“It’s Not About the Broccoli” Book Review & Giveaway

Let’s take a break from Chinese chicken, shall we?  :-)

it's not about the broccoli

For weeks I’ve been wanting to tell you about a new book, It’s Not About the Broccoli, by Dr. Dina Rose, the sociologist and child feeding expert behind the “It’s Not About Nutrition” blog.

Rose has guest posted here in the past and I’ve always been impressed with her no-nonsense, provocative style.  She’s never afraid to question a lot of the standard feeding advice out there, like teaching children to eat well by parental modeling of good habits.  (That always seemed like sound advice to me until Rose debunked it in about ten different ways on her blog.)

The central premise of It’s Not About the Broccoli is that American parents are locked into what Rose calls the “nutrition mindset.” We read food labels religiously, can tell you all about antioxidants and fiber, and are always focused at some level on the nutrients our children are consuming (or not consuming) each day.   But, according to Rose, this sort of micro-level thinking often creates difficult mealtime struggles (wringing our hands over exactly how many green beans are eaten at dinner) and it tempts parents into bad food compromises, like giving kids a pass on pizza and hot dogs because, after all, the pizza crust is 51% whole grain and the hot dogs have protein.

dina rose head shot
Dr. Dina Rose

Rose asks parents to drop the emphasis on nutrition and instead focus on habits by teaching children three basic rules of healthy eating: proportion, variety and moderation.  According to Rose, once children adopt these three habits, dinner time struggles will end and lifelong healthy eating will naturally follow.

In teaching parents how to instill these three habits, Rose addresses virtually every conceivable problem a parent might face, and gives very concrete advice, complete with charts, graphics and even actual scripts to teach parents how to talk about food with their children.  It’s a provocative read that will give many parents an entirely new perspective on how they approach feeding, and the good news is that, according to Rose, it’s never too late to instill these three habits, no matter how old our kids may be.

And now for the giveaway!  If you’d like your own free copy of It’s Not About the Broccoli, just leave a comment below by Friday, January 24th at 6:00pm CST.   You can tell me why you’d like to win or you can just say hi.  I’ll use a random number generator after the comment period closes to select one FIVE lucky winners** and if you comment twice (e.g., to respond to another reader’s comment), I’ll use the number of your first comment to enter you in the drawing.   I’ll email you directly if you win and I’ll announce the winner on TLT’s Facebook page, too.  This offer is open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck!

 [Blogger disclosure:  As with most of my book reviews, I received a free copy of this book for my perusal.  However, I never accept any other form of compensation for the book reviews you see on The Lunch Tray.]

**  [Editorial Update, 1/23/14 at 11:50am CST:  An anonymous donor, who believes changing kids’ eating habits can change the world, has offered to pay for four additional copies of the book.  So I’m giving away not one but FIVE copies today.  Thank you to this healthy eating fairy godmother!  :-)]

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  1. says

    This looks like an awesome book! I could see using this information as part of my nutrition consultation work – especially in the schools and with parents. Thanks for offering it as a giveaway!

  2. Morgan says

    Book looks great. With a 5 year old and 1 year old I’m always looking for sound nutrition and feeding advice and tips.

  3. says

    I would LOVE a book to help plan meals for my son. He used to eat everything under the sun and now has suddenly decided he’s a picky eater at the age of six.

  4. Janette Clement says

    This would be a helpful book to me as I am an elementary school lunch lady and would be interested in new ideas of how kids could eat better with out many squabbles. It’s highly likely I will buy this book anyway, but it would be great to win it!

  5. Ceci Miller says

    I would love to win this book. As a single mom of two young little girls who are pretty picky about what they eat, meaning little variety, I’d would love some tips!

  6. Cheryl Girkin says

    This sounds like an interesting book to read, I have 6 small grandchildren, and I am very interested in teaching them good eating habits.

  7. Miri says

    I would love to win this book. I could learn more about how to teach my sons to eat well without being so stressed about it. And, I love your blog and philsophy.

  8. Maggie White says

    I’m a registered dietitian for my local YMCA and I would love to have a copy of this book to share with parents when we talk about feeding our families!

  9. says

    Any book that Bettina recommends I know is going to be thought provoking. As a parent, I’ve always been intrigued by what doctors recommend as an approach to getting our kids to eat better food. Some of it can be great advice, some not very practical and some not very convincing. I’d like to see how much of Dr. Dina Rose resonates with my style and maybe I’ll learn a thing or two I can share with other families!

  10. Diane Davis says

    I would love to win a copy of this book,which I would read and then pass on to my daughter to help her feed my 4 year old granddaughter. Then I would have to buy another copy for my daughter-in-law, to help her feed my grandsons. Thanks!

  11. Leah Walsh says

    I’m so excited to read this! I’m a speech-language pathologist and I do lots of feeding therapy. I’ve been looking for a book that I can share with families. There are so many kids that have limited repertoires and moms looking for help. Pick me pick me 😉

  12. Sarah White says

    Would love to have this book to share with my staff, who could share with school nutrition supervisors across the state, who could then share with managers, and students — and, you get the picture! Everyone would want your book, so please give me one to start the process.

  13. Sara says

    I have a hard time trying new foods and I’ve read Dina’s blog extensively and agree so much with her advice (which is the opposite of what my parents did!). As an educator I try hard not to use food as a reward or impart on my kids the idea that junk is better than other foods.

  14. Mary says

    This sounds interesting! I would love to read about a different perspective on eating habits. I struggle everyday with my son!

  15. Megan Dennen says

    Heading to my son’s annual PCP visit tomorrow and eating habits always top the list of our concerns. I’d love to see what this author has to say!

  16. Zuzia says

    Hi! I’m Your fun from Poland! I’m working as a dietetitian and psychologist with children and parents. We learn together how to eat and how to feed :) I love this job and i’m dreaming about Your book…. but in Poland it’s unapproachable. Greetings!

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