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It's Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating Paperback – January 7, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“An innovative approach to children’s eating…Rose presents a thoughtfully crafted plan (the Teaching Approach) to form basic habits that focus on proportion, variety, and moderation. She helps parents identify their own eating hang ups when it comes to feeding their children (i.e. nurturer, food police, nutritionista) and then provides methods of helping children establish habits they can carry into adulthood…Rose walks readers through her Teaching Approach step-by-step, using scenarios that illustrate issues and hands-on solutions. Creative and clever, Rose comes to the table with a fresh perspective and a practical plan for teaching kids lifelong healthy eating habits.”—Publishers Weekly

“I am constantly hearing from parents that they have no idea what their kids are supposed to eat or whether their kids are eating ‘right.’ [It's Not About the Broccoli] provides just what parents need to feed kids properly, stop worrying, and start enjoying mealtimes with kids. Dina Rose looks at feeding kids from a sociologist’s perspective. When the feeding behavior goes well, kids will get all the nutrients they need. This book ought to reassure parents that following a few simple principles will get their kids fed just fine.”
--Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University, and author of What to Eat
“Few things are as important to parents as feeding their kids healthy foods. Dina Rose offers parents a whole new way to think about feeding kids. Her suggestions are completely practical, completely effective, and often a lot of fun. Two thumbs up from this Sneaky Chef!”
--Missy Chase Lapine, author of The Sneaky Chef cookbook series

“Dr. Dina Rose is one of my ‘go-to’ people on kids’ food issues. She provides practical, accessible, and science-based advice that should be of interest to all parents. Her approach, with its emphasis on behavioral strategies (and on the ‘whole family’ approach to children’s eating habits) is novel and important. Her ideas will spark useful debate on our approach to kids’ food, and she deserves the widest possible audience.”

--Karen Le Billon, author of French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
“Dina works hard to show parents how to get out of the nutrition trap in order to teach their kids to eat right, and her book provides parents with the “aha” moment they need to help their kids eat the real food that will help keep them both happy and healthy.”
--Kate Adamick, co-founder of Cook for America and author of Lunch Money: Serving Healthy School Food in a Sick Economy
“In fifteen years of writing about nutrition and health for magazines such as Parents, Family Circle, and Prevention, I have interviewed hundreds of experts. Dr. Dina Rose has some of the freshest, most interesting advice I've heard on the topic of feeding kids. She challenges long-held beliefs and goes much deeper than many leading nutrition authorities. Dina has helped me on a personal level (she coached me through my toddler's dinner strike) and caused me to reevaluate some of my own beliefs about children's eating habits. Her focus on habits is perfect for our time, when so many parents know exactly what they should be feeding their kids--but just can't figure out how to do it.”
--Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, Freelance Writer & Registered Dietitian

“Dina Rose will change how parents teach their children healthy eating habits. Her warmth and empathy shine through as she presents step-by-step practical solutions to worrisome issues such as picky eaters and kids with limited appetites. Combining scholarship with hands-on experience as a mother, Dina methodically analyzes what sabotages parents' best efforts to cope with challenging food issues. Dismissing the misplaced reliance on fuzzy nutritional data - as well as gimmicks and food fads - Dina highlights often ignored factors that significantly influence how our children view healthy eating.”
--Leah Klungness, Ph.D., psychologist and co-author of The Complete Single Mother
“As the managing editor at New Jersey Family magazine I'm exposed to a steady stream of tips for feeding picky eaters, but Dina's approach is different from the advice that typically comes my way. Dina's perspective is fresh, insightful, and thought-provoking. She makes me rethink the way I view children and their eating habits.  I am always eager to share her posts with our readers and followers.”
--Lucy Banta, Managing Editor and Director of Social Media, New Jersey Family

About the Author

Dina Rose, PHD, is a sociologist, parent educator and feeding expert with more than 15 years experience in teaching, research and public speaking. She has helped thousands of parents teach their children to eat right with her innovative approach to parenting. Dina has written for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today, and maintains an active blog on her website. She lives with her husband and daughter in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399164189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399164187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I began reading this book thinking that I wouldn’t get that much from it. My kids are pretty good eaters to begin with, and because we have dealt with food allergies from very young ages, their diet has never had a lot of the junk that American kids typically eat. But there is always room for improvement. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book to be so useful. As other reviewers have said, it moves away from a “nutrition” mindset and looks instead at our relationship to food (as parents) and the habits, values and messages that we unknowingly teach to our kids. I have been guilty of “just two more bites” even though I had previously read this is not a good solution. This book cites research that solidified in my mind how counter productive some common approaches to feeding can be. In addition to discussing the research, it gives practical advice on how to change the oppositional patterns that parents and kids can fall into regarding feeding. One example from the book that we have put into place: To get the kids used to plain (unsweetened) yogurt, they are now allowed mini chocolate chips as mix-ins, which will slowly give way to other, more healthy mix-ins, all while acclimating them to the taste of plain yogurt. I was skeptical that this would work, as I have never been able to get them to eat plain or even lightly sweetened yogurt. But it worked like a charm. There are many other helpful tips like this throughout the book. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree that this is a must read for every parent! Growing up I was a picky eater and did not change my habits until I became an adult and started to understand the importance of putting healthy food in my body. I did not want my own children to grow up with poor eating habits. However I became the mom in the book focused solely on the nutrition and not the habits. I thought my children would eat healthy if we continuously offered vegetables, modeled healthy eating, and involved them in the food buying and cooking process. I have one toddler who is at least willing to try anything and for the most part eats well. However my preschooler was the one who cried and ran away whenever he saw new food, especially fruits and veggies . I have followed a lot of the practical tips in this book over the last few months and we have definitely made a lot of progress. There is no more tension at meals. My son will at least try a new food by smelling and licking it and not cry or run away. We discuss the importance of putting "good food" in to our bodies more than "fun food". This type of conversation is a lot more productive than telling them to "eat this because it's healthy". Both kids snack a lot less and come to the table hungry. This was a harder habit to break but an important one. And lastly the kids also understand the importance of variety in their diets. My husband will offer them breakfast on the weekend and they will answer "we had that yesterday, we need something else". I am so happy I found this book because I had definitely become frustrated with my son's picky eating habits over the years and now with the advice from this book, I feel much better about the path we are on to lifelong healthy habits. Thank you Dina.
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Format: Paperback
As a pediatric feeding specialist, I treat a variety of kids who have difficulty eating, but I've observed that the garden-variety picky eater's resistance to healthy eating can create as much stress in a household as a child who has medical challenges that impact eating skills. Feeding your child is an emotional journey and it's very easy to get off the path to TEACHING healthy eating. This book offers practical, no-nonsense advice on how to teach your children (picky eaters or not) to listen to their bodies, choose healthy foods most of the time (while certainly enjoying other foods on occasion) and think about how your own needs as a parent may be influencing your child's behavior. Refreshing and frank, with a touch of humor, It's Not About the Broccoli is a must read for every parent.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A quick read with some interesting suggestions to motivate children to appreciate variety and eat better. Contrary to the title, however, the gist of the book IS about the broccoli - or what it represents (i.e., moving away from treats and more Growing Foods, as Rose terms them). The difficulties I had with the book are that: 1) it assumes a very low threshold of food habits for the child - it is a helpful educating tool for parents whose children subsist exclusively on fries and Froot Loops (whole chapters are aimed to teach the reader how to introduce greens and fruit). But if your problem is not that severe, then half the book is not that useful; 2) there are too many "catchy" terms for what is a relatively straightforward message - one could probably do without the 10+ capitalized phrases; keeping track of what they mean and how they interact gets tiresome (Eating Zones? Growing Foods vs.Treat Foods vs. Fun Foods? c'mon); 3) almost no attention is paid to the difference in expected reaction among children of different ages. I found that particularly challenging with some suggestions for how to communicate with a young child around the book's main ideas - there was an elaborate dialogue between a momma and her 2yo about Growing Foods; it was a hilarious sketch of what conversations with 2yo do NOT sound like, ever.
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