It’s been quite a year of blogging. And what better way to celebrate than to take a step back and review the top posts of 2011. These are the posts that stood out with higher-than-average Facebook shares and tweets or active conversations in the comments.
I also want to take this time to thank you for reading Raise Healthy Eaters. I learn as much from you as you do from me. My goal is not only to provide you with the most credible feeding advice but to get you to think more broadly about feeding kids and yourself. I realize that some of you don’t even have kids yet, as one reader wrote: “I realize that I have to raise myself as a healthy eater first.”
So here are the posts from 2011 that stood out the most and why…
1. 10 Strategies for Ending Kids’ Sugar Obsession: The goal of my managing sweet series was to get you thinking about how to offer sweets so they don’t get more attention than needed. This last post in the series was well-received because it provided practical tips for parents. As one reader pointed out: Personally, as a parent, I employ most all of these tips, even having dessert with dinner, and it does take the emphasis off the sweets.
2. Why Banning Foods in Schools Sends Kids the Wrong Message: Things got a bit controversial with this post about banning chocolate milk in schools. It’s not that I want children to drink chocolate milk, I just think bans create a desire for the banned food and there are better ways to balance out the menu in favor of healthier items. More on this subject in 2012!
3. The Annoying Kids’ Eating Habit Parents Should Adopt: This post has received the most Facebook shares of all time (271) and it was also reposted on Fooducate with a good response. The message is vital: we need to stop getting kids to eat more food and teach them to honor hunger and satiety. In the food-centric environment in which we live, this will be essential to their long-term success in eating.
As one reader points out: I feel one of the greatest gifts my mother gave to me was teaching me the mantra, “Listen to your body.” If I wasn’t hungry, I was never made to eat. And I think her tutelage is one reason why I never much struggled with maintaining my weight in adulthood.
4. 7 Convenience Foods That are Easy and Healthier to Make Yourself: This post was shared a lot and it got people thinking about the store-bought items that are surprisingly easy to make themselves. Check the comments for more great ideas on easy-to-make-yourself food.
5. Five Things Parents Should Know About Starting and Stopping Sippy Cups: This post got shared on quite a few baby forums and it seemed to hit a nerve with new parents. I’m glad the information helped clear up the confusion of when to start and stop using sippy cups. I only wish I had this information sooner!
6. What Rewarding Kids with Food Looks Like 20 Years Later: I wasn’t sure what would happen when I posted this one but I was pleasantly surprised by the comments and popularity. It really points out how our feeding practices have long-term consequences that most parents never think about. Check the comments for eye-opening stories.
7. My Top 10 Trader Joe’s Products: A fun post that had many wanting to share their favorite Trader Joe’s Products. I need to do Part 2 because I have a lot more to add!
8. Macaroni and Cheese in the Rice Cooker: This recipe was popular because most people don’t think to make macaroni and cheese in the rice cooker. Other all-time favorite recipes include slow cooker Veggie Lasagna and White Bean Chicken Chili.
9. Do You Believe One of These 5 Myths About Kids’ Nutrition? This post kicked off my nutrition series and it got some parents feeling relieved, especially the one that says children don’t have to eat veggies to meet their needs. The other post in this series, How to Meet Your Child’s Nutrition Needs Even When They Don’t Eat Perfectly, was a good one too. Check out this post from Science of Mom for more on this discussion.
10. The Fearless Feeding Movement: There would have been more posts but I was spending time selling mine and Jill’s idea for a feeding book: Fearless Feeding. If you haven’t done so already, like us on Facebook so we can access you for ideas and stories to make this the most relevant feeding book around.
Well, that’s it. I’m looking forward to many more posts in 2012. Happy New Year!