Book Review and Giveaway: Getting to Yum – The 7 Secrets to Raising Eager Eaters

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Two years ago I was lucky enough to have Karen Le Billon guest blog about her experience in France, which led her to write her first book, “French Kids Eat Everything.” This time around I jumped at an opportunity to read her latest book, “Getting to Yum: The 7 Secrets to Raising Eager Eaters.” It’s no secret that I’m a fan of cookbooks. But “Getting to Yum” is not just a cookbook for families. It’s a guide for parents who have been trying without success to get their “picky” eaters to eat more veggies and even fruits.

The first half of this book is devoted to hundreds of tips and strategies for the desperate parent.  Karen’s suggestions are simple and easy to follow. I’m lucky to have two boys who do not fight me at mealtime. I follow many of her tips already. For example, I never made two meals at dinnertime (as in one for my son, Charlie, and one for my husband and me). He has always known that he has to eat what is served.

More recently though I have made an exception with leftovers. Charlie just is not a fan of leftovers of even his favorite foods. So sometimes I will fry him an egg instead of whatever day-old protein I offered. But he can never get out of eating something the first time it’s served. Or he goes to bed hungry. Luckily for him, I never had to worry about his weight. My second son is underweight by the charts. He looks great and all other measures are well in the average range, but the doctor has said that little Daniel needs to be on the “butter and burger” diet to get fatter. Daniel is 18 months old and is a fantastic eater (knock on wood). But whenever he gets sick, he stops eating and this spring we’ve had some illnesses. Because of his size, I have to always make sure that he eats at every mealtime and I offer snacks pretty much constantly. When and if he does hit a “picky” stage, I’m going to have to cater to him, but he does have a medical excuse. I’m lucky though because I can and do use Charlie as a “model” when I introduce a new food and it seems to help.

As a speech-language pathologist, I’ve taken infant feeding disorders so I’m aware of the serious side of a reluctance to eat. I would offer that if your child is eating only 10 or 20 foods, you should seek professional medical assistance. I believe that is beyond the label of “picky” and is most definitely in the disordered range. In graduate school I worked in a clinic that offered feeding therapy. I’m not trained in feeding therapy, but when I was able to observe it, I saw amazing changes in kids’ willingness to try and experiment with new textures and food groups.

Karen Le Billon organized the second half of the book into recipes by veggie, fruit, dessert, and then basic recipes for parents to know and prepare. It’s clever and very useful. This book is made to save parents from their children’s food whims, but it will also save dinner! Not to mention it might get your family out of a rut! If you are struggling with a “picky” eater (or two) and there are no medical conditions involved, “Getting to Yum” is designed for you! It’s quite perfect, in fact. I hate to do it, but I’m giving away my copy of the book. Please leave a comment at the end of this post if you would like to be entered in the giveaway. I will choose a random number two weeks from now on June 10th. Good luck!

Getting to Yum Party Pasta

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46 thoughts on “Book Review and Giveaway: Getting to Yum – The 7 Secrets to Raising Eager Eaters”

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning the disordered range of picky eating. My son had severe feeding aversion as a child and any time someone threw the picky label around, I got so frustrated. After years of therapy with a speech and occupational therapist, we are doing great! My defenses went up when I started to read your post, thinking it was going to be preachy about picky eaters, but you totally won me over. Thank you!

  2. Parent of a picky eater, not surprising as I was one as well. Both of us have a wicked sweet tooth that’s hard to curb. Our rule is he must try whatever is offered at dinner before getting the alternative -eggs.

  3. Gee, I can’t believe the doctor suggested a “butter and burger” diet…Reminds me when I was in junior high and underweight and everyone under the sun kept pushing me to eat candy, cake, chips, burgers, even though I didn’t like how those foods tasted or felt. Why did no one suggest greek yogurt, fruit smoothies, and fish to make sure my body was balanced rather than overloading it with empty, overprocessed calories?

  4. Sounds like an interesting book. My kids tend to fluctuate in their pickiness, but generally don’t like most veggies unfortunately.

  5. Interesting. This subject and its relevancy to these times is troubling for reasons I cannot quite grasp. Something transpired in this generation, and it may be entitlement (I don’t know), that did not exist prior to these times. The science of making children eat is indicative of something outside of what I know about food.

    I traveled the world growing up. Never in my household, or any I visited, nor in any continent did parents struggle thus. Eating and play were as fundamental to being a child and being alive as breathing and coming home at night after playing all day was a natural rhythm. But, a scientific and methodical approach to getting a child to eat? Interesting it may be, but isn’t it a ‘tell’ that something is askew in our approach to life? – Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories

    1. Delighted to find this blog, community, and thoughtful comment — I so connect with you all and Gregory Woods in particular, and would love to continue the conversation.

      As a mom of six children, it’s so often an upstream struggle once they are in school. It takes tremendous conviction — and a willingness to feel like you’re wearing the scarlet letter M for mean mom — to stand up for what feels right: more real food, real play, real connection, and less i-and electronic and google-ified everything.

  6. Ahhh, I hope I win a copy of this book. I loved “French Kids Eat Everything” as a Francophile who lived a year in Lyon, I am constantly inspired by seasonal produce and creating food that is in tune with each. I love the idea that I am responsible for the way that my children see food, and the way that they will eventually create their own menus when they are on their own. It really is sad in today’s world that we (as Americans) are bound to bad processed foods based on income levels. If only we had a governing body who cared more for food and how it comes to the table. I hope the important work that is being done today by many experts and chefs will influence American food policy and the way we teach our children to enjoy and love good food.

  7. This giveaway is great! I could really use this book, but don’t have the spare funds right now. Thank for the opportunity!

  8. My kids do pretty well eating a variety of foods, however I am always on the lookout for more tips and information on healthy eating. Thanks!

  9. My husband and I are in the process of adopting a sibling set of 4 kids… I’m quite sure I’m going to need this book! 🙂 Thanks for hosting the giveaway. I loved “French Kids Eat Everything”, and this is certainly on my “to read” list.

  10. I am French but have been living in the UK for 18 years, so I might have picked up some of the British way to approach things with my little one!
    However, it is very important to me that my daughter grows up with a healthy attitude towards food, and generally speaking, with a love of food.
    But she is 3 and has become such a picky eater that I feel I am failing totally….
    My success however is that she loves Brocolli and blue cheese! She could have her whole diet made if these two things!

  11. I LOVE French Kids Eat Everything so I’m sure this will be an excellent supplement. Can’t wait to see it (or win it!)!

  12. Very interested in this book! Is it more for toddlers? I still battle a picky eater and he’s 10. His twin brother will at least try new things.

  13. I would LOVE to have this book!!! I have some adult friends who could benefit from these tips as well!! 😉

  14. Thanks for reviewing this book. I’ve been wanting to read it – and now I do even more so!

  15. Wow! What a nice offer. My son eats everything and my daughter eats little. 🙂 This would be a great addition to my bookshelf on health & nutrition.

  16. I would love to read this book! Is it geared for toddlers? I have a picky 10 year old boy, fortunately his twin brother tries new things.

  17. This book sounds helpful and very interesting. Thanks for this great post and giveaway.

  18. Thank you for this blog post.
    I love love love French Kids Eat Everything. I am a community nutritionist that works with families with young children and I am always recommending the book. I am glad to hear there is a follow-on book. 🙂

  19. This would be a great book to get my little one eating better. I’m always looking for ways to help her and myself. My fingers are crossed

  20. I read French Kids Eat Everything and it REVOLUTIONIZE how my family ate. Every time, I hear some one say they have trouble getting his/her child to sit and eat at a meal, I suggest cutting out snacks. I seems so obvious now. If your kid isn’t hungry at mealtimes, they are getting too many snacks. So simple.

  21. Still trying to be creative w a three year old who only eats greens on smoothies!

  22. My oldest son is very picky and I would love some new ideas for how to introduce more variety in his diet! This sounds like a great book!

  23. Greetings-I would LOVE to read your book. I have two young children and am a pediatric ER doc looking for new ways to get to a healthier diet. Thanks!

  24. I soooo need this!!! I have one very picky toddler who only eats the same few foods. Definitely need some help!

  25. My daughter has been attending “food school” for 7 months now and this would be a great addition for what we have been doing at home!

  26. As the mom of a little one who required feeding therapy at age 2, I am always looking for new ways to encourage well-balanced, healthy eating. Thank you!

  27. I would definitely appreciate an opportunity to read this book. My son will eat everything and my daughter is a picky eater. I have tried various ways to serve vegetables and fruit but it can be tough. I noticed she likes veggies smothered in cheese or fruits topped with honey but I don’t want to overload her diet with fats and sugars.

  28. I am very interested to read this book! We try so hard to make our children try a bite of everything, but we don’t always succeed…yet.

  29. I just love it, when it’s a “stay indoors” kind of day and you’ve got a great book open and you’re lost in world of excitement, thought and reflection.

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