Book Review: Food Fights by Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP, and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

food fightsNow that Jimmie is pretty much eating solids all day, every day, I wanted to share a fantastic book for parents that are just starting to feed their babies solids or for parents who have been struggling with feeding their toddlers.

Food Fights by Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu teaches you how to not fight with your kids at meal times. The authors make it sound simple: give your kids food, if they eat it, great, if not, there’s always time for more food later. The doctors stress that kids will eat when they’re hungry and if you try to force them to eat when they’re not hungry, someone will always lose, and usually it’s the caregiver.

I loved every word in this book. Sure some of it is common sense, but some of is isn’t. I remind myself of many of the key ideas every day when I am feeding Jimmie. Food Fights talks about how it’s not just about getting your kids to eat, it’s about getting them to eat healthy. If you want them to eat healthy foods, you should only give them healthy foods. If they eat a few bites. you’re already winning. But if you give them something they like, and it isn’t healthy, just to get them to eat SOMETHING, ANYTHING, then you’re losing.

One big lesson I learned from this book is that you shouldn’t bribe kids to eat food by promising more food. “If you eat three peas, then you can have ice cream.” Food should not be a reward because children then begin to think of food as more than just food. If you make these promises, then they will only eat their peas if you give them something else afterwords. We need to teach our kids that veggies are just as good as fruits and ice cream. Kids are born as clean slates, sometimes the only reason they think green foods are “yucky” is because we, as parents, do too.

Food Fights explains how to begin feeding you child solids. I wish I had this book when I started feeding Jimmie solids because I had NO IDEA what to do and my doctor gave me no help what-so-ever when I asked her (needless to say, she isn’t our doctor anymore.) I always thought trying to figure how much formula to feed Jimmie was hard. That was cake compared to figuring out serving sizes, piece sizes, and how much of each food group I should be feeding him on a daily basis. This book is a huge help when it comes to explaining every detail of feeding your child from that first bite to their lifelong eating habits. One exceptional early feeding idea that I read in Food Fights, which I use on a daily basis, is giving your child their own spoon while you feed them. Jimmie won’t even let me feed him with a spoon unless he is holding one too. When I do put food on his spoon, it goes everywhere BUT his mouth; practice makes perfect.

Food Fights also touches on breast feeding and giving up the bottle. I never would have thought to mix formula and whole milk in Jimmie’s bottle when we started weaning him. Since reading this, I have been mixing a bit of whole milk with his formula every once and a while, as well as, giving him one cup of whole milk per day to slowly transition to whole milk. I also would never have known how continued sippy cup use is just as bad for children as extended bottle use if it weren’t for this book. I’m glad we went straight for the straw cup. I stopped trying to force the sippy cup on Jimmie once I read the downfalls of the sippy cup and how it can be just as hard to get rid of the sippy cup as it is to get rid of the bottle.

I can’t stress enough how much this book has helped me deal with and accept Jimmie’s new eating habits. (Don’t make your child be a part of the “clean plate club” this could lead to overeating.) Even though Jimmie is only 11 months, I feel like this book has taught me lessons that will not only impact his life, but my own as well. The lessons in this book are priceless. Please, if you have any questions about feeding your child, and I’m sure you do, buy this book. It is more informative than googling “how to feed my child solids.” And trust me, I have googled this phrase more times than I can count on two hands.

jimmie eating2

jimmie eating1

jimmie eating 4

I was given this book through the New Parent Support Program sponsored by the military. All of the opinions are 100% my own!

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One thought on “Book Review: Food Fights by Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP, and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

  1. Stephanie says:

    I need this book! This is such a struggle for me to know what is the right thing to do, plus keeping it easy for all of us involved. I don’t want all of us to dread meal time.

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