We live in a world where there are more calories, more sugar, more fat and more sodium in the food we eat and where there is less running, less skipping, less biking and less dancing in the lives we lead. Helping your child develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise while appreciating her body isn't easy, but it can be one of the best things you can do to protect them for the long haul. Are you on the right track?
If you could help your child lead a longer, healthier life, wouldn't you?
Helping your child grow and thrive healthfully isn't easy. But you have more power than you know. In fact, studies show that educating parents in nutrition is more effective in influencing kids and teens' health than educating the youth. You already know what your child eats today sets the stage for their health tomorrow. But maybe you feel that you don't have the breadth and depth of knowledge to really give your child a healthy foundation.
Don't Believe Everything You Read Sure, you could Google "childhood nutrition," but how do you know what you're reading is accurate research-based information? One day eggs are good for you, and the next they cause heart disease (not true!). One food guide says kids need four servings of vegetables a day, and another says they need 3 cups. It can be overwhelming to sort through the various "facts" you get from magazines, the internet, your pediatrician and your friends. And do you really have time to package it all together into a meaningful plan that can work for you and your family -- while actually raising your family?
Not only do I have more than 25 years of professional and practical experience in the field of pediatric nutrition, but I'm also a mother of four -- so I know how tough it can be. I've spent years helping parents just like you deal with the ups and downs of raising healthy kids.
In my book Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School, I translated complicated nutrition advice into simple feeding plans for every age and stage to take the fear out of feeding kids. On my blog, The Nourished Child, I use science-based nutrition information to empower parents to become better feeders so they raise great eaters.
My mission is to make it easy for parents to understand food, feeding and child development. I want to inspire you to nourish your child -- inside and out.
The Nourished Child Project is the first step.
Raising a healthy child is a project.
An 18-year long project filled with daily food choices (I'm talking more than 28,000 meals and snacks here,) back-and-forth negotiations between you and your child, and worries about whether you're feeding them nutritiously and teaching them how to eat properly.
These worries come from many places, but mostly, they come from insecurity and lack of trust. The insecurity comes from a lack of nutrition knowledge and a fail-proof strategy for feeding kids. The lack of trust comes from a society that teaches us to control our kids' eating and worry (too much) about their weight.
Combine that with the fact that one kid needs to be at baseball practice, the other a piano lesson, you just got home from a long day at work or volunteering and your spouse is out of town on business. The last thing you want to do is fight with your kids about the nutritional value of macaroni and cheese and pizza rolls.
A lot of parents don't want to struggle with the nutritional issues, so they give up. But your child still depends on you to guide them.
Taking the daily responsibility as a parent to cultivate and positively influence your child's diet and exercise habits is overwhelming, and it does take effort.
But it will be one of the best things you can do to protect them for the long haul.
Your child's health relies on the food they eat, the attitude and approach with which you feed him, the structure and boundaries you have in place, and the lifestyle habits he adopts.
Unless you have a food system, a feeding strategy and a lifestyle infrastructure that encourages your child's overall health, you will continue to question yourself, feel guilty and struggle with your child over their food selection, eating habits and health.
"Will this work for my situation?"
"Is this going to be too hard?"
"Will I have time for this?"
"How can I trust this person?"
One thing I know for sure is that feeding kids today isn't easy. I know because I have my own kids and have had my own ups and downs.
In fact, raising healthy kids is one of the hardest jobs of parenthood. From picky eating, food allergies, sports nutrition, eating disorders and specialized diets for medical problems to navigating the ins and outs of getting meals on the table, what to serve at snack time and the endless doubt about what to feed kids -- feeding is hard.
You're in the Right Place
Rest assured: I can help. After spending more than 25 years in the field of pediatric nutrition working directly with parents and their children, I know that merely getting the "right" food on the table each and every day is not enough. It takes more than that to raise a healthy child.
Raising a healthy child takes what I refer to as the trifecta of modern-day childhood nutrition:
Getting a handle on all three is the secret sauce. But after that? You need positive strategies and effective systems in place to help you along the way. That's what The Nourished Child Project is all about. You'll get a food system, feeding strategy and a lifestyle infrastructure that will set your child on a healthy path. No wacky diets, no unrealistic promises. Just good, healthy food and living.
I've witnessed how incredibly powerful this program has been in the lives of hundreds of families. I would love to see the same results for you and your child!
Anne R., New York
"Jill Castle is an exceptional teacher. During the past three years, she has offered invaluable guidance as my family and I work to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I have become better equipped to help my family make smart and reasonable food choices. Thanks to Jill, my son (9 years old) has steadied his weight, is eating healthier, and most importantly, is gaining the tools that will help him make good nutrition decisions for a lifetime."
Nicole N., current student
"I've learned that while there are lots of things I'm doing right in feeding and nutrition, there are also a bunch of things I could be better at. I was a "plater." My kids didn't seem to mind, but, truthfully, there was little joy in our mealtimes. We ate every meal at a kitchen island, and I was like a cook in a restaurant. Rarely did I even sit down at a meal!... Even with all my previous knowledge of nutrition and hypervigilance surrounding food, one of my children somehow became obese...What I am discovering mostly is there is a special kind of magic in letting go of control. I've taken Jill's sage advice to regroup and move on. Thank you, Jill Castle. This resource you've created has helped us tremendously."
Sharon V., New York
"Jill is absolutely wonderful! She is kind, supportive, professional and has really been able to provide me with the information I need. There is always room for improvement, and Jill has the information we all need to feed our kids well."
Ellen, reformed food plater
Howdy! I started serving the food family style and it has been life changing. My daughter, who is 7 years old, loves the independence of serving herself and choosing how much and what to eat. My son, who is 3.5 years old, is a pickier eater which is what inspired the transformation. On multiple occasions he has turned something down on the first pass around the table, but after seeing it sitting on the table and the rest of us eating it, he has asked to try foods and enjoyed them. He also has enjoyed serving himself. I have seen them both make better decisions on choosing what food to get when we have been at buffets or family dinners. There is less waste and more concrete choices. It has been worth the extra few dishes each night to give them these tools. Thank you again for the great suggestions.
The Nourished Child Project is the training you need to learn and implement an effective and holistic plan to better nourish and raise your child so she grows up healthy and with a healthy relationship to food. The Nourished Child Project will make raising and feeding your child easier, while also helping you conquer unhealthy food environments and your own worries.
But it's hard enough to be a mom, trying to balance your own demands with caring for your son, daughter or spouse. Add in a weekend workshop or a one-on-one counseling session on how to feed your child or help them stay healthy, and you can feel like you're drowning in a sea of dirty dishes, to-do lists and class notes.
As a working mom and a former stay-at-home mom, I know how utterly overwhelming it can be to juggle family, work, volunteer and social commitments. But it doesn't have to be impossible.
A Flexible and Convenient Solution
The Nourished Child Project is an online training program that gives you the flexibility to study on the schedule that fits your life -- whether that's at 5 a.m. before your kid wakes up, during your lunch break or for a few hours late at night.
This program fits into your life instead of you reorganizing your life around it.
Join now, and you'll receive free and unlimited access to useful online videos, educational printables and resources, and additional support all packaged in an easy-to-navigate virtual classroom that will help you take your child's health to the next level. The training is available online, 24/7, so you can learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home.
The Nourished Child Project teaches the strategies and systems to optimal health, including growth and development, food, feeding, lifestyle, and helps with troubleshooting common challenges.
You'll recceive immediate access to all of the online content to complete at your convenience.
Your online content is delivered through a 5-module course that gives you complete access to 25 video lessons, more than 26 printable resources, access to support via our private Facebook page -- you're not in this alone! -- and bonus materials. You'll have lifetime access, available 24 hours, seven days a week.
Your course content includes:
Module 1: Your Starting Point
You'll assess your child's current growth and cognitive development, understanding where they are now and where they're heading. You'll determine where you are in your feeding journey, exploring your own worries and food history while setting realistic expectations of your child's eating, behavior and food choices based on their cognitive, physical and social-emotional development.
Module 2: The Food System
You'll learn about food groups, which foods fit into each group and how much of each group your child needs daily. You'll better understand portion sizes and your child's minimum requirements for health. You'll decode a nutrition label and ingredient list and learn how to plan meals and snacks with target nutrients in mind so you're optimizing nutrition and satisfying your child's appetite. You'll get a no-fail approach to planning meals and snacks, plus sample meals, tons of snack ideas, meal-planning themes, shopping lists, a meal-planning guide, and more!
Module 3: The Feeding Strategy
Feeding your child -- or how you interact around food and eating -- affects how well your child eats. You'll decipher feeding styles and daily feeding practices to optimize the most effective way to feed your child and avoid ineffective and potentially harmful feeding. You'll learn about self-regulation -- the ultimate goal for your child's eating -- and how to achieve it. You'll also learn how to use the most effective feeding approach, including structure, boundaries and reasonable choice, while creating your Awesome Master Feeding Plan, incorporating what you've learned in modules 2 and 3.
Module 4: The Lifestyle Infrastructure
You'll master and incorporate the most powerful lifestyle habits and choices that influence your child's overall health. You'll learn how much physical activity your child needs and which types and how media viewing impacts your child's food attitudes, choices, and body image. You'll create a sleep plan based on current guidelines and understand how adequate sleep influences health.
Module 5: Trouble-Shooting, Motivation and Education
Will challenges happen? Yes, of course! I'll teach you about the most common food and feeding challenges you'll face and what to do about them. You'll also learn how to motivate your child to make healthy food choices in ways that stick. You'll recognize and create nutrition education opportunities along with age-appropriate dialogue that motivates your child to eat well and sustain his or her health.
The Nourished Child Project Program includes the online content + 8 hours of group coaching LIVE with me!
In the online content, you'll receive priority access to