There are a couple of writers out there that could be nutritionists because what they write about is exactly what I preach; and what they say (even though they don’t always know this) is supported by science.
Mark Bittman is one of those writers. Here (in order of appearance in the article) are the top 5 points that he makes that are in fact supported by research and science: http://mobile.nytimes.com/…/getting-your-kids-to-eat-or-at-…
1. “She’s sitting in a high chair, waiving a stalk of broccoli in the air and grinning… I recognize how unusual it was then and remains now: a baby eating not only normal food but a food that kids normally despise… Because Karen and I were making dinner almost every night, it seemed only natural to feed Kate – and later Emma – the same foods we ourselves ate”
This is a great nutritional point: babies don’t need to have baby food. By that I mean food that is different from what adults eat. By the time that they are ready to try food, you don’t need to give them anything different (honey, before the age of 1, is the only exception). You only need to make sure that food is in the correct size and texture for their age so they can chew & swallow it without choking.
2. “Today my daughters – now 36 and 29 – are healthy women who, as far as I can tell, have healthy relationships with food. They both eat at home more often than not, both shop for real food and they both cook… Each will eat almost everything, including the occasional Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger”
Research shows that children who grow up in a houses where they were exposed to a variety of food, not pressured to eat, and have enjoyable family mealtimes have healthier relationships with food. Also, having a healthy relationship with food means having the occasional burger or fried chicken or pizza or (insert any food here that you think or consider as “bad”). Having a healthy relationship with food means you enjoy all the foods that you enjoy and don’t consider any food that you enjoy as “bad.”
3. “…with cooking, showing up is half the battle, and [my mother] always showed up”
When it comes to cooking, you don’t have to do anything more than just to try it. Don’t have time to cook that night? Then still show up for dinner time, be present and enjoy whatever meal you are eating.
4. “I’ve had struggles with diet and health, about which I’ve written plenty, and I’m sure they stem – as they do for many people – from my undisciplined, eat-everything childhood. Given the problems I had, I think it was easy for Karen and me to see that the key to getting our daughters to eat well was to offer a broad variety of foods, let them discover what they liked, put few restrictions on when and where they ate (although there was no eating while watching TV) and keep junk food out of the house. We didn’t base these rules on any science, or research, but everything I’ve read since then on the subject makes me think they’re worth following.”
Mark Bittman, what you were doing there without you knowing it is based on science known as the division of responsibility as described by Ellyn Satter, who is pretty much the godmother of childhood nutrition. Parents are responsible for the what, where, and when of eating. Children are responsible for the if and how much.
5. “…the battle over feeding children really pits Big Food against parents, and Big Food’s resources are vast: almost unlimited money, little regulation and tacit government support… What American parents need is support in the form of a food policy that encourages the production and sale of real food…”
I don’t have much else to add to that, except to say it’s what all Americans need, not just parents.