Dina Rose, author of "It's Not About the Broccoli," will present a public program titled "Avoid the Pizza-Pasta-Nugget-and Hot Dog Diet With Three Simple Steps" from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 at Wheeling Hospital conference rooms A and B. Light refreshments will be provided and child care will be available. The event is sponsored by the Wheeling Center for Pediatrics.
We caught up with Dina via email recently, and she answered a few questions about her food philosophy and how parents can help their kids enjoy a healthier diet.
OVP: What's wrong with focusing on good nutrition?
Rose: Nutrition is important, but it can't be the primary focus for two reasons. First, when parents feel enormous pressure to get nutrients into their children, all too often they settle for inferior foods (like chicken nuggets or chocolate milk) because they provide the nutrients and their kids willingly eat those foods. ... These inferior foods are not only not the healthiest, but they push kids' taste buds in the direction of junk and away from healthy food. As a result, parents have to use increasing pressure/bribery/coercion etc. to get their kids to eat vegetables.
Second, there's more to healthy eating habits than what you eat. When parents focus on nutrition, they inevitably forget about teaching their children when, why and how much to eat. ... Because parents are worried about getting nutrients into their kids, they routinely teach children to disregard their internal hunger/satiation signals. "Two more bites of broccoli" comes from good intentions, but it teaches the wrong lessons. We all have heard about how it can teach kids to hate vegetables, but it can also teach kids to overeat.
OVP: What can parents who attend your Wheeling event expect to learn?
Rose: Parents will learn how to take what they know about nutrition and translate it into action, how to teach their children good eating habits using the foods they already like and eat, how to eliminate control struggles so kids learn to eat well without being nagged.
OVP: Is it ever too late to "fix" your child's eating habits?
Rose: It's never to late to "fix" your child's eating habits, just like it's never too late to fix your own! Although it's best to teach kids the correct eating habits from the beginning, older children can definitely be brought on board with the techniques I teach parents in my book and which I will discuss during my presentation.
To reserve a spot at Rose's program, call 304-243-8400.