Author - Laura Hoover

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Laura Chalela Hoover, MPH, RDN is a mom, a registered dietitian and media spokesperson for the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her website, Smart Eating for Kids, shares simple, doable strategies that help to put healthier, happier mealtimes within reach.

Your kid will hate some foods, and that's ok

It never ceases to amaze me how my two kids—born from the same womb—can be so different. I don't know why it still surprises me so much, but it always does. In areas where one excels, the other struggles. At times when one is calm, the other is fired up.  

The differences in their personalities show up everywhere, including at the dinner table. One loves chocolate, the other loves vanilla. One is adventurous and willing to try new foods, the other is ... not. 

Over the holiday break...

Posted on January 25, 2017 at 1:31 PM by Laura Hoover

5 tips for cooking with little kids | NPNparents.org

We all know that cooking with kids is recommended. Research shows that it encourages kids to have a more adventurous palate and promotes family bonding, among a host of other benefits.

But the truth is, cooking with LITTLE kids can be a real circus act. 

Take, for example, the time when my mini sous chef decided to use the kitchen faucet as a fire hose. Or when and my little pastry queen turned our kitchen floor into a sugary beach. Of course, these things always seem to happen whil...

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 1:12 PM by Laura Hoover

How to make Halloween healthier without being a killjoy

I know that Halloween is a favorite holiday for so many people. And I totally get the appeal—carving pumpkins, dressing up in cool costumes and getting free candy is pretty sweet. As a parent, I still love the holiday, but I’ve learned that I need to "tweak" my approach to the holiday to keep my kids from turning into little monsters.

For starters, the crowds in Chicago can be out of control, especially during the trick-or-treating hours hosted by neighborhood stores. It’s a far cry fr...

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM by Laura Hoover

5 simple ways to help your picky eater become more adventurous

When my eldest, Jack, was a toddler, I thought I had it all figured out. He was (and is) curious, easy going and eager to please. Naturally, these temperamental qualities translate to him being a good and adventurous eater.

As a dietitian, I gave myself a big ol’ pat on the back. Surely, his good eating skills were because of me, right?

Well—go figure—kid No. 2 had different ideas in mind. My girl, Caitlin, is sweet, observant and smart, but she’s stubborn as all get-out. Plus, she ...

Posted on September 13, 2016 at 12:49 PM by Laura Hoover