When “Healthy Eating” is the Wrong Message


Yesterday, as I was putting the finishing touches on the Chocolate Raspberry Brownies and the Curried Couscous with Roasted Vegetables, Peach Chutney and Cilantro Yogurt that I took to our neighborhood Fourth of July party, I caught the tail end of a TV segment on “Healthy Eating.” It was a dietitian, chirping away about how to “Slim Down Your Holiday Picnic.” Get nutritious by “Incorporating the new My Plate” recommendations into your Independence Day meal!


My response was a big eye roll and a “can’t they let up, just for one day?!”

How many people do you know who set a primary goal of eating “healthy” on the 4th of July? At the party my family attended, there was a lot of talk about food. But – people who want to help us control weight gain — if you had listened in, you would have been surprised at what you heard.

No one was dissecting the number of calories or nutrients in the various dishes. I didn’t hear one mother there admonish a child to “make the watermelon and green beans half of the size of the plate!” Instead, the talk was about food. Which area farms still have blueberries for picking? How is the drought in the South affecting the peach crop this year? Look how perfectly flakey the crust for this blueberry pie turned out! Will the neighbor who made this fabulous fennel, avocado and quinoa salad please please please e-mail us the recipe?

To me, this represents an ongoing disconnect between the nutrition/ health world, and the people that they are trying to serve by providing information. You can come up with all of the rules, recommendations and “eat more of this” chart diagrams that you’d like; in the long run, these are not effective because they don’t address the way people really eat or think about food. We don’t compartmentalize our eating in the way that My Plate suggests. If I’m at a 4th of July celebration and grilled sausages and baked beans are on the menu, am I supposed to question the host to find out how much bacon and sugar she used in the recipe? Even worse, am I supposed to not eat the grilled sausages and baked beans, my holiday favorites, and opt instead for the veggie burger and salad that I can have anytime?

As I discuss in my book My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus: Raising Children Who Love to Eat Everything, I’m all for healthy eating, and teaching kids to do the same. But I think that promoting this is best accomplished by focusing on the food, rather than the nutrient components, that people eat. If the 4th of July is the day for eating delicious, traditional dishes that may not be the most healthful, then make the fifth of July a day for more exercise, fruits and vegetables and fewer calories. But please don’t ask me to “slim down” or eliminate my favorite recipes!

16 Responses to “When “Healthy Eating” is the Wrong Message”

  1. Reparación secadora madrid Says:

    Empresa del sector comercial requiere estudiantes de mercadeo, ventas y publicidad con un excelente sentido de responsabilidad y servicio al cliente, que sea dinámico, emprendedor y tener un alto gusto por la atención y servicio al cliente. Se licita teleoperadores freen lance , segun su comodidad y tiempo, excelentes comisiones, se trabaja vendiendo marcas lideres en España y USA.

  2. healthbreaksloose.com Says:

    Hi there! I know this is kinda off tkpic however
    I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested
    in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe
    we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free
    to send mee an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Terrific blog by the way!

  3. Laurene Says:

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your website in web explorer, could test this? IE nonetheless is the market chief and a large component of folks will leave out your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  4. Thalia Says:

    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established
    blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about
    setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  5. www.Evo10.Com Says:

    Hurrah, that’s what I was looking for, what a stuff! present here at this web site, thanks admin of this web page.

  6. Chante Says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment.

    Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

  7. wikiit.co.il Says:

    I truly love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal blog and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Cheers!

  8. Http://Www.Ee.Ntut.Edu.Tw/Lastmile/Userinfo.Php?Uid=5695 Says:

    I believe this is one of the so much significant info for me.
    And i’m satisfied reading your article. However should commentary on few basic issues, The website taste is wonderful, the articles is actually excellent : D. Good process, cheers

  9. crimesofthetimes.blogspot.com additional info additional reading check out crimesofthetimes.blogspot.com check this out click at crimesofthetimes.blogspot.com click at this website click for source click here click in this article click on crimesofthetime Says:

    I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this website is
    genuinely pleasant.

  10. www.createandconnect.org Says:

    What’s up, constantly i used to check weblog posts here in the early hours in the break of day, for the reason that i love to find out more and more.

  11. Shad Says:

    continuously i used to read smaller articles or reviews that also clear their motive,
    and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading at this

  12. http://www.ourfernie.com/ Says:

    Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your site
    in internet explorer, might check this? IE nonetheless is the market leader
    and a good element of other folks will leave out your wonderful writing due to this problem.

  13. wilkinson garden furniture Says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that
    I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  14. Healthy Body Says:

    No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, so
    he/she wishes to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  15. Elizabeth Says:

    Personally, I am on the fence with MyPlate. MyPlate just doesn’t belong at a picnic. It belongs at a table. Celebrations are places we should all be allowed to indulge. RD’s should take the opportunity to push better ingredients and new recipe ideas, going back to the “everyday” and “sometimes” foods mentality. Fourth of July is definitely a “sometimes”. I won’t be denied my heaping scoop of cowboy beans with bacon and strawberry shortcake or apple pie.

  16. When “Healthy Eating” is the Wrong Message « My Two Year Old Eats … | health eating Says:

    […] from: When “Healthy Eating” is the Wrong Message « My Two Year Old Eats … 此条目发表在 未分类 分类目录,贴了 control-weight, family, family-attended, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: