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Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School

ISBN: 978-1-118-30859-2
432 pages
April 2013, Jossey-Bass
Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School (111830859X) cover image


An essential guide to understanding and improving any child's eating habits

This comprehensive nutrition guide gives parents the tools for encouraging kids of any age on the path to healthy eating. Pediatric nutrition experts Castle and Jacobsen simplify nutrition information, describe how children's eating habits correspond to their stage of development, provide step-by-step feeding guidance, and show parents how to relax about feeding their kids and get healthy meals on the table fast.

  • Prepares parents by explaining what to expect at different stages of growth, whether it be picky eating, growth spurts or poor body image
  • Helps parents work through problems such as food allergies, nutrient deficiencies and weight management, and identifying if and when they need to seek professional help
  • Empowers parents to take a whole-family approach to feeding including maximizing their own health and well-being
  • Offers fun, easy recipes parents can make for, and with, kids

Fearless Feeding translates complicated nutrition advice into simple feeding plans for every age and stage that take the fear out of feeding kids.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Brian Wansink xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

Meet Jill Castle 2

Meet Maryann Jacobsen 4

How Fear Brought Us Together 5

Fearless Feeding as the Solution 7

How to Use Th is Book 11

1 The Fearless Feeding Strategy 13

Take the Long-Term View 14

Fundamental 1: WHAT to Feed Your Child 15

Fundamental 2: HOW to Feed Your Child 19

Fundamental 3: WHY Your Child Behaves That Way 26

Putting It All Together 28

2 Fearless Feeding for Your Infant and Young Toddler (Six to Twenty-Four Months) 31

Nutrition in Practice: The Nutrient-Rich Diet 31

Feeding with Confi dence: The Honeymoon Period 49

Real Life Challenges for Infants and Young Toddlers 65

Real, Easy Recipes for Infants and Young Toddlers 72

3 Fearless Feeding for Your Toddler and Preschooler (Two to Five Years) 83

Nutrition in Practice: Fitting It All In 83

Feeding with Confidence: The Self-Control Struggle 104

Real Life Challenges for Toddlers and Preschoolers 119

Real, Easy Recipes for Toddlers and Preschoolers 126

4 Fearless Feeding for Your School-Age Child (Six to Twelve Years) 137

Nutrition in Practice: Navigating the Outside World 137

Feeding with Confi dence: Family Meals Matter 156

Real Life Challenges for School-Age Children 172

Real, Easy Recipes for School-Age Children 179

5 Fearless Feeding for Your Teenager (Thirteen to Eighteen Years) 189

Nutrition in Practice: Hazardous Nutrition 189

Feeding with Confidence: Get Them to the Table 212

Real Life Challenges for Teens 230

Real, Easy Recipes for Teens 236

6 The Parent Trap: How to Break Free from Your Food History and Attitudes 247

Common Feeding Traps 248

Understanding Your WHY 251

Becoming a Fearless Eater 255

Th e HOW of Eating 258

WHAT to Eat 261

7 Childhood Nutrition Problems: A Fearless Approach to Common Issues 263

Food Allergies 263

Weight Problems 268

Eating Disorders 275

Problem Feeders and Ongoing Picky Eating 280

Nutrition and Behavior 284

8 Getting Meals on the Table: Meal Planning and Shopping Strategies 289

Fearless Nutrition Must-Haves 290

Planning Meals 292

Getting the Food 294

Get Cooking! 308

Appendix A: Fearless Food Guide 309

Appendix B: Food Sources of Nutrients 314

Appendix C: Healthy Snack Ideas 332

Appendix D: Fruit and Veggie Lists 336

Appendix E: Resources 357

Appendix F: The Claims Department 362

Appendix G: Beyond Basic Nutrition Questions 367

Notes 379

Bibliography 401

About the Authors 403

Index 405

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Author Information

Jill Castle is a registered dietitian with many years of experience in pediatric nutrition. She is a consultant, speaker, and writer and blogs at Just the Right Byte.

Maryann Jacobsen is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, and family nutrition expert. Maryann is founding editor of the popular blog Raise Healthy Eaters.

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Press Release

August 13, 2013
Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School

Fearless Feeding

How To Raise Healthy Eaters From High Chair to High School

By Jill Castle & Maryann Jacobsen 

San Francisco, CA – It's easy for parents to feel overwhelmed with feeding children in today's world.   Not only do parents have less time, they have more choices, more concerns about childhood health, and hardly any real-life training. You mix this with a complex food system consisting of confusing nutrition food labels, various places to shop, and the worry about the world’s food supply and the fear and misinformation mount.  Fueling this worry is the conflicting nutrition information from news reports, blogs and articles, making feeding more of a chore than the source of joy it should be.

 FEARLESS FEEDING: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School (Jossey-Bass, April 2013, ISBN: 978-1-118-30859-2, $16.95 / Paper / also available as an e-book) is the solution parents desperately need! This childhood nutrition bible is here to calm parents’ worries, boost their confidence and help them be successful at feeding their kids.  Fearless Feeding offers a comprehensive, research-based guide to feeding children of all ages. 

Written by registered dietitians with a combined 39 years of nutrition experience, Jill Castle & Maryann Jacobson, FEARLESS FEEDING empowers parents by providing an easy-to-follow Fearless Feeding Strategy they can use at each stage of development.  Fearless Feeding not only teaches parents What to feed to meet nutritional needs, it shows them How to do it so children develop a healthy relationship with food and what to expect in terms of growth, child development, and eating behavior.   

"Society is food-solution focused but we know that food is not the solution in and of itself—it’s just not powerful enough. Feeding is the solution," says Castle. "Feeding is food and nutrition (the WHAT of feeding), but it is also parent food attitudes and interactions (the HOW of feeding) and child development (the WHY behind child’s eating) which determines how well children eat and ultimately their health and outlook on nutrition."

 FEARLESS FEEDING breaks down the latest research in digestible bites so parents can decide what feeding approaches and food choices are right for their families.  It teaches parents how to spot nutrition and feeding problems so they can get the help they need and how to educate children in developmentally appropriate ways. Practical tips on meal planning and food shopping, as well as real-life case studies bring it all together.  FEARLESS FEEDING also shows parents how to evaluate and change their own attitudes and actions around food, so that they can become Fearless Eaters as well.

"Fearless Feeding gives parents what they need most -- a long term view of their child's eating that will bring them peace of mind and more joy at the dinner table," says Jacobsen.  "We help parents view feeding kids the same way they do other learned skills, like reading and writing, and it makes a huge difference."

Easy to navigate, the book provides Fearless Tips and Facts that give useful details on children and food for each stage of development -- infant, toddler, school-age and teens. 

Additionally, the book includes:

  • Cooking tips for busy parents
  • Simple recipes to make at each stage
  • Nutrition advice and feeding strategies for each age and stage (including adulthood)
  • Helpful details about growth and child development
  • Sample dialogue to help parents talk about the easy and tough nutrition issues
  • What to do with problematic eating behavior (extreme picky eating, food allergies, weight and behavior issues)

Full of practical advice, FEARLESS FEEDING is the friendly companion that every parent can take with them on their feeding journey.  Ithelps parents understand not only what to feed their child, but also how to feed them and why they behave the way they do. 

For more information about FEARLESS FEEDING, check out www.fearlessfeeding.com

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