What’s a health-conscious mother to do in a culture that glamorizes food-like products over wholesome real food?

While pregnant with my twins, I read every book I could find on childhood nutrition—and due to starting early and staying committed, my sons have always eaten a wide variety of whole, real foods.

And they don’t just eat healthful food, they love it.


In fact, there was rarely a complaint about food until they entered preschool. There, they received their first taste of our modern kid food culture. They witnessed other kids eating much different foods than what they eat: Lunchables, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, fish crackers. Food-like products that came in shiny packaging—some even endorsed by cool cartoon characters.

Not only were the majority of their classmates eating mostly highly processed, prepackaged foods with little to no fruits and vegetables, there was the constant stream of bake sales, pizza and ice cream parties, and birthday cupcakes. Then came the holiday parties, which were inevitably accompanied by take-home bags full of candy and other sugary treats.

So they began questioning their diets—because they were so different from everyone else’s.

And I didn’t blame them.

Don’t get me wrong. My sons eat candy and other sweets, just not every day. We’ve come to call these treats “Sometimes Food.” And that’s when they eat it—sometimes.

I’ve been asked by many people while I’m so vigilant with their diets, and my answer? Because the food habits we are instilling in our kids today are going to follow them throughout life. And I want the best for my kids. I want them to be healthy and happy . . .and neither is very likely if they become chronically ill.

Honestly, it’s amazing how bombarded our kids today are by prepackaged, processed foods—and how acceptable it is in our culture. And largely due to this, American kids are the most chronically sick of any developed nation.


Knowing that my voice was being drowned out by what they were learning in the outside world, I turned to the Internet to find some tools to help reinforce my message. I found a DVD that intrigued me. It used peer modeling, which is essentially kids modeling healthy eating habits for other kids.

What a great idea, I thought!

I quickly ordered it and when it arrived, I slipped it in the DVD player and sat down to watch—and I was surprised at the twins’ reactions.

Although they already ate a broad range of fruits and veggies, they sat watching it, intrigued . . . and almost immediately started asking for the fruits and vegetables the kids were enjoying on the screen.

Some of their requests surprised me, because they were for vegetables they’d previously rejected.

I was so impressed by their reactions that I decided to create my own nutrition education products using peer modeling, to help other kids and their parents. That’s how my Real Food Kids DVD series was born.

You can learn more about the first DVD here.

And subscribe to our YouTube Channel for a more comprehensive selection. New video clips are being added nearly every week.

So, yes, nutrient-dense foods CAN compete in a nutritionally deficient food culture. It just takes some education, commitment, and support . . . which is what I’m hoping to provide with this series.

Committing to teaching your children to eat healthfully is definitely the harder of the two roads to choose, but I have no doubt, it’s the most rewarding.

Because seriously—what better gift can we give our beautiful children than the gift of good health?

Thanks for reading!



Jennifer Jaynes