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The Good Parenting Food Guide: Managing What Children Eat Without Making Food a Problem

ISBN: 978-1-118-70937-5
242 pages
May 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
The Good Parenting Food Guide: Managing What Children Eat Without Making Food a Problem (1118709373) cover image


The Good Parenting Food Guide offers straightforward advice for how to encourage children to develop a healthy, unproblematic approach to eating.

  • Explores key aspects of children’s eating behavior, including how children learn to like food, the role of food in their life and how habits are formed and can be changed
  • Discusses common problems with children’s diets, including picky eating, under-eating,  overeating, obesity, eating disorders and how to deal with a child who is critical of how they look
  • Turns current research and data into practical tips
  • Filled with practical solutions, take home points,  drawings, and photos
  • Mumsnet Blue Badge Award Winner
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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Facts and theories 1

1. What is healthy eating? 3

2. How do we learn to like the food we like? 22

3. What does food mean to us and what role does it play in our lives? 37

4. Why are eating habits so hard to change? 52

5. Overweight and obesity: prevalence, consequences, and causes 67

6. Overweight and obesity: prevention and treatments 85

7. Eating disorders: prevalence, consequences, and causes 96

8. Eating disorders: prevention and treatments 116

Tips and reality 133

9. “I don’t have time to cook” 135

10. “My child won’t eat a healthy diet” 161

11. “My child watches too much TV”: tips for being more active 174

12. “My child eats too much” 187

13. “My child won’t eat enough” 196

14. “My child thinks they are fat” 206

15. Take home points 216

Recommended reading 218

References 220

Index 225

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Author Information

Jane Ogden is Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Surrey, UK, and has researched eating behavior, obesity management, and eating disorders for 25 years.  She has published over 140 papers and is the author of five books, including The Psychology of Eating: From Healthy to Disordered Behavior, and Fat Chance: The Myth of Dieting Explained. In addition, she has published several articles for a non-academic audience and is a regular contributor to health discussions on the radio and television and in magazines and newspapers.  She has two children, and this book is the culmination of 14 years of trying to put her research into practice.

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"It is a must for parents of fussy eaters, those who worry about their children’s weight and those who just have a nagging sense that they could do better on the nutrition front. Jane gently but firmly makes the point that our attitude to eating and to food as mothers and care givers, will directly affect our children’s eating habits for the rest of their lives. It’s a wake up call to ensure that the whole family eats better and it is all the better for having been written by a non perfectionist mum of two who just happens to be a Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Surrey." Families, Fife, April 2014

Giving children a healthy start in life is a fantastic inheritance to pass on. This book tells you how. But it is very unusual.  Not only is it full of the latest scientific information, but it is also written by a psychologist who is a mother of two children. This means it is incredibly useful and packed with easy to follow tips and advice as well as authoritative science rather than passing fads. I recommend it strongly.
Stephen Scott FRCP FRCPsych CBE, Director, National Academy for Parenting Research Institute of Psychiatry, Kings's College London

This book understands the challenges today's parents face. It provides in-depth and practical information that will help children grow up with healthy eating habits - and is also an extremely interesting and enjoyable read.
Kim Roberts, Chief Executive, HENRY (Health, Exercise, Nutrition for the Really Young)

Jane Ogden brings her decades of knowledge and expertise together in a clear and accessible way in this important book. This wonderfully practical guide will help parents and families to lead healthier lives in which food plays a valuable role at the heart of the family without leading either to overweight or anxiety.
Prof Harry Rutter, founder, National Obesity Observatory for England

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