Friday, April 20, 2012
**Contest Closed** FOODIE FRIDAYS: A Review of an AWESOME New book: FOOD FIGHTS
Authors: Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP; and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP
Publisher: American Academy Of Pediatrics; Second edition edition (February 7, 2012)
For those of us who have children with high sensory issues (especially in the tactile, olfactory and gustatory areas) or other oral struggles such as high gag reflex, oral/motor issues, swallowing or even 'stuffing', meal times are a huge struggle.
With two kids with very high tactile systems, it has taken a tremendous amount of time, effort, work and patience to get each of them to the point where they'd tolerate the feeling of certain foods in their mouths, never mind giving the flavor a chance. And my son, Xander, had additional oral/motor issues that made it difficult for him to chew, move food around in his mouth or even get the food up to his mouth in the first place! So when a book comes along that helps ease some of the stress and worry about nutritional needs for our kids, I am so grateful.
We've talked about Kelly Dorfman's amazing book on The Gift before called, What's Eating Your Child?. Kelly is one of my favorite resources in terms of helping our 'sensational' kids meet their nutritional needs. I've recently come across another book, which is the focus of today's segment, called Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup. And I think this book is an important one to add to your resource shelf.
(Make sure to read right to the end because you have a chance to win a FREE copy of this book!
There are three things I really appreciate about this book:
1. It's written by two doctors who aren't just pediatricians but who are also mothers. They 'get' the difficulty many of us have with getting the proper foods into our kids because they've gone through alot of the same things with their own children.
2. It doesn't talk down to the reader from an expert's perspective, which often happens with books written by professionals, but more shares information in a friendly, often humorous way. When information is given in this way it's much more digestible and we're more willing to follow the suggestions or advice.
3. The book has tiny Sidebars sprinkled through out each chapter expanding on a point made, going into more detail of what was discussed or offering some needed tips. I love sidebars and often I read those before reading the actual article or book so I can get a vibe of what the rest of the piece is like. If I'm captured by the sidebars, you'll capture me.
The book is divided into seven sections from how to get started to getting the right amount of fluids into your child to eating with company or out and all the way up to fantastic resources. Jennifer and Laura have even added a few of their favorite delicious and nutrious recipes.
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 19:
Table-Time Tradeoffs: In the Name of Healthy Eating
As ironic as it may sound when you stop to think about it, perhaps the most common way in which parents use food as a reward is to encourage children to eat more and/or “better” foods. You hear it all the time—the old, “If you eat your ______ (you fill in the blank), then you can have _____ (again, you fill in the blank)” technique. While your child may eat what you want her to and end up with dessert to show for it, in the long run you are likely to end up getting your just desserts as well.
We recognize that this tried-and-true technique may seem to work well at first, and we’re very aware of the fact that practically everyone does it. But we suggest you proceed with caution because it runs the serious risk of backfiring for several fundamental reasons.
• Things Can Quickly Go From Bad to Worse. From a child’s perspective, if you have to bribe them to eat something, then it can’t possibly be good. If a child is indifferent to squash, making a big deal out of her eating it and bribing her to do so is, in fact, likely to foster a much more active dislike. Studies show that bribing children to eat certain foods causes them to resist eating those foods even more than if they had just been left alone.
• The Tables Can Be Turned. Part of never letting your children see you sweat (see “Strategy #3: Never Let Them See You Sweat” on page 11) is not letting them know just how much parental self-worth you have riding on each morsel. Let’s face it—at its core, offering children edible incentives is really a you have riding on each morsel. Let’s face it—at its core, offering children edible incentives is really a way of manipulating them to do what you want. If, however, your child becomes aware of just how invested you are in what she eats—and children are very good at figuring this out—then look out! Kids who are "paid” to eat can become quite skilled at learning to turn it around to their advantage and either eat or refuse to do so as a way to get what they want. Once your child catches on, you may well be the one left with pie on your face.
• Elevating the Status of Forbidden Foods. When you promise your child a scoop of ice cream in return for taking a bite of her dinner, what you perceive as your accomplishment stands to be quite different from what your child takes away from the meal and the deal. Instead of Instead of developing a newfound appreciation for the healthy foods you’ve managed to get her to eat, your child’s sole focus is going to be on the sweets she’s earned in return. In fact, you’ll probably end up elevating the status of whatever goody you’ve offered as a bonus—making it more desirable than ever.
• Learning to Follow Your Lead. If your child isn’t hungry but really wants whatever tantalizing food lies at the end of the meal, she may wind up eating more than she would otherwise. In this instance, all you stand to teach her is to ignore her own internal cues and follow yours. This clearly contradicts the recommendation only to eat for hunger’s sake, since overriding internal (healthy) controls is a key and concerning dynamic on the road to overweight and obesity.
This highly recommend getting a copy of this book. Not only will it help you understand eating from the nutritional standpoint, it will also, maybe, give you some great tips on how to make mealtimes less stressful (for everyone) and get more food into your little one.
For more information about Food Fights, please visit http://www.healthychildren.org/, the official American Academy of Pediatrics web site for parents.
Now for the fun part! I have an extra copy of Food Fights and I'd love to find it a home. To enter to win a copy of the book, all you have to do is leave a comment here. Tell us your food woes, how you dealt with one or why you'd like this book. Anything to do with eating and your child. If you 'follow' us or use your social media to help spread the word, it's an extra entry (just be sure to include a link to your sharing so we know! ;) )
We'll close the contest April 27th. Good luck and Happy Eating!