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We all know our kids shouldn’t be eating so many sweets and so much junk food but it’s not always easy. Processed foods are everywhere, plus there’s picky eating, peer pressure, food marketing, and the high cost of food, not to mention that we’re all time-strapped and stressed out. Yet getting more real food in your child’s diet is possible—and it all starts by setting up your real food kitchen. 

On today’s episode, I sat down with Heather Englund, founder of the popular food and wellness blog Fit Mama Real Food. Heather is a certified nutrition coach, a certified group fitness instructor, a recipe developer, food photographer, and author of the new book, Everyday Muffin Party.

Heather talks about what a real-food kitchen is and how to get started, plus the best pantry staples to have on hand, how to use your freezer to make your life easier, and how to save time in the kitchen. She also talks about easy, realistic ways to encourage your kids to eat healthy.


2:07 Let’s talk about your story!

4:09 Most kids are eating too many ultra-processed foods. Why is this something parents should be thinking about more? 

5:57 What are your tips for packing real, whole foods for school?

7:06 Do you rely on processed foods to make your life easier?

8:25 Why is it more important than ever that parents focus on mostly real, whole foods?

12:59 What is a real food kitchen?

14:56 What is important to keep in mind as you’re setting up your real food kitchen? 

17:22 What are the first steps to get started?

18:56 What are the pantry staples you like to have?

20:7 What are ways we can make healthier swaps? 

23:05 How can we use the freezer to make our lives easier?

26:14 What are your best tips for encouraging kids to eat more real foods?

28:56 You have a new book: tell us about it!


Julie mentions that she was a guest on Heather’s podcast, Fit Mama Real Food. 

Julie mentions recent research that shows kids are eating too much ultra-processed foods.

Julie talks about the NOVA Food Classification System

Julie mentions MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)

Learn more about Heather on FitMamaRealFood.com and follow her on Instagram.


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The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, created by a mom of 4 and a former elementary school teacher, is designed to build connection, confidence, and creativity in the kitchen. The course includes 30 basic cooking skills, 45 videos including several bonuses, printable supply and grocery shopping lists, and kid-friendly recipes. The course is designed for all kids ages 2 to teen and has three different skill levels. More than 18,000 families have taken the course and The Wall Street Journal named it the #1 cooking class for kids. Sign up now for the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse and get a free lesson for being a “Food Issues” listener.

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Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.