The Lost Art of Feeding Kids

The Lost Art of Feeding Kids: What Italy Taught Me about Why Children Need Real Food

by Jeannie Marshall

(Beacon Press, January 2014)

Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and author of What to Eat, says:

In this beautifully written book about what needs to be done to preserve food culture in Italy and elsewhere, Marshall makes the political personal as she explains how she is teaching her son Nico to enjoy the pleasures of eating food prepared, cooked, and lovingly shared by friends and family.”

Theresa Albert, registered nutritionist and author of Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck, says:

“An illuminating personal account of a journey that we all need to take: from the product in a box back to real food.  Jeannie Marshall shows that parents know better than corporations what’s good for kids, and how solving the nutrition and obesity crisis will nourish generations to come.”

A lively story of raising a child to enjoy real food in a processed world, and the importance of maintaining healthy food cultures

In Italy, children traditionally sat at the table with the adults eating everything from anchovies to artichokes. Their appreciation of seasonal, regional foods influenced their food choices and this passing down of traditions turned Italy into a world culinary capital. But now, parents worldwide are facing the same problems as American families with the aggressive marketing of processed foods and the prevalence of junk food wherever children gather. While struggling to raise her child, Nico, on a natural, healthy, traditional Italian diet, Jeannie Marshall, a Canadian who lives in Rome, sets out to discover how such a time-tested food culture could change in such a short time. At once an exploration of the U.S. food industry’s global reach and a story of finding the best way to feed her child, The Lost Art of Feeding Kids will appeal to parents, food policy experts, and fans of great food writing alike.

In Canada, this book is titled Outside the Box: Why Our Children Need Real Food, Not Food Products and is published by Random House Canada.


22 responses to “The Lost Art of Feeding Kids

  1. Andrea

    This is wonderful, Jeanne, so glad I just discovered what you’ve been up to over these last seven years! I’m very much looking forward to reading your book in April.

  2. That’s really interesting. Prepackaged “snack” products for kids really confuse me. I mean I know you can get corn snacks only flavoured with vegetables and no added sugar or salt but for me they’re just “training crisps”.

  3. Kerry

    I just read your article in the Globe & Mail entitled “Bringing up bambini” and I am thrilled to have just found your blog. My husband & I have a 2-year-old daughter and we are shocked at the packaged “kid food” available and the eating habits of many of our friends’ children. Just today, a kind-hearted and well-intentioned friend of mine gave her 13-month-old daughter a soda at lunch. SODA!

    Homemade, real food is a priority to our family and we cook & eat together everyday. Your blog and upcoming book give me faith that there are other parents out there who care about real food, nutrition & family values. When I feel as though I am swimming against the tide, I will re-read your blog again & again. Thank you. I can’t wait to read your book!

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  12. Mokah

    I just finished your book and after living in Florence for 3 months in 2011 and now in Vancouver and Canmore I can honestly say that there is a huge amount of children’s advertising at work here and in Italy. My son who is now 2 loves everything he eats. We cook together in the kitchen and he doesn’t eat many processed snacks, so he doesn;t even miss it. My 13 year old however, is a junk food addict. I am making it a resolution in 2013 to attempt a 100 mile diet and get rid of the processed foods that do sneak into my pantry. Thank you for your inspiring work.

  13. Kris

    I just went to purchase your book for my Kindle… and I can’t! Any plans to release it in that format (and if so, when?)? It’s probably the only way I’ll buy it. And I want to buy it!

    • There is an electronic version available on Outside the Box will be released in the U.S. in August but with a different title – The Simple Art of Feeding Kids. It will be available on by then. I hope that helps!

  14. My fashion is really to cook that is why I manage to build a catering as a business.

    Reading your post specially the comments, I find it very interesting to read and would like to purchase one of your books specially the “Outside the Box”.

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  17. Robyn

    I have just finished your book and while we do eat lots of meals I prepare from scratch I am guilty of buying quite a few lunch box snacks at the supermarket that have lots of “numbers” in the ingredients on the packets. No cooked school lunches here in Australia. Your beautiful story has inspired me to take even better care of my family, look harder for recipes and skip the supermarket when shopping for meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, olive oils and breads. I now want to nourish, not just feed, my family. I’ve picked up lots of tips from The Lost Art of Feeding Kids, but am now waiting for your cookbook!

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