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What we say to our kids can have an impact on them in positive and negative ways, and when we’re trying to raise healthy eaters, we often put a lot of focus on the food, but the words we use are just as important. 

In this episode, I sat down with Jenn Trepeck, an optimal health coach who has been described as a “force of nature” in the wellness space, a business consultant, and host of the popular podcast, Salad With A Side of Fries. 

Jenn and I talk about labeling foods healthy or unhealthy, for example, how to talk to kids about others’ food preferences and special diets, and how to help them through emotional eating and weight issues in positive, healthy ways. We also tackle portion sizes, food rewards, repeated exposures, hunger and satiety cues and so much more. 

Be sure to sign up for the free video course, Turn Your Picky Eaters Into Little Foodies: https://www.julierevelant.com/free-video-email-course/.


3:33 Let’s talk about your journey to health and wellness and how you became a health coach. 

12:08 What are some challenges you see parents have when they talk to their kids about food and meals?

10:40 Why should we avoid labeling foods “good” and “bad,” and “healthy” and “unhealthy?”

18:28 How do we talk about portion sizes?

19:27 Is it OK to talk about the benefits of certain foods such as carrots are good for your eyes!

25:10 How can we encourage repeated food exposures?

31:26 How can we talk to our kids about emotional eating and help them through it?

35:36 How do you know if your kid is really hungry? 

37:18 How should we approach different eating situations such as school, friends’ houses, sports, parties, etc?

39:32 If a parent is trying to eat healthier and/or lose weight, how should they talk about their own food preferences and habits around their kids?

41:21 If you have a kid who is overweight and you’re concerned about what and how much they eat, how do you handle it?

43:42 Are food rewards ever OK? What are some non-food rewards?

45:44 What about taking treats away for bad behavior?

47:41 Where do you think the “clean plate” mentality comes from? Why should we shift our perspective and how should we approach meals instead? 

50:14 When parents are with other family members or caregivers, are there ways for parents to control some of the unhealthy conversations and habits around food? 


Julie mentions her interview on Jenn’s podcast, “Salad With A Side of Fries.”

Jenn teaches the Transitions Lifestyle System (TLS) program based on the book “Dare to Lose,” by Shari Lieberman, Ph.D. 

Julie mentions her interview with Dr. Susan Albers on “Food Issues” about the “clean plate club.”

Learn more about Jenn Trepeck at  ASaladWithASideofFries.com

Follow Jenn Trepeck on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.


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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.