Category Archives: Book

Picky Eater Solutions: Kids and Vegetables

Iris picked a pretty Green Pepper in Grandma Mary's garden.

Yesterday our family met Elizabeth Pantley of the “No-Cry” Parenting Books. She’s working on a new book called, “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution,” and needed families who were wiling to try her methods and be interviewed about them. So, we got an advance section of the book to try out for 4-6 weeks. She came with her talented daughter/ videographer, and filmed our kids being cute in the kitchen and then interviewed my husband, Casey, and myself.

They’ll only need a few seconds to create a short video for the book launch, so we’re not feeling like movie stars around here. We’re just glad we can help encourage parents to get their kids to eat vegetables!  While that’s not the whole purpose of the book, it’s certainly a struggle with Picky Eaters.

The interview really made me think about what has worked for us and where we still need to put in consistent effort. Her book outlines some really helpful tips and provides insight into the challenges parents face. For example, a child may need to try a vegetable up to 10 times before they can make up their minds about liking it. This is something I had read before in “Disease Proof your Child:Feeding Kids Right ” by Joel Fuhrman, MD. My friend, Karen, a speech pathologist also told me this in my post, The War on Vegetables.

Many of the concepts in Elizabeth’s Pick Eater book, we have learned the long, hard way over the last 10 months.  So, I found the material affirming and encouraging – like we’re on the right track. Many of you may have read my post, Children: Will You Eat Kale and Beets? back in March. Thanks to advice and persistence, our family eats vegetables at every meal. But, we still have those moments of resistance:

When our 5-year-old suddenly decides at one meal that he doesn’t like Carrots, we know it’s normal and not a sign of failure on our part.

What we have learned:

1) Vegetables are super important for overall health. Our daughter’s constipation problems have been “cured” in large part to eating vegetables at almost every meal in addition to  eliminating hard to digest foods, giving her some herbs and abdominal massage. The rest of the family has benefited through weight loss or weight gain (or skinny boy isn’t so thin anymore).

2) Getting kids to eat more vegetables takes time. Depending on the kid, it can take only a few meals, or several months. Our Picky Eater isn’t our daughter, it’s our son. He turned 5 last month, and spent almost 3 years of his life eating a normal “healthy” diet. He loved cheesy crackers, Bread, PB&J sandwiches, meat, yogurt, bananas, apples and any sweet treat he could get his hands on – notice what’s missing? Vegetables! I thought since I was buying “natural” and “organic” stuff he was a healthy kid. And he was healthy, but he was also quite thin. Since he’s been eating vegetables, his body has filled out more, and he’s gaining weight consistently. It took him a month to start eating Broccoli and Carrots. We’ve spent the last 8 months getting him to eat other vegetables. Our daughter took about 2 months to start asking, “More Kale, Mama?”

3) You need a team – seriously, if it’s just one parent trying to shove vegetables into a kid’s mouth while the other is eating Ice Cream and Bacon, you’re trying to swim against the current. You need your partner and the whole family to start eating better.  Other ways to get support: Ask friends and family to serve your kid’s favorite veggie at dinner or a party. Or, you can ask someone your child admires to eat a new veggie in their company.

4) Start Small – don’t try to change your diet drastically. You can ease into eating more vegetables as you have the time, resources and will power. Try just introducing vegetables at snack time and dinner. Then, as your Picky Eater starts to enjoy them, add them to more meals.

5) Make new vegetables cool – we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant where everything was new and exciting. Guess who ate their Broccoli, carrots, and edamame? Our Picky Eater Son! He had an Udon Noodle dish and didn’t complain about all the vegetables, or the fact they they were touching. The “new” veggies on his plate were perfectly acceptable to him. We think it’s because the food was new and the meal exciting.

6) Try, try again – if one idea or suggestion doesn’t work, try something else. Seriously, there is no magic solution or proper steps. Try things out until you find something that works for you. Read, talk to other parents and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Elizabeth Pantley’s “No-Cry Picky Eater Solution” book is due in October and will include recipes and tips from parents. Stay tuned for a book give-away!


Shared on Simple Lives Thursday #51

eBook Review: Digital Dominatrix

Love books in all forms

Please, don’t let the title fool or confuse you. It did me. I didn’t quite get what it was about. Now that I have read it, I can tell you it has everything to do with digital survival. If I were to name it, I’d call it something like Online Reputation Handbook, or Online Identity Mastery.  If you have any sort of online profile, you need to read The Digital Dominatrix.

I learn best when I get to share what I’ve learned. So, please allow me to share the information that stood out to me.

Have you sworn off Facebook, MySpace or other networking sites in an attempt to protect your identity? The bad news is that even if you don’t engage in building an online profile, other people are already doing it.

Facebook, for example, makes it super easy to share photos. I might take photos at a family gathering and tag everyone in them. If one person is not on Facebook, I have already started a digital profile for them.

Kinda creepy, yes? The reality is that with ease sites like Twitter and Facebook provide to share information and photos, we are culturally evolving them into our daily lives. And it’s not just what all our friends are doing. Newspapers, tax records, and local organizations are all going online. If you’re mentioned in any of them, your online profile has begun. Just Google your name and see what comes up.

The Digital Dominatrix provides an overview of the two main theories for the evolving future of the internet as it integrates into our culture. But it doesn’t bore you. Dusti writes with fervor and honesty.  It’s like a friend passionately telling you something you need to know. I ate up the whole 65 page eBook in one hour. I think everyone should read it.

Confession 1: I have to admit that even though I loved Dusti Arab’s previous eBook, The Minimalist Mom, I was leery to read this. I didn’t get past the sensual symbolism she was going for in her new design and branding. But, now I am glad I got past that because it was worth it.

The book doesn’t bore you with endless philosophizing about the future of the internet, or tell you how things will turn out. It simply shows you how to take control of your digital reputation and use it for your own good.

Confession 2: I was slow to join Facebook. Once I did, all those applications my dear friends and family used would junk up my news-feed and  made me frustrated. But, I have discovered how to delete those. I really enjoy the ease it provides me for sharing photos with distant but dear relatives and friends.

I know others, like my friend Staci, who have found Facebook to be a big time suck in their lives (she’s making changes). I am only now figuring out my personal guidelines for using it. For example, I won’t post a photo if someone in it looks awful; frankly we all take bad photos sometimes. Also, I won’t tag someone if they aren’t already on Facebook.

So, I am still trying to sort out a balance with these cool tools. But now, I am more aware than ever that I need to be in control of my online reputation. And, I have some idea of how to start doing just that.

The Digital Dominatrix is free once you sign up for Dusti’s new venture – Undefinable You‘s newsletter. If you don’t like what she’s sharing in her regular emails, unsubscribe, but read the eBook first.

Have you read the book already? If so, what did you think?