and habits children are taught – they will learn to eat right.
In order to show and teach children how to eat right, Rose discusses the three habits that need to be instilled: proportion, variety, and moderation. In teaching parents how to impart these three important habits, advice, charts, and scripts you can use with your children are provided, as well as addressing almost every possible problem a parent might face. Adopting a habit mindset can help children learn to appreciate and explore new foods, know when they’re full or hungry, how to appreciate the different flavor profiles a food or meal can have, how to expand their tastebuds, and how to talk about food in a way that fosters conversation rather than simply pushing the food away.
Whether you’re just starting out or dealing with older kids, this clever book offers a fantastic perspective, clever ideas, and a practical plan for teaching kids lifelong healthy eating habits. And who doesn’t want that?