Starting Kids Off Right with Food with Katie Kimball | The Healthy Me Podcast Episode 017

(calm music) – Hey, everybody, this is Trina and thank you so much for
joining The Healthy Me again, and I am super excited. I have a super spectacular guest today. Today, Katie Kimball is joining me, and Katie is an amazing entrepreneur, an amazing Mom, who took something I know that’s really passionate for her and developed something that
she shares with other people, other Moms and other
kids around the world, so let me tell you about Katie. Katie, welcome, really quick. – Thank you so much, I’m excited
to be here, what an intro. (laughing) – Katie Kimball is a Michigan Mom. I’m from Ohio, so there’s
a little rivalry there, but Michigan Mom of four kids and founder of the Kids
Cook Real Food e-course. She has shared her journey to
real food and natural living for nine years at Kitchen Stewardship, a blog that helps families stay healthy without going crazy, I feel that. The video e-course for kids
serves over 6,500 families and from six continents and Katie’s wisdom on getting kids to eat healthy foods is sought after by many,
and I believe that, too. So, Katie, welcome. – Thank you so much. – First off, tell me, tell me, tell me, how did you get started with this? – With the whole thing online, or just the kids cooking part? – Well, everything, ’cause,
tell us a little bit about what Kitchen Stewardship is
and then how that led into what we’re gonna talk about. – Sure, so Kitchen Stewardship
kind of grew out of the conversations in my own head when I had one little baby and was trying to learn to feed him properly. It just kinda was a
tidal wave of oh my gosh, every bite counts so much and I had never bought anything organic in my whole entire life,
but of course for him, I had to buy organic and
learn how to make baby food, so I’m spending a lot
of time in the kitchen with my own thoughts (laughing). And they were percolating
about how difficult it was, and this was reflected
in other Moms around me, how difficult it was to keep to a budget and be healthy and not spend
all of your time in the kitchen and save the Earth. It was like, I just felt
like those four things pulled on our limbs and
we were the stretched, poor frazzled Mom in the middle. As I was learning hacks in the kitchen, I thought, I have the heart of a teacher, I’m a teacher by trade, and I just thought I think I could help other
people not be so frazzled. Find those things that are in the middle that can save you money and time and be healthy and good
for the environment. That’s where Kitchen Stewardship was born, that we are stewards of all
the gifts we’ve been given and how can we do this
and still be good stewards of our sanity as well? In teaching adults and
families how to cook, I heard over and over,
man, this is so hard because I was never taught to cook. I never learned this from my Mom and I think our whole generation kinda feels skipped and gipped. We got totally skipped by
the passing down of the trade because convenience food kinda took over and the whole idea of I
want my kid’s childhood to be better than mine, therefore, I will never make them do any chores. – Well, yeah, and fast
food became the mainstream for a lot of households. – For sure, yeah,
Stouffer’s lasagna, yeah. – It’s no wonder that there’s
a generation that says, I don’t know how to cook, and I think that we’re
getting back into the kitchen, at least the idea of getting
back into the kitchen at least the majority
of the nights at home. I know we still eat out. We try to make wise
choices when we do eat out, but getting back into the
kitchen with the kids, I was telling you this
story before we jumped on on how my daughter at
the age of 10 a week ago just mentioned to me how she
wants to learn how to cook and I was like, oh, this is perfect, I’m talking to Katie
who’s got this program that is developed for kids. What do you think that
the biggest obstacles most people find when they’re trying to get their kids to eat healthy? Let’s talk a little bit about kids. – Well, the culture is
not exactly supporting healthy eating for kids, you know. I don’t know if you’ve noticed. – I haven’t noticed, are you kidding? – You really have to swim upstream with a motorboat pushing
you in order to get broccoli on your kid’s plate. Nobody is marketing vegetables
to our kids, unfortunately. I agree with you, the pendulum
is finally swinging back in the right direction. I think people are realizing
the importance of healthy food and unfortunately, a lot of times, it’s because we’re getting sick, or we’re allergic to something
or sensitive to something or have some sort of intestinal distress, and it’s like oh gosh, maybe I should eat some vegetables now. So yeah, getting kids to
eat vegetables is really, and not just vegetables,
healthy food in general. Things that don’t have sugar. It can be a real challenge. The parents who kind of started
when their kids were babies are definitely patting
themselves on the back now because it’s a little bit easier, their pallet formed against sugar and towards healthy things, but it’s just, I mean everything
in parenting’s a challenge. You’re exhausted at the end of the day. At the dinner table, to
have one more battle, you’ve already done the homework battle, you’ve done the hey, by the
way, you have to get dressed and brush your teeth and
brush your hair battle, you know what I mean? – Right. – Everything, the kids don’t
wanna do any of these things and so we just get exhausted. Is it one more thing
to have to fight about at the end of the day? I try to give parents a lot of skills, strategies, techniques, and habits that you don’t have to think about, where if you just kinda set the rule, this is what we eat and
this is how it’s gonna be, it diminishes that exhaustion. – It is exhausting. By the time you sit down to eat sometimes, you’re like, I’m done and stop talking. The dinner table’s meant for conversation and sometimes you’re like so overwhelmed with all the noise that happened all day that you’re like I just
want some peace and quiet, this is my meditation moment. But it is true, getting
kids to sit down, slow down, and enjoy the food that they’re eating and actually taste it has a
lot to do with family time and getting kids to enjoy the moment of actually preparing it, too. And you talk about power struggles. What are some of the power struggles that people have to overcome? – Yeah, I mean, our generation
and maybe one before us was a big clean your
plate club generation, where you need to eat
everything on your plate, that’s the way life works,
you don’t move on to dessert, you don’t move on from the
table unless that’s done. Well, obviously if the
parent says eat, period, and the child says no, period, now we’re in a power struggle because there are certain
things you can’t make kids do. You can’t make ’em sleep,
you can’t make ’em eat, you can’t make ’em poop (laughing). Those are the things, so if they decide that they want to say no about
something and stick with it, those are the things,
and so we really can’t stand on the other side and say thou must. One great way to diffuse
the power struggle is to offer some choices. We can offer different things at the meal. You try to have one thing that they like but maybe you serve them a small serving of what they like and a
bite, I like to tell parents, just if it’s a new food, and especially if you have
a real selective eater or real strong, stubborn personality, don’t put a whole serving on the plate because that’s overwhelming. You might say I only
need you to take a bite but they see that pile
of food on the plate and they’re kinda like, yeah right. – Oh, it’s huge. I remember that, one bite was
huge when you don’t like it. You have to get over that. It’s hard, that tiny little
morsel is huge to a kid. – Yeah, but at least, at least don’t put a whole serving on their plate. Just put the tiny little morsel so that they know that
when they finished that you’re not gonna try to
con them into more, right? – Right. – And then a nice one, again, and this is for really stubborn kids. Most kids, if the parent
is keeping it pretty chill and not entering into that
power struggle too hard, they’ll take a bite. They’ll take that no thank you bite or that first taste bite. Different families call
it different things. And it’s just really important to continue to encourage
your kids to do that because physiologically, it
may take five to 10 times of having a food touch your
tongue before you like it. We have to encourage,
and for really stubborn or really picky or selective
kids, it might take 100 times. And so we parents just
have to be perseverent and just have that expectation. Like, I know you didn’t
like broccoli last week, you still get to taste it this week. – Yeah, it’s funny we started
talking about taste buds. My twins are eight and Mia is 10, so we talk about the, I’m a nurse, so everything has its name, and we talked about taste buds one time and we talk about how taste buds change so they know that even if
they didn’t like something a year ago, your taste buds, so one day my kids, one of them, I don’t know if it Cash or Roman, walked up and was like,
Mom, my taste buds changed. I didn’t like this the last time and this time, it’s so good. It’s fun to use words like that and let them know that
things change over time, too. – Yes, absolutely, and
we’ll say things like, oh, that’s okay that
you don’t like that yet, maybe that’s more of an adult flavor, and of course there’s some
reverse psychology to that, too. – Well, yes, yeah, or
the older kids like this. Usually, the older kids like this is another way to create that
I wanna be the older kid. – Yup, absolutely, we just
don’t wanna put them in boxes. I think too many parents just accidentally fall into the habit of
oh, forget it, he’s picky, he won’t eat that. Well, no, now he won’t,
because you just set that expectation really low. We always want to use growth
language with our kids. – And that’s such great advice. I know that a lot of my
listeners are Moms or parents, you know, Dads, and it
is the struggle with kids to get them to eat even healthier choices and just giving yourself the okay that knowing that it’s okay as the parent to talk to them a different way and model them after you and
let them see what you’re doing and even if you don’t like
something, you try it. It does help the kids
see and relate to food a little bit differently. – Mmhmm, definitely, and
take hope and encouragement from the fact that your kids just told you their taste buds changed. I’ve seen that in my own. I had my now six year old would
never touch anything green when he was in kindergarten,
and it was like, he went into first grade and he goes, oh, I like broccoli now, same thing. My husband just started liking
sweet potatoes this year and he’s a little older than 10, so believe me, it’s always possible for your taste buds to change or you get a different presentation. Maybe it’s got some spices
you like better or a sauce or roasted versus sauteed. There are many ways to serve a vegetable. – Yeah, balsamic glaze
is one of my favorite. Drizzle points of anything. I can drizzle balsamic glaze on anything. (laughing)
– Amen to that. – Now I’ve gotten Mia, like Mom, can I have some of that balsamic? What’s one of the most effective ways you’ve found to help
kids just eat healthier? Get into a healthier habit? – I mean, I gotta say,
it’s working with food. It’s getting in the kitchen. Studies show, but also people prove, that any time kids are involved with food, whether it’s the grocery
shopping or the gardening or the meal planning or
the meal preparation, they’re just more likely to feel positive about giving it a taste. – Okay, yeah.
– [Katie] You know? – Yeah. – I can’t tell you how many members in our Kids Cook Real Food e-course will write to me and they’ll say gosh, I have tried to get them
to eat whatever it is, it’s often celery, ’cause that’s
in one of our first videos, I’ve tried to get them to
eat celery a million times and all of a sudden just ’cause they spread the peanut butter on it, they’re like, Mom, I wanna taste that. – And they think it’s brand new. They’re like, Mom, why didn’t you ever offer this to me before? And you’re like. – Right? I know, so it totally
changes kid’s perspective because they feel involved,
they feel proud of it, they’re in it. – What’s fun for me is to let them actually make the smoothie. They pick out the ingredients. I always tell them if it doesn’t
look pretty when it’s done, you still have to taste it. You just have to taste it. They’ll throw in the broccoli, ’cause otherwise, it’d be me, it’d be like, no don’t
put broccoli in there, it’s not gonna taste very good. I mean, if it’s not a
green one or whatever, but they just throw it all in and then when they make
it, it’s always good. If they saw me put all that in there, they’d be like, no Mom,
I saw the celery go in. I know it’s in there. Yeah, I just love letting them participate and go to the fridge and
pick out what they want, and just toss it into the blender. I know that there’s parents
out there that are thinking that there’s gonna be a lot of pushback from kids, from their
kids, and I’m not sure, people are thinking I’m not
sure I can put Brussels sprouts on their plate and go
through the power struggle and make them eat them. Do you have any last tips
for smoothing out the pain or smoothing out the
path to healthier eating? – Yeah, so I like to teach a technique I call bridging the gap,
and it’s taking foods that your kids already
like and figuring out what that brick path might be to something you want them to eat. Pizza’s a really good example. Most kids like pizza. You take baby steps. You figure out, with the kids, what’s one new topping
you can put on the pizza. Maybe it’s sliced tomatoes. Tomatoes are already in the sauce, but when they’re sliced, they
can be a totally different food to a kid, and it’s
not about hiding it, they know they’re in there, you’re just say, ah, we’re
just gonna take a bite, and just whatever it is,
you might fail that time, you might try something different, try whole wheat flour
instead of white flour, try making a piece of it homemade, you know, homemade
sauce or homemade crust. This is, again, really,
really tiny baby steps to take ’em from five
dollar hot and ready pizza to something a little
closer to what you want and eventually, you can
make pizza into anything. You could do a pizza quiche. You can do pizza vegetables. We’ll dump a jar of marinara
sauce on frozen vegetables and add some mozzarella
cheese and we’re like, now it’s pizza vegetables. Twice as many vegetables
go on my kid’s plate because it kinda looks and
smells and tastes like pizza. There’s just ways that you can, again, be a little creative with
what brain cells you have left at the end of the day to figure out how you can connect foods that they really like to foods
that you want them to eat and that can be a really positive strategy especially if they’re
invested, like you said, they are getting some skin in the game and getting in the kitchen
and working with you, they’re just more likely
to want to see it through and go to the end with ya. – Before we talk about your course ’cause I wanna talk a
little bit about that, you talked about getting
their hands in the game. Give us some tips on how parents can get their kids
involved in the cooking, ’cause I know a lot of
parents are somewhat afraid, you’ve got a lot of utensils in there. I have all the kids safe knives, the plastic ones that they use, but give us your tips for getting the kids hands on in the game. – Usually the kids really
want to get in there. They want to be with the stove, they want to use real knives. – They always want to be with
the stove and the knives. – Right.
– That’s the fear. – That’s motivating for the kids. It’s not that hard to say, hey, let’s play with sharp knives today. But it’s getting over the fear
for ourself in our own head, so that’s what I try to do
with Kids Cook Real Food and I actually have a
10 minute knife skills and safety class that I would
like to give to your listeners as a free preview, so you can,
this is for ages two to 12, ’cause really, you hold a butter knife and a chef’s knife in the same way. We teach those basic holds and techniques all the same, no matter your age, and we use fun phrases, we have a lot of, it’s all safety, we use a
lot of safety techniques and phrases and the kids love it, they remember these phrases and I think the parents
feel a lot more comfortable taking them into the kitchen because they know that
they’ve actually been trained. You don’t have to think, oh
my gosh, where do I start? What knife goes with what
food and what kid or whatever? – And I like that, I have your course so for anyone that’s
listening, she’s got the course Kids Cook Real Food, and
it’s, and if you want to preview the class, you get to preview it for free. It’s, but what I love about it is that you’ve got it broken
down into different, it’s beginner, I don’t
remember the language, novice, beginner — – Yeah, beginner,
intermediate, and advanced. – And advanced, yeah. You get to pick where
the level your child is, but inside there then
you also have flashcards or all the tools that
you need for your kids to actually learn how to cooking, and it’s really good
for the parent because, as a teacher, I’m not a
true teacher by nature, I wasn’t trained how to teach, but you forget the basics, you forget that you need
to teach the basics. For me, the best thing
is I know how to do this but it teaches me how
to, gives me the tools to teach my daughter and my kids, my boys, how to actually use it. When I look at a spatula,
I know what it is, I assume they do, but you explain how to use these tools. I love the technique that you use in there and the different tools that
you offer in your course. – Cool, thank you, yeah, you’re so right, it’s totally, it’s a different skill knowing how to use something and knowing how to break it down and explain it to someone who’s
never used that tool before. – And you have in there, for adults, there’s information for
adults as well as for kids. Parents, don’t be afraid
(laughing) of the course, you might learn something, too. But, yeah, I love the fact
that you broke it down for kids and for adults, and
it’s such a great course. Again, it’s for any ages,
two to 12 or even beyond, I would say. Any kids, even teenagers that
wanna start with the basics, start with it, it’s a great course. I urge anybody that has kids to check out for the course and then if you healthyme,
you’ll also get to preview the knives, it’s the knives course? – Mmhmm, yeah, yeah, so it’s video and there’s kids of all ages in the video so that’s really motivating
for other kids, too. They’re seeing real
children using the knives, making mistakes, getting
corrected by me, being safe, nobody cutting fingers
off (laughing) is good. – That’s awesome. Anything else you want to, I don’t know if I asked
you all the questions that you usually like to go over, but is there anything else
you want to tell the listeners about your program or about
your Kitchen Stewardship? – Sure, well, I mean, just my passion is getting kids in the kitchen, and we totally need that resurgence, so just encouragement is what
I like to leave parents with, that no matter what your skill level is, no matter what your
child’s personality is, there is something for them in the kitchen and if you can just
kinda take a deep breath, reminder yourself it’s
important, pick the right time. Don’t bring kids in the
kitchen right before dinner when everybody’s stressed out. – And hungry. – Do it. Yes, exactly. I like to work with kids in
the kitchen right after lunch, ’cause they’re all pleasant
and well fed (laughing). You can just prep stuff for later. That’s something that a lot
of parents don’t think about ’cause the kids are asking to come in right at crunch time, so thinking ahead and just making it a point, raising kids who know how to cook is a great gift to give your kids. – This is perfect, ’cause
today’s my birthday. – Happy birthday. – Thanks, I turned 50
today, so it’s my 50th, believe it or not. (laughing) – I do not believe it, I’m looking at you, you, no way, no way. – It’s my skin care (laughing). – Of course.
– And my healthy food. Anyway, but what’s really fun is my kids, we were supposed to go
out to dinner tonight so that I didn’t have a mess
and I didn’t have to clean up, and they informed me that
they’re making dinner for me. So here you go, yeah,
they’re making dinner. They love it, and I’m not
really allowed to be there so I’m gonna go to my yoga class while they’re making
dinner for me tonight, so I’ll have to maybe do a little video and put that in with the podcast. (laughing) – [Katie] That’s so fun. – Guys, check out Katie’s course. It’s to check out her free preview. Get your kids involved because the sooner they get their hands on it, the sooner it goes in their mouth, and if you’re cutting it up, chances are it’s not loaded with sugar
and processed anything, so you want your kids to grow up and know the healthy options
before they leave your house. – Yes, that was perfectly said. – Well, thanks Katie for joining me. Where can I find you? I’m sure you’re on Instagram and Facebook. Give us where they can find you. – Yup, we are Kids Cook
Real Food on Instagram and then both on Facebook, so if you wanna get into the research and what’s healthy for you and what’s not, that’s Kitchen Stewardship on Facebook, and then if you just wanna
have real encouragement to be a good parent and get
those kids eating healthier, that’s Kids Cook Real Food on Facebook. – Ah, Katie, you’re amazing,
thank you, thank you, thank you for getting the word out
and helping parents learn how to get their kids back
involved in the kitchen, ’cause I think the
pendulum really is swinging and I really think that
the movement has to be for the kids to really know, but in order to know,
they have to be involved, so I thank you so much,
and my kids love it, so I’m excited. – Great, well me too,
thank you for letting me talk to your Moms and Dads
in your audience, I loved it. – No problem. Thanks guys for joining us and
we will catch you next time here on The Healthy Me. (calm music) Thanks for watching. Make sure you subscribe to keep learning how to create your healthy self. See you next time.

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