From the category archives:

Brainy

Food literacy, culture and history

Have you ever listened to yourself talk?

March 25, 2014

The day after the Super Bowl, I was in a class at the gym, surrounded by fit, healthy women of all shapes and ages. This class kicks our butts every week. It challenges us, makes us feel strong. It’s exhilarating. Except, that day, this happened: As we were gathering equipment and then warming up, the instructor […]

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So many reasons to love maple season

February 25, 2014

Fake maple syrup bums me out. And not only because it rarely contains real maple. (Most brands are a mix of high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and artificial flavors.) It’s because maple syrup is perfect just as it is. Naturally sweet, it also retains trace vitamins and minerals, even antioxidants. It’s still sugar, so let’s not […]

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The mom label

February 20, 2014

This list is making the rounds this week. It features some remarkable food activists, including a couple I count as friends and colleagues. And it was developed with input from another colleague who is a champion of activism and reform at every level. And I don’t want what I’m about to say to diminish them or their […]

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Enough with the kid food

October 11, 2013

When Lunchables alone are a $1 billion dollar business, you know the concept of  “kid food” is out of control. When children’s menus and kid parties offer nothing but junk as the (accepted) default, when veggies are something to be hidden and endured, and “picky eater” is a national bonding cry, you know we’ve all lost our everloving minds. […]

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Facing our food

June 24, 2013

Read any advice on raising good eaters and you’ll see some variation of “involve kids in growing food.” Conventional wisdom tells us this is because children are more likely to try something they’ve grown (or picked), enticed by the intimacy and novelty of it all. And it’s true, if not an actual guarantee. But there […]

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Teaching your kids about food will not cause eating disorders

May 17, 2013

There’s a dangerous thread running through the national conversation about kids and food, and it is this: If you talk to your kids about food, if you teach them to understand ingredients and to actually think about what they eat — and, heaven forbid, you actually limit junk food — you are setting them up for, at best, rebellion-fueled binges, or, at […]

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Thoughts on being rude

February 1, 2013

I knew this post was risky. I knew not everyone would agree with how I chose to handle a drink situation at a recent birthday party my daughter attended. I even was prepared to be called things like “preachy,” “condescending” and “judgmental.” I was prepared for that response because, even though I’m none of those things, that comes with […]

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You are in charge. Never forget that.

November 21, 2012

I’m guessing kids everywhere did assignments like this the week before Thanksgiving. And we think this one is a keeper. “Family” is a given (one hopes). “Universe,” “technology” and “math” stoked my science-geek husband and also really cracked us up. But do you see that other word in there? “Me.” Our kid is thankful for herself. At […]

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Boy meets Big Food: book review and giveaway

August 26, 2012

I started Spoonfed because I want people to rethink their assumptions about kids and food. I want kids to get credit for having brains and tastebuds. Amid rampant food-industry manipulation and misinformation, our best hope for raising healthy children is to raise food-literate children — kids who think critically, challenge the status quo and make smart […]

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Kids and factory farming: Yes, tell them the truth

February 27, 2012

We have a living-history museum nearby. One of those places with relocated old buildings and re-enactors who take you right back to the 19th century. During one visit, I was in the kitchen of a home churning butter with my daughter and chatting with another visitor, telling her we’d seen a pig-slaughtering pen being built at the village’s teaching farm. The museum, […]

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