5 Tips to Eat Real Food This Fall

Kath Younger, a mom, registered dietitian, bakery owner, and the blogger behind Kath Eats Real Food, joins the Clever Cookstr to talk about picky eaters, lunchbox strategies, and why oatmeal is her favorite breakfast.

Kara Rota
2-minute read
Episode #68

After college, Kath Younger began a journey of weight loss, also concerned about the nutritional value of processed foods and artificial sweeteners that had become a part of her diet. She began to realize that it's not what you don't put in your body that counts: it's what you do put in it. By refocusing on real foods like fish, vegetables, and whole grains, Kath created a way of eating that works for her and her family. She's here to share some tips and tricks with us for eating real food this fall season:

1) It's easier to add than subtract. Rather than focusing on restricting your diet and making many foods "off limits," start adding in healthy foods that keep you full. Focusing on adding healthy habits will motivate you to let go of not-so-healthy habits.

2) When you're cooking for a mixed crowd that includes different dietary needs, nutritional considerations, and flavor preferences, customization is key. Feed a crowd a DIY taco bar with both vegetarian and meat options, or bolster a barbecue with vegetarian baked beans and grilled vegetables. One-dish meals like casseroles are risky when you aren't sure what all of your guests can eat. 

3) If you're hoping to get your kids to try new foods, remember that it can take a lot of exposure before a new food feels familiar and safe. Keep trying and offering a food rather than giving up hope of a child ever eating it. And as young children develop, they may be open to a new food one day and want nothing to do with it a week later—or vice versa. A "picky child" might be eager to try a food they've previously rejected under new circumstances (like dinner at a friend's house). Patience and persistence go a long way.

4) When packing a lunchbox, you might want to start with the basic structure of a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy or meat, and a whole grain. Kath packs bento-style lunches for her three-year-old, with go-tos including carrots, vegetable pouches, dinner leftovers, sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches, and homemade whole grain rolls from Kath's and her husband's bakery. 

5) Oatmeal is a nutritional powerhouse that can be so delicious and satisfying when you include add-ins like bananas, nut butter, granola, fruit, chia seeds, cottage cheese, eggs, and even pumpkin. For breakfast, a bowl of oatmeal with healthy toppings will keep you full all morning. Check out Kath's recipe for Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal.

For more tips from the kitchens of the world's best chefs, subscribe to the Clever Cookstr podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.