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Chef Gigi Gaggero

Chef Gigi Gaggero

With over thirty-five years of professional industry experience, Gigi is recognized as an expert in culinary education. She specializes in children and families to help increase nutritional awareness.

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Success! Food Fight sold 197 pre-orders by Dec. 17, 2017, was pitched to 49 publishers, and will be published by Koehler Books.
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Food Fight

For Parents of Picky Eaters

As a food professional, I go after picky eating through the science of flavor. A practical hands on guide with simple solutions. Over 60 delicious recipes & tips that work.

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Self-Help Parenting
San Francisco, California
60,000 words
75% complete
10 publishers interested

Synopsis

As a seasoned parent, and long time owner of a children's professional cooking school the greatest challenge  Chef Gigi faced was parents asking her how to get their child to eat better. Especially picky eaters.  After a decade, Gigi decided to write a book that introduces a responsible parenting approach, paired with sprinkling of culinary science. 

The science behind taste— Umami. ( oo_mommy)  Umami is a humans fifth sense of taste. Through Science, we already know our taste receptors naturally pick up bitter, salty, sweet and sour. An arsenal culinary professionals worked with for years.  Eliciting Umami in the food fight battle allows glutamate receptors to do most the work.  Now parents can use the choice of ingredients to drastically change how someone tastes, and always for the better. Cooking Umami style with an occasional adjustment of a parenting style,  might be the perfect formula for success. 

We all know  how our children use food as a means to control. Food Fight will teach how not to engage in the struggle, and coach you on how, and when to offer a new foods. 

With Chef Gigi's proven techniques, you too can and eliciting the science behind flavor. Stop the battle, and calm mealtime. If the meal-time table is an endless battle zone in your home, Food Fight for you. 


Outline

Overview of Chapters


Chapter One: 
Chapter one aligns with the parent, and empowers them to feel they have a partner in their food fight journey. They will be introduced to a new set of parenting skills, and begin to feel their families feeding challenges can become less-stressful. Later in the chapter— the reader will find specifically prescribed positive-parenting techniques and suggestions to practice. The goal of this chapter is to help parents or caregivers set relatively appropriate leadership boundaries surrounding family meal times. By doing so, this will also help parents feel more secure about drawing these boundaries. Parents, especially new parents, will leave this chapter feeling more confident rather than second guessing their parenting skills; while a more seasoned parent, can let a bit of parenting guilt go.

Parenting is such a direct reflection of ourselves that most people get caught up in that mirror-image window. Sometimes we slip off course, because we don't want to feel like the "bad guy". This chapter begins the discussions found throughout the book, on assisting parents-- how to be parents. This chapter also outlines discussions on how to grocery shop for nutrient dense foods and how to stay away from pre-packaged, unhealthy ingredients found in convenience foods. Readers will also be introduced to a few techniques on how and when to use their newly-found positive parenting styles. These techniques are intended to develop deeper, while the reader becomes more engaged throughout the book. Parents will soon identify their battle can be won—and, possibly, not by what we put on the plate… but sometimes… what we take off. This chapter might surprise you.


Chapter Two:
Chapter two is the beginning of a parental awakening. Most parents or caring adults are usually concerned whether their child is getting enough vitamins and wholesome nutrients from food. Most worry about their child’s protein and vegetable intake. This chapter provides a parent or caregiver a continues reflection to their parenting style from chapter one. Chapter two dives a gentle step deeper to ask the parent to take note and identify if they might be creating the picky eater problem. Chapter two lists a sequencing of co-dependent parental behaviors to help analyze these events if they are occurring. Adult behaviors can indeed support picky eating patterns— and This chapter addresses why we engage them, and list the most common. Specifically — and why they won’t work. Such as: Bribery. And, the famous, “One-bite” rule. Included in chapter two, is how-to offer up a solution that works for each of these challenges. Also listed are over twenty snack-time suggestions. The beginning of the chapter address pin points strategies for children Ages 2-7. The most difficult picky eating years.


Chapter Three:
Chapter three specifically addresses feeding strategies for children of any age. Beginning with solutions on how parents can now verbally deliver these choices. As the chapter moves on, there are simple suggested guidelines on what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Suggestions of what foods to offer, and when to offer them. 

Parents are also asked to practice delivering instructions to the child using the close-ended parenting style; as if you would practice for an important role for that you had been cast for.  Chapter three references continuity by age ranges. Example: “You can choose an apricot, or an orange for today’s mid-morning snack.”  Pause-Then ask again, but in a different content delivery. Say this: “And, did you want it peeled or cut into sections? ” Best of all, by using these methods of close ended choices, parents will support a child's will to self-empower, and keep their control. With this type of Parenting style- a child can grow into a healthy leader as an adult. Not-to- mention, this is a very important aspect to surviving a picky eater challenge — one of the main reasons the general population of children express picky eating behavior is simply to gain power and control within their own world. 

All children want the accessibility and freedom to choose, and this chapter will help a parent understand how to work within that realm. 


Chapter Four: 
Specifically targeting strategies for children ages 7–10 years of age. Chapter four is a how-to chapter. You can find how-to suggestions laid out for you -- especially, when you are tired, and dealing with a real-time stressful situation. Sometimes, we just want someone to tell us how to fix it. Solutions, now. Chapter four outlines over 25 food suggestions on how to tame the already developed age group — no longer toddlers, and not quite your adults. Something like a new category such as a pre -tween, tween. In this chapter, parents are given a list of what to offer. From fun cut veggies, to frozen foods like peas and grapes. Especially in the hot summer months. Also where to leave snack foods can make a difference for after school or  headed to an activity. Choices such as leaving out available foods left in locations the children frequent.

Making healthy snack foods accessible for older kids when they return home from school or activities will make kids more likely to grab a snack on the way to their next task; but only for a short window of time so they don't fill up and not eat at a regularly scheduled mealtime. 

For example, use the kitchen table as the first priority to sit and enjoy snack as a first option. If the child does homework elsewhere, - leave a small portion of your protocol foods such as, calcium rich cheeses, or protein filled foods like sliced meats—accompanying whole grain crackers. Keep this snack out about thirty - sixty minutes. If kids are in-between activities such as sporting or club activities, they will be hungry and this will help get them refueled before heading on to the next great adventure.


Chapter Five
This chapter address how to continually create and sustain good eating habits. We can’t force our kids to eat, but we can be role models regarding what and when to eat. 

One of the most powerful ways to teach a child anything is to model the kind of behavior you want to see them emulate. If parents want children to become adults who enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods, I suggest they make sure the children see their parents or role models eating the foods you’d like the kids to eat. If healthy eating is a way of life, it is likely the children will grow up to follow the same habits. Also, addressed is how kids should grow up experiencing regular meal times, there’s a good chance they will continue that pattern. 

Food fight, for parents of picky eaters, backs up the concept—with reported data, that proves children that sit down to mealtimes with their families are less likely to engage in drugs, alcohol use, and early onset of sexual conduct.

 
Chapter Six: 
Chapter six focus on healthy guidelines. Lists of sample portion sizes broken down by age range, and sample menus are listed for each age range, including each mealtime. All food groups are noted. Suggested goals to include interactive charts to help everyone stay on track. 

Also will be included are activity suggestions for the family table. Items to stimulate conversation such as thought provoking questions, to discuss at the dinner table. Especially good for tweens and pre-teens.       

       
Chapter Seven:
Chapter seven discusses how to develop positive eating habits early in a child’s life. Bringing to the forefront, a conversation regarding obesity amongst children, which is now a serious epidemic in North America. If children start to develop healthy eating habits at a young age, they will be much better off. 

Children of todays generation now have the opportunity to avoid becoming part of a devastating statistics. Childhood obesity is shocking. Food Fight, for Parents of Picky Eaters educates parents into understanding why it is so important to get their family into the habit of healthy eating. Addressing the problem. Not only the symptoms. 

It’s very difficult to change habits established later in childhood. As parents explore their child’s palate, they are urged to keep in mind, if something looks good or icky in a child’s eyes, it greatly contributes to the flavor of the food also. Children, like adults— eat with their eyes first. Which is why a child might immediately like an attractive food or packaging that might found in an advertisement, menu or grocery store shelve. This is where the discussing begins regarding— truth in marketing, and how media has a large impact on children’s food choices. Discussions on inconsistency in children’s choices and the concept of food fixation are also addressed.


Chapters Eight:
Chapter eight hones in on the always popular liquid diet. Milk. A parent and child’s staple. Many parents offer their child milk throughout the day because this satisfies the feelings of- at least their picky eater is getting some nutrition. While this is true to some extent, offering a child milk is not the answer to a child’s refusal to eat solid foods and a variety of them. In fact, if a child drinks too much milk— it can actually cause deficiencies of important vitamins and minerals because they will be too full to eat a variety of other important foods. Most families don't know this, and think they are doing the right thing.

Chapter eight also discusses, milk vs. no milk. It can be difficult for some parents to "let milk go” when for a very long time milk was the main source of nutritional contents for the child— either in formula, or breast milk. Addressed is how much milk is the right amount of milk based on each child special age range, and what foods to introduce if a parent does decided to give milk up. Including checking with their child physician. 

Hitting the bottle.  Juice. We all know toddlers love juice, and what’s not to love? Even 100 percent juice with no added sugar, is full of sugar. The dangers of too much juice, outweigh the benefits. 

The American Association of Pediatrics recommend children from ages 1 to 6 years should limit their juice intake to 4–6 ounces a day. Listed are several reasons why giving a child too much juice will only cause problems in the long run. Although, it may seem like we’re giving your child a healthy apple every time you hand over a cup of apple juice, it is actually much better to just cut up and serve the apple, than handing them a juice box at every meal. 


Chapter Nine:
Making mealtime fun. The dinner table can either be a place to come together peacefully, or it can be a battle zone. We know our kids can use food as a means of control, and if we choose to engage in the struggle, we’ll create a battle zone. Chapter nine brings to light, what age should children be expected to act like well mannered children during mealtimes. For instance: toddlers have a difficult time sitting at the table for more than a minute or two. Often it’s best just to accept they might not sit at the dinner table and if they do, don't insist they sit for the duration of the meal. When you let go and give yourself the time to enjoy your meal, you can be a better parent. Toddlers are most likely to eat on the run, or spending most of the time hopping up and down from the table. Trying to get a two-year-old to sit still and eat at the table quietly is not a reasonable expectation. 

As children get older, they’re better capable of sitting at the table for the duration of the meal. By the time they reach school age, this is an expectation we can and should insist on. Food Fight, supports parents, and urges them to stay in control and on their parenting point. If a child doesn’t want to eat what’s in front of him, it is not the job of the parent to become a short-order cook— unless of course he has food allergies and requires a special diet. If you get into the habit of catering to special orders just to appease a fussy child, a parent will set a precedent they will resent later. If the child likes what’s presented, that’s great, but if he doesn’t— he can be invited to eat what he likes and leave the rest.

Parents can learn to do this without being punitive or judgmental. Parents need to parent. Sometimes parents also need someone to confirm they need to stay in control in these types of situations-- I know I did. Having a parent mentor can help. Included are over twenty interactive ways to change meal time from frantic to fun and are all described in this chapter.

Suggestions include, making healthy options available so kids can express their own power within a controlled environment. Something as simple as giving a toddler to 8 years old— shelf space. By reserving a low shelf in the refrigerator for a variety of your toddler’s favorite nutritious foods and drinks. When it is snack time, they can open the door and allow them choose.  They can choose the time to eat snack with in a designated snack period too. Parents should always give a fifteen minute last call warning too. This tactic also enables children to eat when they are hungry, an important step in acquiring a healthy attitude about food. 

Included in this chapter are reccomendations off the beaten path. Ideas--such as allowing the children to choose a kitty bowl or a doggie bowl to dine from on occasion— with the stipulation of rules attached. Kids are allowed eat what is placed inside the bowl. And parents— of course, support the action by being reasonable and offer food selections that are close to what a child would eat. This is an action that can build trust in the parent-to-child-food-relationship. Add on new foods as time goes on. If children begin to see a pattern from the parent offering delicious, flavorful new foods, children will lean into trusting the parents food choices.


Chapter Ten:

The advanced battle. For those interested in providing a scientific culinary approach and would like to understand and begin adding the advance techniques that will solidify your goals.  A unique all natural flavor sensation to some foods,. Chapter ten discusses in detail the science behind flavor: Umami: {oo - mommy } A taste sensation that is  a delicious savory delight.

As mentioned above in the summary of concept —we all have the four primary tastes: sweetness, sourness, bitterness and saltiness. There is also a fifth taste; not on our tongues, but within certain foods. It’s referred to as umami. Umami was first discovered by Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda in 1908, but only recently in the last few decades has the concept of umami made it out of Asia. 

There are plenty of foods in which umami occurs naturally including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy. Some kids might enjoy these experiences, but some kids might not, so experiments with typical food parings are suggested; to see what works for each child. 

When humans eat, they use all their senses to form judgments about foods. It is actually the taste that is most influential out of our five human senses. Enhancing the sense of taste, by adding umami flavored ingredients can actually change the flavor sensation on our tongue. Where after all we have learned in previous chapters will help drive the child to actually taste. When we are finally at that point in our battle we better make sure the floor is delicious! Umami is helpful in creating flavor combinations that make your tongue and send signals to make your brain happy. Definitely a secret weapon in our arsenal. 

With a little bit of knowledge about which foods naturally contain the fifth taste, parents can get the same hard-to-put- your-finger-on taste sensations in their home cooks foods and ways to advance the food fight battle. Using umami fortified ingredients can really be helpful with picky eaters, but only after we have learned the techniques to bring the child to accept the food. Listed in this chapter is over 20 simple umami recipes such as spaghetti and meatballs.


Chapter Eleven:
How to introduce new foods to a child with special needs. For the first time in the history, overweight and obesity are increasingly prevalent in the general pediatric population. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, evidence suggests that children with special needs, especially  children with autism spectrum disorder (ASDs)  — may be at even higher elevated risk for unhealthy weigh gain. 

Differences present as early as ages 2 to 5 years old. To make matters worse, these results clearly indicated that the prevalence of unhealthy weight is significantly greater among special needs children, compared with the general population. A study published in 2008, by The U.S Library of Medicine’s National Institution on Health, listed childhood obesity as a culprit— affecting nearly one-third of the U.S. children, and the prevalence of these conditions has increased at least four-fold since the 1970s.

Obesity in special needs and kids with ASD may be particularly problematic for a variety of reasons. First, core symptoms of ASD and many other special need kids may be naturally related to weight problems: for instance, children with ASD or other special needs, may lack social motivation to participate in family meals or in structured physical activities with other children and those parents may be more likely to use food as a reward in children with special needs kids, due to lack of social motivation. The severity or type of a child’s symptoms may also affect his ability to participate in physical activities that might mitigate weight gain. Still, little is known about the prevalence that correlates to overweight youth and among children with many types of special needs kids or those living on the Autistic Spectrum. Today, it is still unclear whether risk factors for obesity in special needs children or ASD are the same, or different from risk factors for children generally.

Good nutrition and special needs children, rarely go hand in hand easily. Often, parents who are responsible for mealtimes within a special needs family— concentrate what the neuro-normal world does not. Special needs parents live with higher demonstrations of restricted eating, and especially in ASD children , a repetitive pattern of behavior associated with food. ASD parents are also faced with a higher intake of low-nutrition, energy-dense foods. Parents usually give in, and pick their battles elsewhere. Can’t say that I blame them. I’ve done it myself. 

For for parents of selective eaters, I have lists a ten-step program that is tried and true. Specifically for those children who need a sequential approach.  


Chapter Twelve:
New beginnings— chapter twelve is all about reprograming, and applying your new found techniques aquired in previous chapters. How to begin a calmer, healthier lifestyle. Switching to a healthful diet can be challenging. It is up to parents and caregivers, to teach the next generation how to make better food choices. We live in a society where families are constantly under the attack of target marketing and advertisements to entice children into making poor nutrition decisions, by coaxing parents into purchasing. Television, magazine, supermarkets commercials, billboards, internets ads— all offer choices that are detrimental to long term health. 

The American Pediatrics Association suggests that children over the age of two should limit the intake of saturated fats, sugars and foods high in sodium. Limit should also be placed on fast  foods and processed, pre-packaged foods. These convenience foods are usually high in fats, sugars, sodium, fillers, and may possibly contain nutritionally inferior ingredients. Fast food restaurants almost always serve foods high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium. 

Serving sizes are in question in chapter twelve. Parents are so busy they might not think to question a single orders containers such as a potato fries. Usually these containers are over-filled or contain enough for two servings. Chapter twelve lists over one hundred food additives that may have adverse effects on family health. Supplies a how-to shop strategy once you are inside the grocery store. What information to look for while wading through corporate sales advertising. How to properly read a nutrition label, and why. 

This chapter also addresses milk from animals that have been injected with growth hormones to mass produce and then later pumped with antibiotics due to the illness out break of over production. The goal is to give a jump start to much needed informations while giving just enough to stimulate the reader to seek additional knowledge though personal research. Many are unaware this type of controversy among food even exists. This chapter also lists what to do if scenarios. Such as what should I do if my child wont sit at the table. Or, what to do if my child throws a tantrum at the dinner table.


Chapter Thirteen:
Battle Breakfast. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, has referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies that find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately more likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism and weight management. Adults are often guilty of skipping breakfast, with many of us preferring to grab a cup of coffee and go. However, if we let our kids follow our bad habits, we’re depriving them of the opportunity to get their day off to a healthy start.

Chapter Thirteen addresses the cause and effect of this controversial meal time and how How a family handles the first meal of the day. In keeping with the whole no-pressure approach, without suggesting to force a preschooler a big bowl of oatmeal before he hits the playground, but rather use some of the skills already outlined in previous chapters. Parents can make breakfast a painless and enjoyable experience with a few of my techniques. 

Over twenty five breakfast recipes are included in this chapter. 


Chapter Fourteen :
Lunch is a mid-day meal usually served at noon or between two and four in the afternoon. In the UK, and in parts of Canada and the United States, it is sometimes referred to as dinner but it is a noontime meal. Chapter fourteen dresses the picky eater during the bulk of his nutritional requirement. Lunch time is a period of the day, where a child will consume most of the days required nutrients. Included are over twenty five options for lunch; from a complete home-cooked meal to creative sandwiches to PB& J sushi!

Examples on what to pack for school aged children and what pit falls to avoid. Fun Bento Box suggestions are included.




Audience

According to Pew Research Centers, 1.3 million Millennial women gave birth for the first time in 2015. Recently released data from the National Center for Health Statistics states this is raising the total number of U.S. women in this generation who have become mothers to more than 16 million. 

Moms control 85 percent of all household purchases, making them a sought-after demographic. Today's mom has more to do and less time to do it. My demographic are female parents between the ages of 24- 45.  

Millennial women (those born from 1981 to 1997) accounted for about eight-in-ten (82%) U.S. births in 2015. At the same time, Millennials make up 31% of the adult U.S. population, and just over a third (34%) of the U.S. workforce.

( April 25, 2016, to indicate that Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers in population. )

Author Reach

Website Statistics

Gigi’s website www.gigigaggero.com went live in January 2016. 

A Klout score of 60.44

Approximately 5,008 Twitter followers

Approximately 2,560 Facebook Fans

Approximately 5,860 followers on her Wordpress Blog chefgigigaggero.wordpress.com 

Approximately 330 Pinterest followers 

Approximately 1,110 LinkedIn contacts.


Media Experience

TELEVISON AND RADIO

2008 Radio Disney, Guest talking about Kids Cooking

2008 Radio Disney in the Park, San Jose, Ca. featuring Tap Dance Troop 

from the author’s cooking school, Kids Culinary Adventures-. 

2009 - 2011: Radio Disney ran seasonal radio spots about my kids cooking school. 

August 2011: NBC Eye on the Bay. Live - Children's Cooking Class 

2011- 2012: San Francisco Channel 7, "View from the Bay" 

Live TV Cooking demos with the show’s hosts Spencer Christian and Janelle Wang

Appearance arranged by Gigi

2012: KNBR Negotiated my own Radio Commercials about my school. Kids Culinary Adventures and my platform of healthy food, healthy family's and  healthy kids.

Summer 2012 - Radio Disney ran 15 Commercials about Chef Gigi's advice on eating techniques for happy healthy mealtimes with the family.

December 2013: KQED Public Television, Channel 9

Chef Martin Yan's cooking show, "A Tour of Vietnam". 

Dinner guest on set while Martin Yan cooked dinner 

September, 2015: Good Morning Sacramento

Demonstrated Healthy Homemade Mac and Cheese 

Appearance arranged by Gigi

PRESENTATIONS, PANELS, AND EVENTS

2005-2009 California Culinary Academy, Graduation Announcer, 625 Graduates, 3000 guests 

2005 Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco , Ca., Commencement Speaker, 250 graduates, 850 guests 

2010-2012 Promotional contests and activities with The Little Gym, 

A National Play and Exercise program Franchise Belmont Ca. 

2010- 2011 Co-marketed by designing healthy school lunch menus by Chef Gigi of Kids Culinary Adventures. 

2011 -2012 Speaker on picky eaters at LunchMasters annual parent night 

2011 National School lunch convention

invited to co-represent The LunchMasters at school lunch 

2011 -Invited to host Food Talk Podcast for my podcast was 60 minutes weekly topics on food and beverage on  -------radio.

2011 -Hired by IDEO as expert panelist regrading \new children's food products for their sequestered client.

2011 : San Carlos Art and Wine Festival: Appeared as a demonstrator and participant

2011 : Featured Chef for cooking Demonstrations for Dreagers Cooking Schools. San Francisco Bay Area 

2011 -2012 : Appeared at Hiller Aviations “Noon Years Eve” Toddler New Years Eve Celebration hosted by Dominican Publishing as a contributor 

2011: First Annual San Francisco Food Festival. I negotiated this Public Demonstration to present on how healthy dark chocolate is produced for consumers - and anchored with a demonstration class I developed called "Don't wash the dish, eat them" ( how to make chocolate dessert bowls at home)  

2012- Consulted Con-Agra Foods on Cooking class for children and flavor associations including demonstrations of live classes with children, ages 3-8. 

2012- San Mateo County Fair - Cooking Demonstrations, negotiated by Gigi 

2012 Stanford Mall -  Invited Speaker and Demonstrator for,  Kidz Club 

2012  Hillsdale Mall -  Hillsdale Mall, Informational Summer Fair for Parents. 

2012-Invited - Co-Marketing Speaker for LunchMasters. 

A Northern California and San Francisco  Bay Area healthy school lunch company. 

2012 Invited - Speaker on a recorded teleconference series by National Homeschooling expert Diane Flynn Keith - owner of Homefires.com 

Living & Learning with Preschoolers e-Audio Course! 

On how to handle a picky eater, including my suggested activities that promote early learning in a fun, relaxed, and playful manner. 

March 2012 - Invited , Macy’s Union Square, San Francisco , Ca.- Showcased Chef demonstration

September 2012- Invited, Bloomingdales, Union Square San Francisco , Ca.- Showcased Chef , cooking demonstration

January 2013 - Hollywood Ca. - appeared at Taste Television aways walking red carpet 

January 2014-Los Angels Ca. -appeared on the Red Carpet - Annual Taste Television Awards. 

2014 -2015 Speaker and Culinary Demonstrator. The International Chocolate Salon. Taste Television San Francisco Ca. 

January 2015 – Invitation to Red Carpet Event - Taste Television Awards, Hollywood Ca.

November, 2015 - Invited expert- Tasting Judge for International Chocolate Salon- San Francisco, Ca.

November 2015 - Invited, Expert Tasting Judge for International Chocolate Awards LLC, Americans and Pacific Rim, New York City – Panel.

April, 2016- Invited expert- Berlinger Vineyards, Napa Ca. Consultant to install sustainable food sources. Beehives and Chickens. Consultant to resident chefs and grounds keepers. Portions of Gigi’s,“Eat Your Own Biosphere” class. 

June 2016- Invited -Encino Elementary School, Menlo Park, Ca. Guest lecture and demonstration. class designed by Chef Gigi, “ Eat Your Own Biosphere” .

June 2016- Arranged by Gigi. Class for Mothers on Preparing your own bay food infant to toddler. Burlingame Mothers Club members. The club was started in August 1991 and now has more than 1,400 members.

July 2017- Arranged by Gigi. New face for national brand, Club Pilates. San Carlos, Ca. Demonstration chef and featured monthly writer for  the clubs healthy lifestyle blog.  

INVITED ARTICLES

2011/2012, Bay Area Parent Magazine, Dominican Publishing—Contributing monthly column writer, arranged by Gigi

2012 , National homeschooling Author and founder of www.Homefires.com, Ms. Diane Flynn Keith to Co -Author an ebook , Learning with Little Lulu Lemon. A practical hand on learning guide for kids ages 3-7.

2012/2013, Parenting in the Peninsula, —contributing monthly column writer. A monthly journal for San Mateo County Parents

January, 2013. Contra Costa Times— contributing mention, “Dorm room cooking lets college kids go gourmet”

April / May, 2016. The Autism File Magazine — Digital magazine, International. 2100 words, “Food Fights, winning the picky eating battle in ten easy steps”.  Arranged by Gigi. See article here pages 20-23 

August, 2016. Healthy Mothers Magazine —Digital blog, Contributing guest writer. 41,000 readers. Arranged by Gigi.

Ongoing 2016.  30 Second Mom and 30 Second Food —  Digital blog and online community— Featured contributor. 800 words. Arranged by Gigi. 43,000 readers

On-going  2016. Urban Gardeners Republic Magazine— Digital blog, Contributing monthly writer. 900-2200 words. Arranged by Gigi.  43,400 readers. 

August, 2016. Featured in The Entrepreneurial Chef  Digital Magazine  Founder, Mr. Shawn Werner—On-line community supporting mentors and startups in the culinary community.

July, 2017. Contributing writer . Consumers Health Digest - 100-1600 words. Invited by editor. Over 118, 000 readers.

July, 2017. Featured in Melissa’s Global Produce - Los Angeles, Ca. Featured Chef / Blog Post. How to Grill Summer Stone Fruit. Recipe: Cold Green Bean Salad with Grilled nectarines and a warm Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.  1500 words.  Arranged by Gigi. Over 100,000 readers

August, 2017 Contributing writer. Consumers Health Digest - 100-1600 words. Invited by editor. Over 118, 000 readers.

August, 2017 Contributing writer collaboration. Consumer Health Digest - 800-1000 words on:  Is there a link to food and happiness. https://www.consumerhealthdige...

September, 2017 Contributing writer. Consumers Health Digest  100-1600 words. Invited by editor. Over 118, 000 readers.

October, 2017- Contributing writer. Consumers Health Consumers Health Digest Collaboration on Healthy Cooking Styles - 100-1600 words. Invited by editor. Over 118, 000 readers.

October, 2017- Invited to host #30Seconds Chicago Twitter Chat And lead over 29.4 thousand of there followers into an engaging meet- up on line.

October, 2017- Live Healthy Cooking Demo- Arranged by Gigi for The Club Pilates San Carlos, Roseville and Palo Alto California  locations.

November, 2017- Contributing Writer and re-publish on, Urban Gardeners Republic . How to roast Squash seeds.



Author

Chef Gigi is recognized as an expert in culinary education. She specializes in children and families to help increase nutritional awareness and help take some of the stress out of being a busy-aware parent. Chef has coached thousands of children and adults through her hands on classes, private events, public speakings, websites, writing, professional culinary demonstrations, television and radio engagements, classes, and private consultations. 

Gigi, is not only a pioneer in children’s culinary education, she is also the former Dean and Academic Director who wrote and implemented the famed French culinary school- Le Cordon Bleu’s– Hospitality Management Program in San Francisco, California. Simultaneously, Chef Gigi founded a professional culinary school for children and teens with her then, six and eight year old daughters. Kids Culinary Adventures LLC was built by children for children. KCA anchored math, science, reading, history, geography and nutrition to academic curriculum; through the medium of cooking. 

The school served as the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier professional cooking school for children and teens for over a decade. Chef has coached thousands of children and their families how to shop, prep, cook and eat better.


Promotion

Marketing Points
The following is Gigi’s plan to promote/market the book:

  • On website and via social media outlets. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
  • Gigi will partner with 30 Second Mom where she is a monthly contributor 
  • Other media outlets: Gigi will reach out to include, live demonstrations at Macys, Bloomingdales, San Francisco Ferry Building for Cuesa, the center for Urban Education about sustainable agriculture.
  • Gigi writes regularly for her blog social and other social media outlets and has built a good rapport with followers.
  • Gigi will also reach out to her various outlets including the California Teachers Association, National Parent and Teachers Association in order to team up with them to do lectures at breakout sessions at their conventions with book signings and / or giveaways. 
  • She also has connections with local chefs such as local Bay Area, Gluten Free Chefs and Paleo experts— and will approach them for giveaways, mentions and reviews.
  • Gigi has also built a rapport in the eduction industry and  has a back round that meets and qualifies as a person of interest for news media outlets. She will reach out to these outlets as well to collaborate demonstrations, book signings with their clients who promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • Gigi is highly respected by her peers, who she will also turn to for promotion, mentions and reviews of the book.
  • Gigi will contact local news outlets, broadcasts and National day time talk television, where her demographic resides.  
  • Gigi will also contact parenting coaches and parenting bloggers, nationally, locally, and internationally to design a mutually beneficial co marketing relationship for seminars or giveaways.

The Nutritional Benefits :
There's no question. Not all children go on to have chronic selective eating in adulthood; but if parents do not address picky eating at an early age— it is likely their children are going to be faced with a future impairment in their health and well-being. Now more than ever, with increased childhood obesity rates—all adults need to focus on developing ways to help these children and their families intervene. According to a study, published August 3, 2016 in the Journal of Pediatrics, more than 20 percent of children ages 2 to 6 are selective eaters. Of them, nearly 18 percent were classified as moderately picky. The remaining children, about 3 percent, were classified as severely selective -- so restrictive in their food intake that it limited their ability to eat with others.


The Emotional Benefits:
Picky eating among children is a common and a burdensome problem that can result in poor nutrition for kids. Picky eating creates family conflict, and frustrated parents. Enlisting a protocol and non-clinical support can give families a sense of relief knowing they are not the only ones struggling. Setting systems in progress— gives a feeling positive change is on the way. Although many families see picky eating as a phase, a new study from Duke University finds moderate and severe picky eating often coincides with serious childhood issues such as depression and anxiety that may need intervention. Picky eating is also a serious issue for the general population, not just special needs families.


Added Value to the Reader 

  • Nutritional benefits for the whole family.
  • Emotional benefits for the feeding parent.
  • Versatility on way to approach the picky eating battle.
  • Advanced battle techniques deploying using the science behind taste. Umami.
  • Over 100 recipes, including umami recipes.
  • Step-by-step processes for advanced battles.
  • Food sticker charts for the child's view on their progress.
  • A path to peaceful parenting.

Competition

Comparative - Competitive Titles

  • Missy Chase Lapine’s book, The Sneaky Chef, Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals. Published by Running Press Books, 2007. Listing price, $20.00. Best Sellers Ranked #9.425 in books. A New York Times Best Seller.

The Sneaky Chef was first published in 2007. I remember this book distinctly. Although the book is well written with good intention, the author sparked controversy among food professionals, and clinicians regarding hiding foods and not being truthful to children about whats in their food. I love how the author offers an easy quick fix on the difficult task of feeding healthful foods to our children— however, the Sneaky Chef is placing a bandaid on the problem rather offering a long term solve. Her technique could result in long term negative affects of hiding and lying about food which could end up damaging well into adult life.  look - I’m not saying don't put the Spinach in the smoothie. I’m suggesting if we do— the person receiving the benefit, should be advised. In the food industry we call that, “ Truth in Menu.”

  • Katja Rowell MD and Jenny McGlothlin Co- Authored, Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating, A Step-by-Step Guide for Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders. Published by New Harbinger Publications. The book list price is  $16.99 and contains 240 pages of solid, informative literature. Best Sellers Ranking list at  #13,608 in books.

  This book reveals specific strategies for dealing with anxiety, low appetite, sensory eating, autism spectrum-related issues, medically-based feeding problems. The book is laid out with amazing tips and a few exercises to rehearse.  I used a script once to learn techniques when I was a young parent. Rehearsing helps but I know from experience all the scripts in the world wont change what you need do and that is stop studying and start acting on it. The authors want you to also coach everyone else in your child’s life- siblings, teachers grandparents - hey, that is a great thought, however, suggesting to as other to modify themselves is a tricky place for an already struggling parent to get involved with. 

I always tell my children we can not change others, but we can change ourselves. This is a perfect example. My parents would have told me I was crazy, playdate Moms would have ousted me, and teachers would have wanted to choke me after I left the room. Most parents that try to script teachers and other play date parents might end up sounding controlling and worsen an already difficult social situation. I find this book,“Clinical”— but with a positive with an tone, the text  does includes more medical and less “partner at parenting level” advice. Which automatically removes itself from the general readership’s reality. 

Although, with Autism Spectrum Disorder more prevalent every year, most readers might surmise doctors and feeling specialist  “know more,” and are subsequently better equipped to handle the challenges of picky or selective eaters. Again, the text lacks an alignment with parents,  for that real-life advice feel struggling parents need.— My book can fill that need and spark a sense of creativity added to the drudgery of their day in and day out frustrations surrounding a feeding program-. 

This book seems to remind readers they’re very deep medical issues. They must be doing something right because they have a great ranking. This book would be a great book to be assigned in college level nutrition, psych and medical pediatric programs. It’s that good.

  • Dina Rose PH.d -  It's Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating. Penguin Group, 2014. $16.00. Ranked in Amazons best seller list #26,341 in books. 

I love the title of this book. Dina Rose Ph.d has more than fifteen years under her belt as a sociologist and as a Mother. Rose anchors real time help for parents — she's been there, done that. I respect this author for getting to the root of the problem —eating habits. Although, habits are only a portion of what the picky eating challenge is. Her techniques are designed to help parents teach a lifestyle that will anchor a lifetime of heathy choices surrounding eating habits. I admire her for being responsible with that power— she is thinking about the long term aspects related to food teaching. Not lying, or masking things. 

Rose’s reasons surrounding the drafting of her book is a sad and depressing path. Her Mother lived as an obese adult—and later died from related complications. My book, Food Fight talks about obesity and why it happens early in a child's life. I believe there is more to it than just curing a habit. It boils down to a gamut of things including parenting styles — a challenge that needs to be addressed. I also discuss obesity, and why it begins at such a young age but take it one step further and identify how parents succumb to the pressure of their child and just end up caving and feeding high processed fast foods - basically throwing in the towel cause they are too exhausted dealing with it. Parents dealing with a picky eater need support in a  many areas from how to parent the picky eater to becoming a smart shopper- not to mention-  these parents desperately need help how to read a nutrition label and vivid foods that contain additives.

  • Cheri Fraker, Dr. Mark Fishbein Dr., Sibyl Cox, Laura Walbert. Food Chaining: The Proven 6-Step Plan to Stop Picky Eating, Solve Feeding Problems, and Expand Your Childs Diet. Da Capo Press, 2007. $16.99. 416 pages 

For a book that has been in print for seven years and still Ranking at #27,235 speaks for itself.  I find this book really Interesting. I’d definitely buy it. Looks easy to read and problem solving broke down to steps. Easy for busy parents. The only drawback might be is that—  as a non-clinician, I don't understand the title of the book.  As a parent of a picky eater, I have enough to think about and I might by pass checking into the book further simply because I have no idea what “Food Chaining” means, — further research of purchasing this book might fault. Who has time to research the research? My book Food Fight aligns with the already over -worked parent— I wont make the reader work to learn— or to buy my book. Why? Because I’m one of them. Short Take? Despite all the helpful, much-needed info and medical perspective on food chaining— ( which I did look up— it illustrates to begin with foods the children love and take it from there by adding on- ) and the early days— toddler feeding, the book lacks some much needed, every-parent accessible, day to day info about how to cope throughout that crucial challenge of just being a parent with added stress of shopping, cooking, cleaning, feeding, and dealing with a world full of additives.

My book will also teach a parent  how to stay away from marketing traps, identify different levels of organic language,  and listing of terrible food additives to avoid when reading a nutrition label. When if comes to feeing your family - there is much more to learn than just what to serve and how to cook it. 

  • Natalie Digate Muth, Sally Sampson. The Picky Eater Project 7 weeks to Happier,Healthier Family mealtimes. American Academy of Pediatrics, anticipated Jan. 2017) Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,327 in Books $19.95 pre order

WOW— Look at this! The American Academy of Pediatrics is hot on the food fight trail too— and, taking orders 8 months in advance. I’d love to know the details what’s inside. Really looking forward to this book being published!

  • Karen Le Billon- Author, French Kids Eat Everything published by, William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition-2014, 320 pages and ranks : #2,782 in Books 

Karen Le Billion’s resume is very intimidating. I’m star struck by her. She is a professor at the University of British Columbia , hold a Ph.d, and was named one of Canada top 40 under 40 in 2011. Her book, French Kids eat everything is spot on and does defunct between Europe and North Americas issues with processed foods and feeding times and habits through her discovery of moving to France and forced to live among a new culture. it is funny but at the same time, slightly offends. French obesity rates are a fraction of what ours are and —although humorous , some of the messages things she writes about makes me feel bad to be an American. I don't like that feeling. I am a classically French trained—  American Chef, residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. I observe many people shopping at the farmers markets, aware of their food sourcing— and enjoying a 100 mile diet not everyone uses food as a tool or a response to an emotional need just because we are from North America. I really think that is a case by case basis. 

As much as I love this author, I think the book should connect the reader —not make them feel poorly for geographic locations. It made me feel like she's saying French culture is better that my culture because I live in North America. North America is so diverse in cultures how can one pin point that. Parent already are always self-blaming for so many things. — I get the whole big picture on her message, loved her writing and lived her recipes even more—but I really don't want to be reminded I might be failing at feeding due to nature vs. nurture.

Sample

Food Fight , For Parents of Picky Eaters Sample Chapters : 

~Chapter Two ~ Food Fight Strategies for Children Ages 2-7

What Not To Do.

We’ve all done it. Begged our toddler to try just one bite of a sandwich, or told them that if they try the soup, they can have a treat or go on an outing. We are all guilty of letting them have their third glass of milk or juice between meals because— at least then, we are certain that something is in their little bellies. We all think, when he gets a bit older, he will eat. The truth is, we are exhausted by the stubborn refusals and we just give in. “My kid’s picky,” we say while giving her last night’s cheese pizza for breakfast, or “ She only eats white food,” while handing our preschooler a piece of French bread and butter with fruit for mealtime.

With all the bribing, manipulating and threatening no dessert to time-outs, we are still left feeling powerless against our pint-sized, food- refusing child’s strong will. Welcome to the seemingly never ending, food fight battle.

Toddler years are notorious for trying the patience of even the most calm and loving parents. Toddlers strive for independence, trying to figure out who they are and discovering how they fit in the world. No matter how much you may be able to control what your toddler cannot do, it is virtually impossible to force them to do things that they have decided not to do. Eating is one of the few things that toddlers and preschoolers have some control over because we can’t sit them down and force them to chew and swallow. Like most power struggles, the more we worry, play games, threaten and bribe, the worse the challenge we are already faced with will become.

In order to change this pattern, you must change your feeding habits and start on a new program towards healthy eating for your children. First, let’s look at why the common tactics most parents use often don’t work.

Bribery:

What It Looks Like

“Eat the carrot, and Mommy will give you a cookie.”

What it is: 

Bribing is, simply put, offering a reward for good behavior. In the food fight context, many parents use a more desirable food as a bribe to get a child to eat a less desirable food.

Why We Do It

Because it works sometimes, or at least it works to some degree. This tactic can bring some measure of relief to parents who are terrified that their child isn’t getting enough protein, carbohydrates or vegetables. Many children will force down a few bites of spaghetti in order to get the jelly donut that has been promised for dessert. Parents, reality check. This technique a quick fix and it can be very labor- intensive for you later.

Parent smart, not hard. In the long run, your actions and bribery choices used early on will not teach your child about healthy eating habits. Instead of just sitting down and having a pleasant meal, you will have to watch every bite or hold up the reward food to remind your toddler. It can be disruptive, and can pull your attention away from your other children at the dinner table. If all your time and energy is focused on your fussy eater its time to declare war. From that day forward, commit to winning the food fight battle!

Why It Doesn’t Work

The biggest problem with bribing is how it creates lists of negative and positive foods in the child’s head. Sweets and salty snacks, like chips and candy on the positive side— and almost everything else on the negative. The same problem occurs when we tell our children that they must finish their vegetables or other healthier versions of food before they get dessert. Ideally, the child should look at all foods as equal. The child will still have his likes and dislikes, and of course— many of his “likes” will probably be sweets, by taking the “reward” out of those foods, they become less attractive and open the way for other healthier foods to become desirable.

Why shouldn’t sweet, creamy, Greek yogurt topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon be something for the child to celebrate as well as a dessert.

Threatening:

                  “Eat your dinner, or you’ll get a time out.”

What It Looks Like

Threatening is essentially the same as bribing, just reversed. Instead of offering a reward for eating, we offer a punishment if they don’t eat. Think about that.

You are at your last remaining bit of patients, you have tried and tried to get your three-year-old child to introduce one healthy food choice. This is a child who refuses to eat almost anything other than toast and the occasional piece of fruit. One night, you inform her that she will have to put her favorite toy away if she doesn’t eat her dinner. She cries. You point to dinner and tell her that all she has to do is eat. She still refuses to eat, now so upset she probably couldn’t eat even if she wanted to.

Finally, you feel like you are forced to follow through and you set the beloved toy high on a shelf, telling your child that she can have it back the next morning. She learns quickly that she’ll always get her toy back the next day, so at dinnertime the child simply tells her parent to go ahead and put the toy on the shelf. But she still doesn’t eat. We teach, they learn, and fast!

Why We Do It

Because we’re human. We are not provided an instruction manual when we became parents. And each child is different, and should be celebrated as such. In many cases, we feel we have tried everything else to get our child to eat. In some cases, threats might work to the extent that your child will eat a bite or two in order to escape the punishment; but ultimately— this has not taught the child to be a healthy-eater and has only added another dimension to the power struggle and elevates your level of frustration. No one wins.

Why It Doesn’t Work

Threats are damaging to a child’s self-esteem and send the message that you don’t have faith in your child to make the right decisions. “Threats are a message of distrust,” says Adele Faber, author of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & How to Listen So Kids Will Talk. “Your child hears, ‘You can’t be trusted to control yourself so, I’m going to control you’.”

The other problem with threats is that the parent has to be willing to follow through on them. In the example above, the parent didn’t enjoy taking the child’s favorite toy away and had actually been hoping that they wouldn’t have to do it at all.

Seriously, in the art of good parenting, if you make a threat, you must be willing to live with the consequence for both you and your child. With food issues, in particular, the punishment just doesn’t fit the crime. It isn’t a natural consequence to make a child go to his room if he doesn’t eat his peas, and it only teaches him that eating is something that is enforced externally and not something that he has control over.

Coaxing:

What It Looks Like

“Buzzzzz…here comes the airplane; open up the hangar”…

Coaxing is something we have probably all done to encourage our children to eat. This is the kinder, gentler approach of trying to win a food fight. By using a friendly voice to appeal to our toddler’s reasonable side, we try to convince them to eat, saying things like “Oh, my goodness! Don’t those carrots look so delicious? Mommy’s going to have some. Do you want some, too? No? Are you sure? They’re so good.” The airplane and other food games also fall under the coaxing category: “Open your mouth, T-rex, here comes a bite of Stegosaurus!

Why We Do It

In some ways, coaxing just seems natural. As parents, we do it all the time and it’s a more positive approach than threatening or bribing. We think that by making a game out of eating and not allowing frustration to take over, we might eventually get our child to eat. But with regard to eating, coaxing is still a manipulative tool, no matter how nice we’re being, and it does not allow the child to take control of her own eating habits.

Why It Doesn’t Work

Coaxing, like threats and bribes, might work for some people but only some of the time. In a sense, the child might try something new to please the parent or get caught up in the game that they’re playing— a role the parent expects them to play. Again, this might satisfy the parent’s immediate concern about just getting food into their child’s belly, but is it really helping to develop a healthy attitude about eating?

Another problem is that the meal table ends up becoming a circus, complete with a frantic parent acting in a clown show, as he makes silly faces and turns food into flying spaceships. The applause and excitement of the other family members is designed to make the situation better because they want to be supportive when the toddler finally eats something. However, this sets up a situation where the child is the absolute center of the family’s attention and the child will come to expect and desire that this is the case every night. It’s simply too exhausting to keep up, and most parents become frustrated and eventually get to a point where they “just want my child to eat” without all the hoopla. Not to mention the negative impact this can play on additional siblings who might not feel they are the center of parents attention. Quite possibly you might find your other child or children  begin to engage in the same level of denying foods to gain more parental attention. Save yourself the additional work. Don't do it.

Disguising Foods:

What It Looks Like

“He’ll never notice the pureed cauliflower. I stuffed into his mashed potatoes.”

Many resourceful parents come up with ways to hide nutritious foods in the not-so- nutritious foods their toddler prefers. This is especially common with vegetables, which are notorious for being less than desirable to a picky eater. Although it is very common and perfectly acceptable to boost your soups and stews with as many vegetables or umami flavors as you can, this kind of food camouflage leads to a moral decision on the part of the parent of whether to lie about it or not.

Why We Do It

Parents are concerned about whether the child is getting enough of the vitamins and nutrition required from certain foods and worried about their child’s vegetable intake. These fears are addressed in Chapter Six: A Healthy Guideline—Sample Portions and Menus.

Why It Doesn’t Work

While it makes sense to pack as much nutrition as possible into our toddler’s food, the tricky part is when we try and hide foods they don’t like inside foods they do. Despite a parent’s best efforts, some children will notice the peas sticking out of their burger patty or the bitter taste of turnip in the mashed potatoes. For picky eaters, this camouflage technique can have the opposite effect from what the parents hoped. The picky eater may refuse foods she had previously accepted once she realizes that the foods have been changed. Now the child fears that she will find alien and undesirable foods hidden in the dinner she used to like. The child, who is essentially at the mercy of the parent feeding her, may then feel that she can’t trust the parent and could become even more wary of trying new things.

Lying to your child about food, or anything for that matter, is not good practice. It can set up relationship issues later when an open line of communication is needed most during ’tween and teen years. Being honest about food or anything else at this age can help your child identify that he can indeed trust you and seek better communication later.

The one-bite rule:

What It Looks Like

“Just have one bite, and you don’t have to eat any more.”

Very often the one-bite rule is paired with a bribe: “Just have one bite and then you can go play with your friends.” Often, parents establish the rule that every new food must be tried at least once. The parent may also add a threat, such as the child not being allowed to leave the table until they have had one more bite of broccoli.

Why We Do It

Used in combination with bribes and threats the “one bite rule” works well for some parents, and they successfully manage to get their kids to eat an acceptable portion of their dinner. Likewise, some parents see it as a way to get children to try new foods. If the stubborn toddler flatly refuses to take a bite of a green food, how will they know how good it is? Parents of picky eaters are always hopeful that their child will develop a liking for a new food and the only way to accomplish that is for the child to try the food.

Why It Doesn’t Work

While it seems like an innovative way to get a fussy child to try a new food, it is deeply rooted in the belief that the child will simply never try it on his own. Parents who practice the “one-bite rule” feel that their child is incapable of asserting her own independence in regards to trying new foods and that her fear will keep her from trying something new.

While it might seem like your child will never try new foods, you will be amazed to find that when the power struggle is taken out of the equation, your child will eventually become interested on their own and start exploring new foods.

What happens when we lose the food fight?

Many desperate parents are guilty of turning their kitchens into all-day diners when all other efforts fail. Some parents might prepare roast turkey with sweet potatoes for the whole family, and then make chicken noodle soup with no noodles and a PB sandwich with no jam for their picky eater. They might do it every night, no matter how tired they are or how little they feel like making special meals.

Unfortunately, it may feel like your selflessness is serving a purpose, it’s actually perpetuating an endless cycle in which your toddler is not put in a position where he is encouraged to try new foods. The message you should be sending to your child, is that you trust your child to be able to expand his food horizons. You don’t want the child to think that he is “special” or “different” and therefore— incapable of eating what everybody else is eating. This is a great recipe….. for disaster.

Parents, this is a re- learn for you too. Try letting go of many of your own food issues. Strive to become a little more relaxed. Maybe it is an issue surrounding cleanliness, or always having to clean the plate from any waste. What ever it is— avoid the power struggles and focus on enjoying the special social interaction that meal times should provide. You might find your child exploring new foods at her own pace, and in her own way.


Sample Chapter. 

Chapter Three: Food Fight Strategies For Any Age

Use closed-ended choices

Lifelong health begins in infancy, yet all too soon our kids are bombarded by messages that counteract our efforts. Between peer pressure, and television commercials advertising junk foods, getting children to eat well might seem more futile than fruitful.

So, what exactly can parents do to instill healthy eating habits in their kids? You can make a huge impact on your child’s lifelong relationship with food through simple things like getting kids involved in food preparation, focus on the food and time shared with the family. Role model positive actions around food and nutrition by inspiring them with your own healthy choices and motions. A really great mealtime strategy is just simply turning off the television and having a conversation about the day.

The challenge is to make healthy choices appealing. No matter how good your intentions are, trying to convince your eight-year-old that an apple is as sweet a treat as a chocolate dipped cookie, wont work. Be transparent and honest. And remember, it’s perfectly ok to not talk about the chocolate dipped cookie. You are in control, or learning to be. You can ensure that your child’s diet is as nutritious and wholesome as possible, even while allowing for some of his favorite treats. You can please both your child’s palate and your sense of parental responsibility by using positive parenting tactics. The one that worked for our family over and over was the offering a closed-ended choices. Close-ended choices allow children to still feel empowered to make the choice. Which makes them feel in control. However, your role is to control the options. Offer a choice between two items only— and suggest they choose one. 

Example

“You can choose an apricot or an orange for today’s mid-morning snack.” Then wait. Ask again, but in a different content delivery. “And did you want it peeled or cut into sections?”

Expected Outcome

This technique of closed-ended choice structure can be very empowering for the both of you. When my children were little  I had difficulties with bathing time. Offering a bath with or without bubbles solved our power struggles, and fast. You can use this tactic with food with the same success.

Offer daily Hors d’oeuvres

Toddlers like to graze their way through a variety of foods. Offer your child a customized smorgasbord. Use an ice-cube tray, a muffin tin or a compartmentalized dish. Put bite-sized portions of colorful and nutritious foods in each section. Give these finger foods playful names that a two-year-old can appreciate. Older kids will be just as happy with this, especially after school. Keep all grazing times controlled so kids wont fill up and not eat at scheduled mealtimes.

Some suggestions of whole food include:


  • Apple smiles (thinly sliced apple wedges)

  • Avocado boats (a quarter of an avocado with a triangular shape pice of sliced cheddar cheese fastened with a straw or tooth pick, depending on the child's age)

  • Frozen yogurt dipped banana coins or on sticks 

  • Broccoli trees (steamed broccoli florets)

  • Cucumber sticks with tangy yogurt dip ( cucumbers cut lengthwise )

  • Carrot coins (raw or seemed almost cooked through and thinly sliced )

  • Cheese building blocks  (cubes of cheese)

  • Frozen peas, or thawed.  (I never offer canned or prepared foods).

  • Mashed sweet potatoes on a  whole wheat cracker

Make your life easier. When kids have a timed grazing period, it can equal good behavior. A child’s demeanor often parallels their eating patterns. Parents often notice that a toddler’s behavior deteriorates toward the end of the morning or mid-afternoon. Behavior continues to worsen the longer they go without food. Timed grazing minimizes blood sugar swings and lessens the resulting undesirable mood swings. Grazing gives the child power to choose from an array of foods you have controlled. By offering a timed - grazing period you will create a silent- closed ended choice environment. The child feels somewhat satisfied able to make choices within a boundary you have supplied.

To support grazing success, place the food choices on an easy-to-reach table. As your toddler makes her rounds through the house, she can stop, sit down, nibble a bit, inside the designated graze snacking area. When she’s done, chewing and swallowing she can continue on her way. Use foods have a table-life of an hour or two. If you are worried about choking hazards, cut foods into small manageable pieces and offer a closed-ended choice on the preemptor of play while grazing. Set the rules of location and time and- use the timer. Once the timer rings, pick the food up and do not re-feed until the following mealtime. Be consistent with these rules on all offered grazing times. 

For instance, a child can only stay in the kitchen area while grazing and not allowed to talk, walk or run while eating or drinking food or liquids. The timer is set for a thirty to sixty minute time period. They will also identify with the sound of the timer. If they don't get the hang of the rules this time, you can bet they will learn quickly. 

Children will respond to how you present each food fight technique. Are  you presenting this time period as an enjoyable period ? Or are you placing pressure on the child by setting a negative tone?  "Let’s see if THIS works”, sort of tone? If  you have presented this activity as such, a child might just act as such. 

Keep in mind, small children have no concept of time. Timed grazing activities can help them gain a sense surrounding your family schedule. Always give a five to ten minute warning before suppling a change. If the timer will sound in five minutes, tell your child that you will be picking up the snacks in five minutes - or, ten laps around the kitchen. Give them something to help  identify just how long a five minute length of time is. 

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The author hasn't added any updates, yet.

  • Gail Muse on Nov. 15, 2017, 7:29 a.m.

    So excited to try and share your lovely new book!!!

  • Leanne Pomellitto on Nov. 15, 2017, 1:31 p.m.

    I am so excited for you! And I can't wait to read the book!

  • Al Gerona on Nov. 15, 2017, 4:38 p.m.

    You go Chef Gigi! #badAssFemale #powerfulWomen #blessOthers

  • Erin Mitchell on Nov. 15, 2017, 8:52 p.m.

    Can’t wait to get my hard copy with your autograph!!! Congratulations on completing the book! I can’t wait to share your advice with my friends with picky eaters.

  • Tymber Cavasian on Nov. 15, 2017, 10:09 p.m.

    Up Up and Away! Love ya, go get'm and here's to another Gigi Vegan pizza some night!

  • Jordan Marez on Nov. 16, 2017, 4:39 a.m.

    Good luck, Gigi!

  • Andrea Rappaport on Nov. 16, 2017, 5:18 a.m.

    You go girl!! xoxo

  • Lee Constantine on Nov. 16, 2017, 5:27 a.m.

    Thanks :)

  • Gabrielle Gaggero on Nov. 16, 2017, 6:07 a.m.

    CANT WAIT TO READ! So excited for this book! I’m super picky and looking forward to these professional techniques, flavors, and approaches!

  • Kayla Garry on Nov. 16, 2017, 6:17 a.m.

    So excited for the book!

  • Maria Milik on Nov. 16, 2017, 7:56 p.m.

    Congratulations Gigi!! I can't wait to get a copy of Food Fight! :D

  • Anthony Chiechi on Nov. 16, 2017, 9:17 p.m.

    ❤️😘❤️

  • Michael Kalanty on Nov. 16, 2017, 11:25 p.m.

    Done!! Can't wait for my copy. Go get 'e,. Cheffie!! You rock!!

  • Kim Murcia on Nov. 17, 2017, 5:32 p.m.

    Finally I️ figured out how to order, but still can’t gigure out how to get that big out of my phone!!!! I️ I️ I️

  • Carol Gonzales on Nov. 18, 2017, 6:10 p.m.

    Excited for you!!

  • Amy Fothergill on Nov. 18, 2017, 6:54 p.m.

    I’m so excited to check this out! Way to go!!

  • Phillip Guillory on Nov. 18, 2017, 7:07 p.m.

    Ms. Chef Gigi, we wish you ascendancy towards completion of the opus you have underway.
    P. Eugene Guillory, ret'd
    UC Berkeley

  • Richard Donati on Nov. 19, 2017, 7:28 p.m.

    Congrats my friend! Can’t wait to receive your book!

  • Joe Andreini on Nov. 20, 2017, 1:43 a.m.

    Congrats and much success. Love you!!!

  • Stephanie Boggs on Nov. 20, 2017, 3:52 a.m.

    I am so proud of you! Can't wait to get my copy and find more tasty meals to feed my kids!

  • Gigi Gaggero on Nov. 20, 2017, 8:03 p.m.

    Congratulations on this wonderful book, Gigi! I can't wait to share it with our community on 30Seconds.com! xoxo

  • Aura Morrison on Nov. 21, 2017, 2:56 a.m.

    Always love to read and learn more about children eating behavior.. my kids are grown but I work with children a lot:)

  • Sammy Yoshikami on Nov. 21, 2017, 6:26 p.m.

    Killin it!

  • ron saunders on Nov. 22, 2017, 12:58 a.m.

    Go Gigi!

  • George Fanopoulos on Nov. 22, 2017, 1:54 a.m.

    Hella excited for you :)

  • RHODA TOSHIMITSU on Nov. 24, 2017, 5:18 a.m.

    Love you Gigi ! Gifts for all the new Moms in my life ... start 'em young ...

  • Donna John on Nov. 25, 2017, 2:25 p.m.

    Cannot wait to see your book!

  • Kristel David on Nov. 27, 2017, 9:05 p.m.

    Great mission!! ❤️

  • Mitzi Hooper on Nov. 29, 2017, 4:09 p.m.

    This will be a great tool to have in the kitchen!!
    Thank you Chef Gigi

  • Seung Ko on Dec. 5, 2017, 7:01 a.m.

    Hope you make your goal mama.
    Mike the Sleepy Photog your son aka Seung

  • April Delgado on Dec. 6, 2017, 1:40 p.m.

    This better work Scrapper!!! Congratulations on this book. Love ❤️

  • Lori Nicole DeAvilla on Dec. 6, 2017, 8:47 p.m.

    This is such a great book! Can't wait to read it.

  • Anne Stone on Dec. 8, 2017, 7:54 p.m.

    Hugs! You're the best.

  • Darcy Wendt on Dec. 9, 2017, 10:59 p.m.

    We are at a loss with my 5 yr old granddaughter, meal times really are a good fight! Thank you! Looking forward to reading.

  • Pesha Perlsweig on Dec. 10, 2017, 8:58 p.m.

    Rock on chef! 💪😘👍

  • Michelle Stacey on Dec. 10, 2017, 10:38 p.m.

    Excited to be on the pre-order list! Can't wait to read it and share it with my kids and grandkids. Proud to know ya, Chef!

  • Suji Kong on Dec. 12, 2017, 11:23 p.m.

    Congrats Gigi ! Can’t wait to read

  • Heidi rae Weinstein on Dec. 13, 2017, 11:41 p.m.

    The fight is on!!! XO!

  • Gretchen Aberg on Dec. 14, 2017, 6:05 p.m.

    Can't wait!!! Ox!!

  • Reggie Garcha on Dec. 16, 2017, 4:42 p.m.

    David topacio’s Co-worker

  • Reggie Garcha on Dec. 16, 2017, 4:45 p.m.

    David Topacio’s Co-worker. Reggie Garcha

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