I remember when my first child became mobile and we joined a playgroup. Goldfish flowed like water and I noticed she just wasn’t hungry for dinner. I also noticed how food was given to her at every turn, especially her first year of kindergarten. I began to detest kid menus at restaurants.
It seemed all my work at home, was being undone by the outside world that wanted to feed my kid, well, “kid food.”
Despite my frustration, I didn’t focus on changing the food environment outside of the home. There are times where I’ve tried to invoke change, but my focus has always been on helping families create a balanced food environment at home and teaching kids how to navigate the environment we have.
But Bettina Seigel, nationally recognized writer and founder of The Lunch Tray, tackles the food environment head-on. And we need more people like her.
Seigel wrote the ambitious book: Kid Food: The Challenge of Feeding Children in a Highly Processed World. In the book, she describes the landmines in the modern food landscape and how that relates to kids eating and health.
From how the kid’s menu started in restaurants, to the rise in highly processed kid options at the grocery store to advertising, Seigel paints a not-so-nice picture of what we are dealing with. This book is well researched with many expert interviews and stories from frustrated parents. The writing is engaging and provides a historical perspective, which makes it a good read
What exactly is “kid food”? There’s no precise definition, of course, but in 2018, I conducted an online survey asking my readers and other social media followers what the term meant to them. About 350 people responded—mostly moms but some dads and even a few grandparents also chimed in. And just one glance at their top answers, ranked here in descending order, tells you a lot about what American adults currently believe children will and won’t eat.
mac and cheese
hot dogs and corn dogs
“white” or “beige food”
grilled cheese or quesadillas
packaged “fruit” snacks
moodles or pasta
–From Kid Food
But it’s not just about the problem, Seigel offers a solution in the form of advocacy. After all, she was the one who instigated a petition that got over a quarter-million signatures to put an end to pink slime served at schools. The chapter (Pushing Back) is all about best practices for bringing about change. The stories of everyday moms and groups are inspiring and Seigel provides advice on how to get started and make a difference.
Seigal ends the book with four wishes to help change the food landscape to a healthier one for our kids and future generations. The appendix is full of resources to help parents manage and possibly change the food environment for good.
We are lucky enough to have an extra copy of Kid Food for one of my readers. If you are interested in entering to win a copy, just leave a comment as to why you want to read this book. The giveaway will end a week from today Thursday, January 9th at midnight.
Jennifer Marcin says
Hi I would love to have a copy of this book. I am a mother of a young child whose grandparents think I am depriving their grandchild because I do not keep my house stocked with kid food. I would love to share this with them. I am also a dietitian who works for WIC and would love to pass on this information to my clients.
I would love to win a copy of this book for both personal and professional reasons. I am a mother of two and a registered dietitian with a private nutrition counseling practice. It sounds like it would provide me with good insight and ideas to share with my clients.
Love to learn more about the history of kid food and how to feed my kiddos better! It seems we are fighting an uphill battle in trying to feed our kids healthy, especially outside our homes!
I would love to learn more of the history of kid food. I’m really interested in the advocacy information as well!
Julie Engberg says
I’m interested professionally to help the families I work with consider new options and attitudes towards eating and eating behaviors. Personally I could use a new perspective for feeding my kids.
I would love to have a copy of this book. I have a toddler who has been very selective about what foods he will eat.
Amy Stewart says
We just moved closer to my in-laws, and our 5-year-old son is being bombarded from all sides by not only my husband’s family but his school too! I seem to be the only one who has a problem with it. At school they give them cupcakes for snack fairly regularly, his grandparents, aunts and uncles are constantly offering cookies, ice cream, candy, milk, etc – and he’s become used to eating mac and cheese and pizza many times a week. I’m becoming a bit numb to it, to be honest – I guess I’m just tired of being the only one pushing back. A practical and straightforward reference like this would be wonderful…I don’t want to be “that mother”, but I’m starting to wonder if I’m not, then who will be?
I am interested, too! Thank you for the review. I like that she not only describes the problems but offers hope for a solution.
Would love to win a copy of this book!
Alison Foito says
Would love a copy, it sounds like a great book.
Interested in this book as a way to get my child and husband on board with better choices.
Carolyn Strickland says
Very interested in this book!
Whitney Fitzpatrick says
Looks really interesting! Would love to read the whole thing 🙂
I’d love a copy of this book because I am an obese mom of 4. I want to do better by my kids than I do for myself. Mine started in childhood with a pituitary gland disorder, but it’s been more of an addiction for myself as an adult. I want to keep my kids as healthy as possible and teach them a love of real food so they’ll make good choices when they’re adults.
Alison McCamish says
As a mother of four and still trying to change the unhealthy habits I was taught as a kid, I’d love this book to add to my Mary Ann Jacobsen book collection. Knowledge is the power to change.
Bridget Khan says
Sounds very interesting. Can’t wait to read it!
I would love to read this book!
I am just so desperate with my two girls, 7 and 5, who dont eat any fruit or any veggie. We serve them everyday and they dont even try for once sake ☹️. I am reading and applying everything and just waiting for a miracle to happen. Every good book is welcome in our home to help these kids get their nutritions!
Jennifer Wolfe says
I would love this book to read. Maybe it would give me on some insight on what my picky eater would want.
I’d love to win a copy. I have two kids. The school serves lunch early, so there is an afternoon snack. Then there is candy handed out everywhere we go, and sensory challenges. I feel like lately my kids haven’t been trying new stuff as much, but I think I have gotten stuck in a rut. So tonight I decided to make sweet chili, which is always a bit challenging because different foods/textures are touching, but once I put it on the table, my job is done.