Christen Cooper, MS, RD

Christen is the founder of Cooper Nutrition Education & Communications, providing nutrition education nationwide. As a specialist in pediatric- and school nutrition, she serves on the advisory board of Super Kids Nutrition, a website devoted to nutrition information for children and parents.

Putting Kids “In Charge” of Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Getting kids to do household chores or take part in family activities can sometimes turn into an all-out power struggle for parents. Kids’ natural yearning for independence can override their willingness to comply with parental requests. A similar tug-of-war can occur when kids are asked to try new foods. At times, they may refuse to eat certain foods multiple times. Parents need to show patience until their kids are good and ready – often weeks or even years after the initial request.
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Healthy Snacking for Everyday Families
For many families, a trip to the grocery store with kids is about as relaxing as riding a roller coaster with no seatbelt. Getting kids to eat healthy foods at home or at restaurants is not easy. Since the 1970s, Americans’ eating habits have changed significantly. Portion sizes of nearly all foods have increased and the number of snacks eaten per day also has shot upwards.
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Parent Role Modeling: Choosing the Right Foods, at the Right Time, for the Right Reasons
Without a doubt, parents have good reason to be worried about their kids’ diet, especially given the sharp rise in obesity and Type 2 diabetes among the young. But will parental food policing guarantee that kids will make better food choices when they are grown up? Once they’re out in the world, they’ll have to decide for themselves when to go for the Oreo and when to stick with the banana. How should parents prepare their offspring while they still have influence?
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