Meet Our Guest
Jill Castle is the Bundoo pediatric nutritionist and author of the newly released book Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School.
Sometimes, getting your child to eat can be a huge ordeal. Cooking can be labor-intensive, picky eaters are hard enough, restaurant menus for kids don’t offer enough healthful meals kids will enjoy, and the always-present sugary snack foods and drinks represent a long-term threat to your child’s health.
Pediatric Nutritionist Jill Castle, co-author of Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School, says there isn’t an up-to-date comprehensive nutrition and feeding resource.
“I have dealt with the challenges families face, many of which are preventable with the right information,” Castle said. “[My co-author Maryann Jacobsen and I] decided to write a book that would give parents nutrition information so they could enjoy feeding their children and avoid mistakes.”
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, February 2019
What tips would you give parents to have their children eat better?
Rotate through a variety of different foods, as the learning curve about food and eating is steep, and it takes a whole childhood to raise a healthy eater who likes a wide variety of food. Don’t panic over rejection. But, if you narrow the food offerings to reflect what your child will eat, you will be embattled in trying to get your child to eat more variety later on.
Don’t interfere with your child’s eating or reward any eating performance. Ultimately, this practice sets up the wrong food value system in your child, like stuffing past satisfaction and pitting healthy food against indulgent foods.
Don’t sweat the normal developmental stuff, such as picky eating, copying the food preferences of school friends, and experimenting with food or diet as a teen. These are NORMAL, and when parents understand and expect them to occur, a lot less drama and interference happen along the way—and kids may move through the stage quicker!
Do you cover childhood obesity in Fearless Feeding?
Yes! Although we are not a book specifically on childhood obesity, we help parents deal with it at home. For example, parents may think that if they “help” their child control eating, they will be able to control further weight gain. But, research shows that controlling a child’s eating, especially desirable foods may backfire, making the controlled or limited food more desirous to the child.
What makes this book different from what is out there already?
Fearless Feeding not only captures nutrition from 6 months old (when babies begin solid food) to the end of adolescence, it showcases what to feed kids at each stage, how to do it in positive ways, and why kids behave they way they do around food and eating. Parents often think if they know WHAT to feed, their problems will be solved. But we know that success with feeding comes from an understanding of children’s developmental milestones and positive feeding practices. We include real stories, recipes, meal plans, nutrient charts and additional chapters for trouble-shooting nutrition problems, shopping, and parents’ own challenges with food and eating.
I love that Jill discusses the NORMAL quirkiness of childhood eating while encouraging families to maintain healthy goals. Mealtime should be a joy & not a battle & Fearless Feading helps us get there!