Better Nutrition June 2019



Melissa Diane

Smith is an


known journalist and

holistic nutritionist who

has more than 20 years of

clinical nutrition experience

and specializes in using

food as medicine. She is

the cutting-edge author

of Going Against GMOs,

Going Against the Grain,

and Gluten Free

Throughout the Year, and

the coauthor of Syndrome

X. To learn about her

books, long-distance

consultations, nutrition

coaching programs, or

speaking, visit her



Freeing Your Family

When health crises prompt major diet changes,

focus on the positive and patiently and persistently

adopt new habits to move toward a therapeutic

way of eating /// BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH

: My son has just been diagnosed with the gluten-related autoimmune

skin condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and we recently found out

that my daughter is severely allergic to milk products and experiences

digestive distress from all grains. My husband has irritable bowel

syndrome, allergies, and asthma; I have digestive bloating;

and all of us are overweight and don’t eat enough

vegetables. Going on a grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free diet seems

like it would be best for us, but I’m overwhelmed about how to go

about that. Can you offer some pointers?

—Tanya W., Madison, Wis.

common for health crises to


compel transformation in diet,

and summer is the perfect time to make

the switch so your family can become

accustomed to this therapeutic way

of eating before your kids go back to

school. And, really, it’s a good idea for

everyone to adopt at least a few of these

healthier dietary practices.

“Changing your diet now can save

you time, heartache, and money in the

future,” says Leah Webb, MPH, author

44 • JUNE 2019

of the new book, The

Grain-Free, Sugar-

Free, Dairy-Free Family

Cookbook (Chelsea Green

Publishing). Families who are

not in crisis mode might favor a more

moderate approach to their diet, but

getting grain- sugar-, and dairy-based

junk foods out of the diet can benefit

everyone. “Don’t settle for mediocrity when

it comes to diet when the alternative

feels so much better,” says Webb.



Summer is the best time

to make healthier changes

to your family’s diet, so that

everyone has a chance to

get used to them before

they go back to


Parents have a responsibility to help

their children learn and understand how

to fuel their bodies in a healthy way.

Feeding our kids the proper foods takes

effort, but the payoff is substantial.

Basics of Making Changes

as a Family

Start with yourself. Improve the way you

eat and the effects will likely gradually

cascade down to other family members.

Next, serve only one healthy meal

each at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Don’t cook to order or offer alternative

foods for individual kids. Try to pair new

foods with something familiar that they

like. But if your kids don’t want to

eat the new foods, don’t get

discouraged: Keep trying to

offer them. Studies show

that children won’t even

try a new food until it’s

been offered many times,

according to Webb.

Also, encourage your

children to get involved in

the kitchen and participate

in small tasks during the food

preparation process. Kids are much more

interested in trying new foods if they

have a hand in fixing those foods. Plus,

the more they learn to do in the kitchen

when they’re young, the more prepared

they will be to make their own nutritious

meals in the future.

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