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Episode 68: Changing the Healthy Eating Conversation with Jennifer Anderson

podcast Dec 20, 2021

In this episode, Sharon sits down with Jennifer Anderson, a registered dietitian and the founder of Kids Eat In Color, to talk about public health and nutrition misinformation. Jennifer advocates for moving away from fear-based messaging around food and consumption habits in order to help develop a perspective of curiosity and open-mindedness. She also shares with Sharon her tips on how to know when an information source is using emotional manipulation to promote health products or specific types of eating styles. Join Sharon and Jennifer to brush up on your nutrition information; it may not always be as complicated the media makes it out to be.

Links to Full Episode:

This Episode Will Teach You:

  • The difference between a registered dietitian and a nutritionist
  • How the food pyramid evolved to a MyPlate over the last decade
  • The guidelines of the USDA MyPlate
  • The myth around fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
  • The difference between strict food rules and using basic, obtainable guidelines
  • How diets and nutrition are historically cyclical or limited
  • The ways in which diet culture harms children
  • How the word “healthy” can be a tricky word

3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • Jennifer Anderson is a registered dietitian and the founder of Kids Eat In Color–a leading nutrition resource for parents feeding kids. As a registered dietitian, Jennifer has gone through extensive training and schooling in order to use the title and is required to follow a code of ethics. Alternatively, the title of “nutritionist” is more broad and does not require specific training; anyone can claim to be a nutritionist or a “health coach” and promote things that aren’t necessarily healthy. It’s important to know where and who you’re getting your information from.
  • All foods play different roles in our lives; whether we’re eating specific diets to aid in healing our bodies or using food to act as fuel to just get through a tough week. Using basic practice guidelines is better than trying to pigeon-hole ourselves and our children into strict eating habits. The basic guidelines include sitting down together as a family to eat, listening to our bodies to know when we’re full, cook when we can, and eat the widest variety of foods we can. We need to scale back on our nutrition obsession.
  • Jennifer advocates that the phrase “This food is unhealthy” should be removed from the nutrition conversation. It creates stress and anxiety over food sources, and stress is arguably less healthy than the foods we’re trying to avoid. It also discounts culture and history around human diets which can lead to bias, classism, and racism. We need to not let fear or sensationalism guide us into changing our diets or eating habits. Emotional manipulation in food messaging is going to benefit the manipulator more than it benefits us.

About the Guest:

Jennifer Anderson is a registered pediatric dietitian with a master of science in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She is the founder of Kids Eat In Color

Kids Eat in Color is a team of experts that helps parents end food battles and teach their kids to try new foods. From strategies to reverse picky eating to meal tips, we are here to help families reduce mealtime stress and eat happier.

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