Feeding Baby: Book Review and Giveaway

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on September 19, 2014

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It seems a lifetime ago that I was standing in the grocery store, panicked, talking to my mom friend about starting Big A on solids.  This is when I started to research feeding.

It would have been nice to have Feeding Baby: Simple Approaches to Raising a Healthy Baby & Creating a Lifetime of Nutritious Eating. This book not only guides parents on food introduction, but provides lots of ideas for introducing different flavors (fresh herbs and mild spices), textures, aromas and a variety of colors to baby’s meal plan.

Written by RD and mom Clancy Cash Harrison, Feeding Baby is full of recipes to challenge, nourish and delight little ones. It is a research-based resource focused on teaching flavor preference early in life through a sensory rich diet.  It also helps parents support baby’s ability to self-regulate and self-feed.

For example, the book lists 100 ways to serve and prepare fruits and veggies.  There is also a baby food herb and spice guide to help parents season food for baby. And the last chapter is full of recipes that are ordered by age and feeding readiness, which is nice.

The 80 recipes are also categorized by their health benefits such as immunity power, iron rich and brain boosting.  Baby will be eating in style, with items like Arugula & Goat Cheese Muffins, Strawberries & Figs and Grapes & Chicken with Arugula Swirl.

Arugula and Goat Cheese Muffins

Strawberries & Figsgrapes and chicken with arugula swirl

Getting in food variety early is important because babies are very open to different tastes and textures.  I don’t believe picky eating can totally be prevented (as at least part of it is a normal part of development) but the more foods, tastes and textures baby has under his belt by two years of age, the more likely they are to stick. Not to mention, getting nutrition right these two years is vital for optional growth and development.

Feeding Baby is perfect for anyone gearing up to feed their baby and it makes a great gift. And the good news is I’m giving it away to one lucky reader.  (Don’t miss the much bigger giveaway you can enter here, where you get the chance to win over $2000 in prizes such as a Vitamix and BabyCook!).

Here’s how to enter the book giveaway:

1. Leave a comment why you want this book.

2. For an additional entry, Like Raise Healthy Eaters on Facebook. Leave another comment telling me what you did.

3. For a third entry, like Fields of Flavor on Facebook leaving another comment.

4. And for a bonus entry, share this post somehow (tweet, facebook or email) and leave a comment.

This giveaway will end Friday September 26th midnight.  A winner will be chosen using random.org.


Feel Guilty About Your Kid’s Eating? Join the Club

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on September 9, 2014

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I recently talked to a mom who has struggled with her son who eats few fruits and vegetables.  I could see the guilt written on her face.  She a good cook and a healthy eater.  Her other child eats more of a variety.  And even though her son is gradually expanding his food base, it doesn’t matter.  The little voice  telling her she could’ve done something more is winning and I hate to see that.

This got me thinking about the guilt that rears its ugly head in my household sometimes.  Like how Little D thinks a gourmet meal is a hot dog bun dipped in ketchup.  Shouldn’t I, a dietitian who specializes in feeding, have a kid who at least fills his bun with some protein?

Power in Numbers

I’m writing this because I know that if I feel this from time to time, you might be feeling it too.  And I think it comes down to this: There are a lot of expectations with feeding kids today.  And quite frankly, some of these expectations just don’t align with reality.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m happy if you are completely satisfied with the meals you make and that your kids eat just the way you want — both in terms of quantity, quality and food choices outside the home.  I just don’t think that’s how it plays out in most households.

(that’s the guilt talking, not me)

Did we eat perfectly when we were kids?

When I talk to parents drowning in guilt, I usually ask how they ate as kids.  Often they admit to being picky or liking sweets a lot or simply eating the way many of us did in the 70′s and 80′s (this article nails it).

Despite this, many of them developed a taste for good food as they got older. My light bulb moment was when I learned how nutritious food made me feel during college.  I really didn’t expand my liking for ethnic food (beyond Italian and Mexican) until I moved to New York much later.  This top LA chef admits to having been a picky eater despite a mom who could cook.  But he not only learned to appreciate food, he became downright obsessed with it.

None of this means we should fill our cabinets with low quality food or that we can’t help kids develop a taste for good food sooner (we shouldn’t and we can).  But it’s also important to remember that we, too, had different tastes as children that gradually changed over time.  And when you think about it, it’s hard to figure out what you want without experiencing at least a little of what you don’t want.

Taking control of what we can and letting go of the rest

When I’m feeling unhappy about anything in life, 9 times out of 10 I’m trying to control something I can’t.  We can’t control our children’s food preferences, their appetite, how their body turns out or what they choose to put in their mouths from what we serve.  But we can control the food that ends up in the house, when and where it is served (see Ellyn Satter’s DOR), how we eat ourselves and how pleasant — or miserable — we make the whole experience.

We live in a Facebook society where everyone puts on their best face, leaving people with the impression that things are supposed to be good all the time.  And the only way to put the kibosh on the guilt this produces is to share experiences that aren’t so picture perfect.  Then we will realize that we are not only not alone, we are normal.

Do you feel any guilt for the way your child eats?







Monthly Meal Plan (September)

September 2, 2014
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September is here and summer is over. A few things will change when it comes to meals.  We probably won’t grill every Thursday because that pushes dinners back because we have to wait for my husband to come home.  Eventually when it cools down we’ll start soup/stew night again on Thursday.  Little D has late [...]

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5 Back to School Routines That Make Life Easier

August 25, 2014
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The time has come. As of yesterday, both of my kids are in school full time. While many different emotions are running through me as my youngest starts kindergarten, one of them is definitely excitement.  I’m looking forward to one drop off and more time to get the important stuff done. Although work will take [...]

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Why I Will Never Lie to My Children About Food

August 19, 2014
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This is a post from 2012 (with a  change in title).  I’m taking some time off before the new school year starts.  So I may be slow to accept comments and get back to you over the next week or so. “Just tell him we aren’t selling ice cream today,” the nice lady at my [...]

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Fortified Foods: The Good, The Bad and The Useless

August 12, 2014
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You’re at the grocery store and you have the choice to buy regular orange juice or the kind with added calcium and vitamin D. Should you do it? How about that milk with DHA for your toddler? In today’s world, it seems every food item has some nutrient added to it to make us healthier. [...]

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Monthly Meal Plan (August)

August 4, 2014
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I cannot believe it’s August and summer is almost over.  My kids start school a week earlier this year — August 25. Help! Actually, we are taking our vacation this month so no meals scheduled for one out of the four weeks.  Don’t forget to check Org Junkie for more meal planning inspiration! What’s Cooking? [...]

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5 Easy Ways to Expand Your Family’s Meal Base

July 30, 2014
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This is Kitchen Revamp, an ongoing series about simplifying cooking in my house It’s been a busy day and it’s time to think about dinner.  You can either try that new recipe that will take twice the time with questionable results or stick by an old standby that you know works.  Odds are, if you’re like [...]

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3 Lessons I’ve Learned Parenting a Late Bloomer

July 24, 2014
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I am with my kids at the park when they rush to the swings.  I start to push Big A while Little D swings on his tummy, as he always does.  He has yet to sit on a big-kid swing and well, swing. But all of a sudden he asks: “can I sit there?” pointing [...]

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Baked Chicken & Bean Taquitos [Recipe]

July 22, 2014
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A couple of years ago Big A discovered the joy of taquitos (or what we called “rolled tacos” in my day).  This isn’t surprising as she loves food that is crispy, which is probably why she’s not super enthusiastic with my usual baked chicken taquitos.  Of course, I’m competing with Rubio’s chicken taquitos, which are [...]

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