I was honored to be contacted by local author and fitness expert, Laura De Simone about her newest book, Serve it Up, the first ever book that offers meal plans and ideas for serving kid-friendly foods in a portion-controlled manner. This book is designed to help adults feed their children popular kid foods by pairing foods in an appropriate and beneficial way. The ground-breaking idea is that children will be able to eat the foods they already eat, but do so by placing certain foods together so they are satisfying the USDA guidelines and recommendations for daily calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates.
I had the pleasure of reviewing her book and found the charts and serving sizes easy to use, and the meal ideas simple and family-friendly. Read the interview with the lady behind the book, Serve it Up, and check out the book (in ebook and paperback version) now available on Amazon here.
1. What is the inspiration behind Serve it Up?
I run a fitness company in Northern Virginia focusing mostly on personal training, and through speaking to many of my clients I found that they were unsure of how to control their child's weight and did not have a sense of how many calories they should be feeding their children. Many of my clients had children who were over weight or on the verge of being overweight and they were looking for some guidance on how to start shifting the scale in the opposite direction. I decided to survey parents on the kinds of foods they were serving in their homes, and then use the USDA nutritional guidelines to create an easy to use chart for serving those same foods. I wanted my clients and parents all over the nation to have a resource they could turn to that identified the correct portions of kid friendly food to serve their children. This book can be used by novice cooks who just want to follow my food guides exactly or by parents who enjoy cooking and can instead substitute their most closely matched homemade recipes, but with the correct portions.
2. What do you think is the biggest mistake most parents make regarding children and nutrition?
I think that many parents don't necessarily pay attention to how much their kids are ordering and eating. Just like many adults, kids have a difficult time not overeating at home and in restaurants, and by paying attention to exactly how much your child needs and how much you're serving, a parent can help minimize the chances of their child having a weight problem.
3. How do you encourage parents to stop children from being "picky eaters?"
From what I've seen, my clients who have the most success with picky eaters make a point to cook and eat at home as often as possible. This way they can keep exposing the child to a variety of foods and their children will see their parents eating the same foods they are being served.
4. I like how you divided the book into sedentary, moderately active, and active as well as age and gender. How much research went into the book?
The book took months of research and math! First I pulled the nutritional information for every food used in the book from nutrition.gov. Then I paired foods together to make sure that every meal was not only 1/3 or fewer calories than that child needed per day, but also within the recommended percentages for fat, protein and carbohydrates. All foods are paired together for a reason. My goal was to take all the foods and do the work necessary to make it easy on the parents! The charts are straight forward and simple to use.
5. And finally my signature question, as a resident of Northern Virginia where are some of your favorite local spots to visit?
My favorite local spot to visit is Great Falls. With a variety of hiking trails and paths, there's an opportunity for everyone to get outside and moving. The views are beautiful along the water and most of the trails are pet friendly! It's wonderful to see families getting active together and the best part is its free to park and walk or climb!
Find out more at:
DeSimone Health and Fitness LLC
www.serveitupfood.com/ *I received a free ebook to review for this post. All opinions are my own.
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