Author: Dina Rose, PhD
After watching her mother struggle with her weight and eventually die from obesity, sociologist Dina Rose determined that her daughter would have a better “food life.” Applying the principles of sociology, Dina taught her daughter healthy eating habits. She has since helped countless families in their quest to eat better and avoid dreaded food battles. Her teaching approach is based on three habits: proportion, variety and moderation.
Parts I Liked Best:
One of the book’s ideas that really struck me was how focusing purely on nutrition actually leads us to make poor eating choices. Ironic, right? But it’s easy to say that chicken nuggets have protein, ice cream has calcium and that pretzels are better than potato chips.
While all of these statements may be true, they cause us to zone in on one or two aspects of a food while ignoring their “sum total.” I liked how the author grouped foods into three categories:
Growing foods: foods you know are fresh and healthy and should eat frequently.
Fun foods: foods that are in between healthy and junky like pretzels and chicken nuggets. You should eat these less frequently.
Treat foods: foods you know are junk, like cookies, french fries and ice cream and that you should eat the least frequently.
After exploring how our parenting habits influence our children’s eating habits, Rose introduces what she calls the “Big Fix.” This is a fast and easy way to begin teaching proportion, variety and moderation to our children. The Big Fix is based on three rules:
Establish eating zones.This allows you to decide the times of day your family will eat meals and snacks.
Use rotation. Never serve the same food two days in a row. This sets the basis for teaching variety.
Give children control. Within the framework of the first two rules, you give your children as many choices as possible.
The remainder of the book goes into greater detail on each of the three eating habits (proportion, variety and moderation) and how to implement them more fully into your children’s life.
How This Book Made an Impact In My Life, Especially as a Mother (or why I just really liked it):
This was one of the most unique books I’ve read on the topic of children’s eating. I like how the author used the principles of sociology to focus on habits we need to teach. It’s one thing to harp on the virtues of broccoli and force our children to eat it and quite another to teach them healthy approaches to eating that they will apply long after they have left our homes.
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