Hi, I’m Julie. Health journalist, health expert, foodie, gym rat and a mom of 2.
My goal is to teach you how to raise healthy kids who crave healthy, whole foods.
Like most parents, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of mealtime battles: kids who snub vegetables, have meltdowns at the table and refuse to eat altogether. You’ve spent meal after meal pleading, bribing and negotiating with your kids to take just one small bite in hopes that they’ll scream, “yum, I want more!”
You’ve probably tried to make fruit smoothies, funny faces out of vegetables or pureed them into baked goods. You’ve probably served chicken nuggets, mac ‘n cheese and kid-friendly foods because you know your kids can’t refuse them. When you go to a restaurant, you always order your kids’ meals from the kid’s menu because you know they’ll eat it.
And at the end of the day, you’re exhausted from all that effort.
I’ve got news for you—you’re not alone.
Did you know that 9 out of 10 moms have been unsuccessful trying to get their kids to eat healthy? And more than 75 percent give in and give up?
I’m a mom too, and just like you, I’m trying to juggle motherhood, a full-time job and my household.
Although mealtimes at my house are far from perfect at times, and I often question what I’m doing, I’ve been able to raise healthy kids who are healthy eaters and crave healthy food. Instead of kid-friendly foods, my kids ask for fresh, green salads, broccoli and spinach and lentils for lunch.
The journey wasn’t always a smooth ride, but for the past 5 years, I’ve worked hard to make sure my kids eat healthy so they always will. It’s not because I don’t want to battle picky eaters, it’s because I know that what my kids eat now will set the stage for their health throughout their lives.
Why our kids deserve better
I grew up in the 1980’s when TV dinners, Steak-Umms, tater tots and Tuna Helper were the hottest new ways to serve up meals and packaged, processed, low-fat foods were pantry staples.
As mothers went to work full-time, convenience trumped home-cooked. Suffice it to say that although vegetables were served for dinner at my house, I didn’t eat healthy as a child.
And although I was always skinny, I never learned how to eat healthy. Through my teen years when I took ballet classes and spent my time in the theatre, I often ate cheesy bacon potato skins, fast food, chips and sweets. Fast forward to college when unhealthy food was everywhere, I gave up dancing and I gained a lot of weight.
Instead of trying to learn how to eat healthy, I lost the weight by eating carrot sticks for lunch and spending hours in the gym during my summer breaks.
My weight continued to fluctuate well into my 20’s as a young professional working in New York City where I dined at some of the finest restaurants around.
After a life-changing event, I took time to make myself a priority. I had recently discovered Spinning and I fell in love with it. I even became an instructor, overhauled my diet and I was finally at a healthy weight.
But like so many times before, that was short-lived too. I started a high-stress job that required me to work 60 to 80-hour weeks and at night, I binged on cheese sticks and chocolate to decompress, fight fatigue and self-soothe.
Me, at 4-years-old.
Getting in my miles.
Then my life changed.
It wasn’t until I was engaged to my husband and became a freelance writer that I finally decided I had enough. I joined Weight Watchers, started teaching Spinning again, took up running and made a choice to learn everything I could about eating healthy, fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Looking back, I’m so glad that I got my health squared away before my first child was born.
When she was an infant, I received The Baby and Toddler Cookbook as a gift and I couldn’t wait to try all the recipes. I was so excited to expose her to so many new, exciting flavors, tastes and textures.
When she started solids and I started steaming and puree vegetables, I realized that one of the most important responsibilities I had as a parent was to raise a healthy child who knew how to eat healthy and also be a healthy eater. I knew that the foods she ate played a big role in her growth, development and learning but they also reduced her risk for a myriad of diseases and health conditions when she got older.
As I continued to make homemade baby food for her, I was amazed at how willing she was to try and accept new foods. She loved everything I fed her and devoured it with gusto.
Although my second child was more of a picky eater, I couldn’t believe that she preferred vegetables and fruit over anything else. I realized that it was possible for kids to enjoy healthy food and mealtimes didn’t have to be frustrating.
As a real mom just like you, I’m here to show you that you can get your kids to eat healthy without sneaking, negotiating or bribing. You don’t have to make food into funny faces or fun shapes. You don’t have to order off the kids’ menu, serve kid-friendly food or kid-approved snacks.
I want to show you that you can raise a child that wants to eat healthy food. It probably won’t happen overnight, but with patience and little know-how, you can raise healthy eating kids too.
Stay with me, and I’ll show you how!