9/21/15

An Interview With Sally From Real Mom Nutrition


I am so excited about today’s post! I recently found a new (to me) blog Real Mom Nutrition and I just sat down and read it almost like a book. I am even more excited that Sally the author of Real Mom Nutrition agreed to let me interview her! Sally is a registered dietician, blogger, podcaster, and mom. I love her blog because its real life practical tips to get your kids to eat healthier. My favorite thing about Sally is that she doesn’t strive for perfection, she understands what it’s like to have kids and wants them to be healthy but understands that in life you can’t always eat perfect and some days you don’t get enough veggies and may indulge in too much sugar.


First of all Sally I want to thank you for agreeing to let me interview! Please tell us about yourself!

I’m a registered dietitian, a mom of two boys, an educator, and an author. I write the blog Real Mom Nutrition, which is about feeding kids and staying sane. When I’m not working, I volunteer at my children’s school on the wellness committee and at a local food pantry/resources center. I also love to play the piano and bake yummy things.

What exactly does a registered dietician do?

Dietitians have so many different jobs, that’s one thing I love about the profession. Many dietitians work in healthcare settings, like hospitals and long-term care facilities, others work in schools in foodservice, or at the university-level as a researcher or professor, others have corporate jobs working with food companies, and some do employee wellness. I’ve tried a number of different jobs over the years, such as weight loss counseling and diabetes education, but now I specialize in nutrition communications. I write my blog, Real Mom Nutrition, do freelance writing for magazines, and work with companies such as Stonyfield and Stemilt Growers writing for their websites too.

You have also written a book, can you tell us about that?

I collaborated with Cooking Light on a book called Dinnertime Survival Guide. It’s designed for busy families who have very real obstacles to getting a healthy meal on the table, like crazy schedules, a tight budget, or picky kids. Each chapter focuses on a different obstacle and provides solutions and recipes that target that obstacle. It includes very easy, family-friendly recipes using ingredients that you can easily find at the grocery store. I’ve gotten wonderful feedback on it from so many people, and that has been the best part of it all!

Why did you decide to start your blog?

I started my blog because when I became a mom, I realized that feeding myself and my family a healthy diet was much harder than it was made out to be. I felt like a lot of bloggers weren’t telling the truth about how hard it was, so I decided to tell the truth! I wanted to provide readers assurance, plus provide advice on what works for US, including kitchen tricks, feeding tips, and very easy recipes.

My husband and kids are hesitant to eat healthy and they really seem to resist any changes I try to make. Do you have any tips to slowly get hard headed husbands and children on board with eating healthier?

I think it’s imperative that spouses are on the same page with this because you want to present a united front to your kids on the family’s food values. And you definitely don’t want to have a spouse who undermines your efforts to eat healthfully.  I think partners should have conversations about their beliefs and values around food and try to come to a mutual understanding. My husband is wonderful at trying new foods—and if he doesn’t like something, he doesn’t make a big deal about it to the kids. I also try to be sure I am serving everyone’s favorites once in a while so people feel heard and understood. So we might have Brussels sprouts one night (not my husband’s fave) but then corn (which he does like) the next night. We’ll have curry one night (which my youngest doesn’t like) then spaghetti another night (his favorite).

I can’t remember if I heard you say this on a podcast or read it in one of your posts, but you said that you ask yourself before eating something, “how will this make me feel later” and it helps you when you are making choices. First I have to say that I love that! I’ve started asking myself that and so far it has helped me! My daughter who is hypoglycemic went to a football game and ate a ton of sugar and came home and was feeling awful, so instead of fussing like I’d normally (hello control freak mom) I was able to talk to her about her food choices and told her to start asking herself before she decided to eat something sugary “how will this make me feel later”. Do you have any other suggestions for discussing nutrition with our kids? Or ways to explain to them how different foods will affect their bodies?

I try to be as positive as possible. I try not to ever scare my kids; I would never say a food is dangerous or toxic or poison, words I hear used with food way too often! We talk about the foods that are best for our bodies, the foods that help us grow and make us feel good, and how we want to eat more of those foods than the chips and ice cream and cookies. (But those foods are still part of our lives!) We also talk about balance, especially as the kids get older. My goal is for them to understand how to put together a balanced meal or snack.

After listening to several of your podcast episodes I have realized that I’m sort of casting a negative concept on food with my children. Have you noticed specific ways parents seem to be sabotaging their efforts to get their kids to eat healthy?

Using food as a reward backfires. Telling kids they can have dessert if they eat their veggies is a short-term solution with no long-term benefits. All your kid is learning is that veggies are yucky and what you have to slog through to get to the “good stuff”.  My podcast partner, Dina Rose, talks about the “happy bite”. You want your kids to take a bit of broccoli because they like it and want to eat it, not because you’ve forced them to eat it. Nagging, bribing, and forcing kids to eat foods is never a good idea and creates negative associations that can last a long time!

I’ve heard family members and other parent say “well my kids are skinny, healthy, and have a lot of energy so they can just eat whatever they want”. How do you feel about this statement?

A person can be trim but not be healthy. We now know that the foundation of heart disease, for instance, is laid down in childhood. Kids can have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and we’re seeing that more now than ever before Eating habits are also established in childhood, and children learn habits early. If we set our kids up to eat junk, that  may be what they carry into adulthood. That affects not only their weight but increasingly, their health, as they get older.

Do you have any other resources that you would recommend for parents?

I love a lot of blogs about feeding kids like Raise Healthy Eaters, It’s Not About Nutrition, Just The Right Byte, and The Lunch Tray. Mom’s Kitchen Handbook is wonderful for recipes. I also have some books listed on my blog that I like for picky eaters, which are listed here.

Where else besides your blog can my readers find you?

8 comments:

  1. This is great! I feel like so many healthy-food folks are using scare tactics, which I really dislike. This is a much more balanced and realistic perspective.

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  2. Congrats on your interview. We've been moving to a healthier lifestyle.

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  3. I'm on the other side of this battle haha. My son can eat fruits and veggies all day for ever meal of the day. He actually begged me to let him be vegetarian for a whole two weeks! I on the other hand opt for quick, easy and cheap. I'm working on that though! These were very helpful tips for me to apply to MYSELF. I hate how junk food / fast food makes me feel when I eat so I need to keep that "how will this make me feel" mantra in the back of my head every time I eat.

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  4. Great interview. I really need to remember to be more mindful of what I eat, and asking yourself how you'll feel later is such a great idea. I'll have to check out that book too.

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  5. Great information for this mama of 4 trying to feed her kiddos as healthy as possible. We homeschool so we workout 30 minutes a day (plus outside just 'play time.') but when my fruits and veggies run out before grocery shopping day, I need to be better at having some frozen on hand for fast smoothies, etc.

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  6. What a great post! I feel it's hard to not "make" your kids eat foods. I try, but when it comes down to it sometimes I make them eat it, though sometimes I'll let them have a substitute (ok, if you don't want to eat the salad you can eat another green veggie from the fridge, but you'll have to fix it yourself).

    We kinda stumbled on something that works for us at restaurants, that taught kids there's sugar in a lot of drinks that can make you hyper. So we'll say "Can you handle the lemonade?" and if they are acting wild we say...I don't think you can handle any more lemonade. So I think it's taught them to think about what food does to them. I've heard one of my children say "I'm going to have water after this cause I think I've had too much sugar." (Yes, my eyes did bug out and made me wonder "Is that MY kid?" )

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  7. Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog!

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