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

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 23, 2014

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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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Adrienne January 23, 2014 at 7:02 am

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!


Julie malloure January 23, 2014 at 7:13 am

I would love to read this!!


Morgan January 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

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


Casey January 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

It’s on my reading list!


Nikki January 23, 2014 at 7:43 am

This book is on my list to read.


Tytia January 23, 2014 at 7:43 am

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.


Janette Clement January 23, 2014 at 8:02 am

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!


Ceci Miller January 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

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!


Cheryl Girkin January 23, 2014 at 8:47 am

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


Hilary Alexander January 23, 2014 at 8:49 am

I would love to read this book!


Penny January 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

I am really interested in this book and would love a copy to help with feeding my two young girls!


Melissa January 23, 2014 at 9:14 am

I can’t wait to read this and share new information with my family.


Melissa January 23, 2014 at 9:20 am

Sounds interesting. I definitely need to read this book!


Amanda January 23, 2014 at 10:06 am

I would love to win this book! I actually found your blog through hers. :-)


Miri January 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

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.


Krista January 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

Please count me in! Thanks for the opportunity.


Meridith January 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

I really need this information for myself and my kids.


Shauna January 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I love Dina’s website and would LOVE to read the book!!


Maggie White January 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

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!


Allison January 23, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Yes yes yes yes count me in! I cannot wait to use this! Thank you, healthy eating fairy godmother!


Brenda January 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I LOVE Dina’s site and practical advice when it comes to feeding our families. I would love to read this book!


Kelly Erlain January 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I would love a copy of this book to help with my children’s eating dilemmas!


Sarah J. January 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Looks like a great book! I need all the help I can get with my 6 and 4 year olds.


Christina Cicack January 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

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!


Elena Jones January 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Looks like a good read!


Syd January 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I love this blog and am excited to read the book. Loy’s of great info, I’m sure.


Diane Davis January 23, 2014 at 4:46 pm

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!


Mimi January 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Oy! I can use all the help I can get. I’ve got two extremely selective palates in my children…..


Leah Walsh January 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

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 ;)


Pilar January 23, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Sounds like a good read. Thanks for highlighting it!


Sarah White January 23, 2014 at 8:47 pm

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.


Meghan January 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I would love a copy! I’m a dietitian for a public school system and I’m looking for good resources.


Sara January 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm

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.


Mom in NJ January 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I LOVE her blog! Owning her book would be great. Thanks for the giveaway.


Kelly Epright January 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Would love this book, always looking for ways to get my kids to eat healthy


Mary January 23, 2014 at 10:46 pm

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


Megan Dennen January 23, 2014 at 11:00 pm

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!


Stef January 24, 2014 at 8:25 am

I’d love to win a copy if It’s Not About the Broccolli! Love your blog And Dina’s


Erika January 24, 2014 at 8:39 am

Would love to read this book and then would pass on to my local library so other parents could read it.


Emily January 24, 2014 at 9:29 am

I’m a fan of Dr. Rose’s website, hoping to learn more!


Jessica Braider January 24, 2014 at 9:57 am

I am dying to read this! The buzz has been amazing and it would be a great help to me in my work with families who want to live healthier and more balanced lives!


Zuzia January 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

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!


Bettina Elias Siegel January 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm

The entry period for this giveaway is now closed.


Kelly Fagan January 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

As a SLP who specializes in feeding,
I would love to get a copy of the book :)


miranda January 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Looks like an interesting read


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