Free Resource Sheets to Teach Healthy Eating Habits


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DINA ROSE, PhD is a sociologist, parent educator and feeding expert empowering parents to raise kids who eat right.

Dinner Together Building Healthy Families One Meal at a Time.

Food Politics Marion Nestle's intelligent take on the politics of food and nutrition.

Fooducate Like Having a Dietician on Speed dial.

Hoboken Family Alliance A terrific resource for people living in the great city of Hoboken, NJ.

The Lunch Tray Everything you need to know about improving school lunches.

Parent Hacks Forehead-Smackingly Smart Tips

Raise Healthy Eaters One of the best blogs (other than my own) for learning to raise healthy eaters.

Real Mom Nutrition Tales from the Trenches. Advice for the Real World. From a mom-nutritionist who knows!

Stay and Play The best indoor playspace on the East Coast. Oh yeah, and it happens to be owned by my brother.

weelicious Great Recipes for Kids 


Are Veggie Chips Better for Toddlers than Potato Chips?

It's counterintuitive but potato chips are better for toddlers' eating habits than veggie chips.

Source: elenathewise/depositphotos

Maybe this idea is catching on. Recently, an older—or should I say more mature—blog post, Potato Chips Win Again!, has been getting a lot of attention.

Here's a recap:

  • The Nutriiton Perspective: Nobody thinks veggie chips are healthy, per se. However, many people think veggie chips are healthier than potato chips. Wrong. If the chip really has vegetables, the product will contain the nutrients found in vegetables.
  • The Habits Perspective: It's easier to teach kids proper eating habits when you give them actual potato chips. Nobody tells their kids potato chips are healthy.

The difference between Lay’s Classic potato chips, Terra Chips and Garden Veggie Crisps boils down to

Potato Chips almost always "win." For a side-by-side comparison, read Potato Chips Win Again!

“I try to get the kind with kale,” one mother recently said. Sound familiar?

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~


5 Different Ways to Teach Toddlers to Try New Foods

Over the years I have shared the secret of successfully introducing toddlers to new foods and it is this: Stop trying to get kids to EAT new foods and encourage FOOD EXPLORATION instead.
  • Eliminate pressure
  • Increase comfort with unfamiliar foods
  • Replace "I don't like it!"
Sensory education is the proven way to give kids more confidence around new foods. Many parents have trouble figuring out how to move beyond, "Do you like it?" Here are 5 different ways to teach toddlers to explore new foods using all their senses. 

5 Sensory Tools

Download a copy here.

~Changing the Conversation from Nutrition to Habits.~

Study: Fresh Fruit is Better Than Candy. Can You Say, "Duh?"

Yes, we need this kind of research, but really, I don't think anyone would be surprised by the results. Which snack is more filling? 

  • 65 calories of mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
  • 65 calories of a fruit-flavored candy (made with real fruit juice)

Give people a snack: one day candy, another day fruit. An hour later, let them eat as much pasta as they want. What happened?

A 20% increase in pasta calories after the candy compared to the fruit.

  • The candy snackers consumed 825 calories' worth of pasta
  • The fruit snackers consumed 690 calories' worth of pasta

From a nutrition perspective, fruit is clearly healthier than candy. But it's the habits perspective that matters more.

From a habits perspective, it is important to teach kids that fruit and vegetables are the go-to food. Plus, every bite pays off. The better your kids eat at snack, the less you have to worry about how well they eat at dinner. 

Read Fruit and Vegetables at Every Meal and Every Snack, Every Darned Day and 10 Ways Improving Your Kids' Snacking Will Improve YOUR Life.

This was a small study, only 12 women, but I don't think we need much more to establish that eating fruit holds you over between meals better than candy.

Candy ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup (contains Sulphites), Water, Gelatine, Concentrated Fruit Juices** (1%) (Apple, Strawberry, Blackcurrant, Raspberry), Acid (Citric Acid), Colours (Anthocyanins, Vegetable Carbon), Flavourings, **Equivalent to 5.5% Fruit Juice

Fruit ingredients: Fruit

  • Less sugar
  • More volume
  • More fiber
  • More chewing

And...reinforcing the importance of the mind: researchers speculate that the fruit snack may have produced higher expected satiety. People think they're fuller and more satisfied so afterwards they eat less food.

Enough said!

Thanks to The Center for Science in the Public Interest for writing about this study in their Jan/Feb 2016 Nutrition Action Healthletter.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~

Source: James, L. J., M. P. Funnell, and S. Milner. 2015. “An Afternoon Snack of Berries Reduces Subsequent Energy Intake Compared to an Isoenergetic Confectionary Snack.” Appetite 95: 132-37.