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Stop Mommy Shaming

Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN

It’s sad to say that I read at least one article a day that skews the nutrition and diet landscape. The advice given is often strict and inflexible, ultimately creating feelings of inadequacy or shame. The target audience is often mothers. Sometimes it’s even mothers shaming other mothers! A colleague recently observed that it’s almost as if “food shaming” has become its own brand.

A recent story news about a country music star who was cornered by a few judgey moms had this to say:

“Dear Mommy Shamers,

Unless you are my child’s doctor, father or mother, do not tell me how to raise my child, or how to feed her.”

 She makes a good point: there is no perfect recipe for parenting a perfect child, and parenting does includes feeding. Feeding is not just about what you feed your child however; it’s also about how. Are you feeding with love, meeting the child’s physical and emotional needs? Are you meeting your own needs? After all, a stressed out mom is not going to have the energy to be her best self (therefore, jarred baby food may be a perfect fit).

The same practice fits when they are toddlers and begin sitting at the table. The parent’s job is to provide a variety of healthy choices than can result in a balanced diet, and the child’s job is to choose how much to eat. Encourage your child to eat those nutritious foods first, and then enjoy treats without fanfare. When you don’t deprive your young child the occasional treat, they can learn what proper portions are.

There are so many healthy options in the grocery store for your children. Simply balance out fresh food from the basic food groups with some convenience foods, while also allowing those small treats. Nutrition education starts in the home and should not be dictated by government regulation, or anyone else’s judgement! Balance and moderation are the best ingredients to include in your lifestyle as you raise healthy eaters.

In addition to being the mother of 3 sons, Rosanne has nearly 30 years of experience in the food and nutrition field. She is the coauthor of several books, including DASH Diet For Dummies®, which all share her philosophy of balancing healthy eating with exercise and an enjoyment of life's little pleasures. Check out her blog, Chew The Facts, for more on this topic.

Tags: Health National
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Top Five Summer Hydration Myths

Kim Galeaz, RDN CD 

These five summer-related food and beverage myths are just as relentless and oppressive as the Midwest heat and humidity. They just won’t go away. But I’m persistent, too, so here are the facts.

1. Myth: Only water hydrates.

Fact: All beverages hydrate because they’re all high water content. Milk, juice, regular and diet sodas, sports and energy drinks, tea and coffee all count as hydration.  Even summertime lemonade and sweet tea. In fact, diet soda is 99% water!

2. Myth: Caffeine dehydrates.

Fact: Your morning coffee, latte, and summer peach tea all hydrate. When the IOM (Institute of Medicine) released the 2004 DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) on water needs, they determined caffeine-containing beverages do not negatively affect hydration in people accustomed to consuming caffeine. Not accustomed to consuming caffeine? Your body will adjust in about five days. So go ahead, kick back, and cool off with a big glass of refreshing iced tea.

3. Myth: Eight cups daily.

Fact: You actually need more: Men need at least 13 cups of total fluid daily and women need at least 9 cups. But this is in a temperate climate and without strenuous activity. So when you’re taking your daily exercise run, playing badminton on a humid summer evening or riding your bike in the park, you need to balance accordingly. Which is why it’s good to know all beverages hydrate. Bonus fact: research indicates you’ll drink 45 to 50 percent more if it’s flavored.

4. Myth: Beverages with low-calorie sweeteners are off-limits.

Fact: All no- and low-calorie sweeteners are safe to consume (hundreds of studies confirm) and can be an effective weight loss/management tool. And no, they don’t increase your appetite or cause weight gain either. I’ve been drinking about three diet sodas daily for over 40 years and my weight is optimal.

5. Myth: Sugary beverages and foods are off limits.

Fact: Sugar is okay to enjoy, including summertime popsicles and snow cones (lots of water!) and lemon shake-ups at the State Fair. Paying attention to ALL calories and choices daily is the key, not over-focusing on just sugar. Focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy choices instead and enjoy sugary drinks and foods along with - not instead of - an overall healthy diet.


Kim Galeaz RDN CD is an Indianapolis-based registered dietitian nutritionist and believes in vibrant aging and optimal health by blending and balancing all food/beverage choices with a daily dose of positive attitude and activity. As owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications, she’s a recipe creator, writer, speaker, spokesperson and advocacy consultant for the food, beverage and agriculture industry. Find Kim’s nutrition tips & recipes @KimFoodTalk

Don’t Buy the Hype: Soda Taxes Hurt Consumers

Americans for Food and Beverage Choice

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about soda taxes, and politicians’ false promises are not helping cut through the confusion. In part three of our five-part series, we'll take a look at how these grocery taxes affect consumers.

What is the financial fallout of a soda tax for citizens? As others have made clear, soda taxes are costly for all consumers – but carry the biggest burden for hard-working, lower-income families. As William Shughart II, research director of the Independent Institute, has said: “We don’t normally expect politicians to be truthful. But if they want to impose these taxes, they should be honest enough to admit that they will not end obesity or diabetes, but rather will generate more of other peoples’ money for profligate state governments to spend.”

Stay tuned for more misguided motives behind beverage taxes.

Tags: National Advocacy Taxes Blog
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