The Unintended Lessons Kids Learn on Halloween

As a culture we're kind of crazy about Halloween. We glorify candy and the excitement of the Halloween haul in the weeks leading up the event and then, the second it's over, we vilify the bounty. The problem with Halloween isn't the candy. The problem is the lessons kids learn about candy, power, guilt and more. It doesn't have to be this way.

Three Lessons Children Need to Learn About Candy

If you secretly discard your kids' candy, think about what sneaky parenting teaches kids about fairness. It's OK to do whatever you want as long as your motives are good... and you don't get caught?

Americans are Drinking Less Soda. So What?

Every time we beat the nutrition drum, the more we turn people off. It's time for a different kind of public health messaging based on habits.

Kids Eat Poorly Because We're Psycho About Food and Eating

The message that unhealthy-tastes-better-than-healthy is a message that comes through loud and clear. And kids get it from the get-go. Parents, you’re not to blame. It’s our crazy culture. Even if you did everything right, your kids would still get the “talk healthy,” but dig-down-dirty message. It is the cultural equivalent of "Do what I say, not what I do."

"I'll Try New Foods When I'm 7!"

Kids have good intentions to try new foods. But just like many adults say they intend to diet but then never do, when it comes to how kids eat, there's a gap between intentions and behavior.

Would Teaching Doctors to Cook Solve the Obesity Problem?

Attacking the obesity problem by teaching docs to cook. Hmm. Are there really families who have missed the message about cooking? And if people know they ought to cook but don’t know how, what could a physician say that would really change anything? Are doctors going to start conducting knife-skills tutorials between vaccinations?There's a better solution.

6 Things Dieticians Need to Know—and Then Pass on to Parents

Talking up health abdicates "tasty" to junk. Six hidden reasons kids won't eat their veggies.

Pizza: The Downfall of the American Diet

When future generations are digging around in the smoldering embers of America’s eating habits, wondering, “What went wrong?” they are going to discover one thing: Pizza.

Healthy Food Is Gross

Imagine what would happen if parents started giving green beans the "chocolate cake look." It would revolutionize how kids eat.

Listen Up Grandma: Go Ahead and Spoil Your Grandchildren!

Many parents complain when grandparents spoil their grandchildren, especially when it comes to food. But food has the power to create connections, to build bonds, to make magical memories.(It might even get the grandchildren to look up from their devices!)

10 Essential Holiday Eating Habits Parents Forget to Teach

You know how the experts are always saying that it’s important to make sure your kids have a healthy meal before they hit the sweets? Well, the research shows kids will eat highly palatable foods even when they're not hungry. This Thanksgiving, teach your kids some habits they can really use.

Can We Please Stop Saying Picky Eating Is Normal?

Telling parents that picky eating is a normal stage of development is a message that is ruining our kids' eating habits. It disempowers parents, ties their hands, and produces the very dynamics it's intended to solve. It's also incorrect. So, to all the experts out there: let's stop expecting our kids to eat so poorly, and then, maybe they will stop eating so poorly.

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Dump Your Kids' Halloween Haul

Don’t fall for the idea that your job at Halloween is to control the candy. From a habits perspective, there’s only one question you need to consider: Next Halloween, will you have to engage in the same old candy-control struggle with your kids? Or, will they have evolved so you are off the hook and they can moderate more of the mess themselves?

Don’t Tell Your Kids to “Eat a Balanced Diet”

People can't implement good eating habits if they don't know what they are. The advice to eat a "balanced diet" doesn't cut it because "balanced" has come to mean too many things. Fortunately, there's a way around this problem.

Don't Listen to the Experts if You Want to Raise Good Eaters

Most expert advice on how to raise a good, healthy and adventurous eater is both obvious and incomplete. None of it tells parents what to do when kids won't play along. As a result, it's not only useless, but it can produce the very problem it's trying to solve. There is another way.

How Fully Stocked Grocery Stores Produce Picky Eating

You'd be hard pressed to find a picky eater anywhere that food is scarce. When food is scarce, parents don’t have the luxury of worrying about their children’s taste preferences. When food is scarce, kids don’t worry about their taste preferences either.

Why Do Kids Like What They Like?

Parents of reluctant eaters tend to favor nature over nurture explanations. Taste preferences, these parents think, are innate, stable and unchangeable. These beliefs hold parents back.

How Smart Parents Teach Their Kids Unhealthy Eating Habits

Ironically, the way to teach children to eat healthy foods is to stop talking about how healthy the food is.

I Understand Why Parents Feed Their Kids Unhealthy Foods

Experts think children eat poorly because parents don't know enough about nutrition. It’s pretty hard to believe that anyone is under the impression that cupcakes are healthier than carrots. That’s what parents would have to believe if you're going to "buy" the lack-of-education argument.

Are Your Kids Really Hungry?

I'm not saying you're teaching your kids to overeat, but that's the unintended consequence of the way most parents feed their kids.

Is It Wrong to Pay Kids to Eat Their Veggies?

A country ravaged by overeating shouldn’t be in the business of promoting more of anything—even when what we’re pushing is healthy food. Why? More simply isn’t a healthy eating habit.

Children's Food vs Adult Food

Kids’ Food. It’s like Italian Food. Or Jewish Food. A cuisine that represents a culture. But what kind of culture is that?

Why Smart Kids Don't Eat Right

You’d think that by knowing what to eat more of that kids would automatically know what to eat less of, but it doesn’t work that way. You can't shape kids' eating habits by talking about nutrition, but you can shape their eating habits directly.

Why Kids Think Broccoli Is Bad and Chips Are Good

Ever given your kids the chocolate cake look—you know the one I mean—when you're serving something healthy?

Altering the Sugar but Not the Sweet

Less sugar in yogurt won't improve kids' eating habits if the yogurt still tastes extremely sweet. What's next? Magically altering apples so they taste like Coke?

Infants Can Eat Eggs (and Peanuts, Too)!

Standard advice to delay giving infants highly allergenic foods such as peanuts and eggs may make allergies worse.

The Girl Scouts Miss the Boat with Mango Crèmes

Mango Crèmes: the newest cookie in the Girl Scout arsenal is being sold as "healthy." If only they were healthy. If only they were made with mango.

Teaching Kids to Hate the Healthy Stuff

We should not be surprised that kids won't eat healthy foods when we've taught them to prefer unhealthy foods instead.

Is Michelle Obama Inadvertently Teaching Her Daughters to Overeat?

I’m a big fan of Michelle Obama and think she’s done a wonderful job in the fight against childhood obesity. Still, I can’t help asking, Is Michelle Obama inadvertently teaching her daughters to overeat?

Cheese vs. Chips

Eating healthy foods can ruin your kids' eating habits.