Gelson's Markets > nutritionbytes > 004


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Teaching your children how to eat well, division of responsibility.

Parent's role:

• You do the meal planning, prepare the meal, and set it out. That's it.

• Creating positive eating experiences. 

• Don't have food fights. 

• Don't short order cook.

• Menu planning and using the Mediterranean Diet as a framework.

• Giving your kids opportunities to try new foods.

• Being family friendly in meal planning. 

• If you put at least two kinds of vegetables at the table, kids are more likely to eat more vegetables.

• Have a schedule of meals and snacks. (Every 2–3 hours.)


Child's role:

• They choose what and how much to eat of what you set out on the table.

• Eat family-style. 

• Don't pressure or be manipulative.

• Don't do "no-thank-you bites."


Family Meals

Try to have family meals as much as possible. 


Bottom line

Have fun with family meals and realize that not everything is going to be perfect. That's okay! Your goal is to help your kids learn how to enjoy food and eating, becoming competent eaters. 




What is the biggest mistake parents make when trying to get their kids to eat more healthfully?

What are "no-thank-you-bites?"

How do you handle treats in the division of responsibility?

How do you keep structure with different schedules and people in different places?

When do you start to shift the division of responsibility more to the kids as they get older?


Listener Question

What do I do if my child is a picky eater?


Resources Mentioned

Jessica's Healthy Family Blog



Email Jessica at



Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program. 


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