Updated & Revised!
Eating is an innate skill that marketing schemes and diet culture have overcomplicated. In recent decades, we have begun overthinking our food, which has led to chronic dieting, disordered eating, body distrust, and epidemic levels of confusion about the best way to feed ourselves and our families. We can raise kids with confidence in their food and bodies from baby’s first bite!
We are all Born to Eat, and it seems only natural for us to start at the beginning—with our babies. When babies show signs of readiness for solid foods, they can eat almost everything the family eats and become competent, happy eaters. By honoring self-regulation and using a family food foundation, we can support an intuitive eating approach for everyone around the table.
With a focus on self-feeding and a baby-led weaning approach, nutritionists and wellness experts Leslie Schilling and Wendy Jo Peterson provide age-based advice, step-by-step instructions, self-care help for parents, and easy recipes to ensure that your infant is introduced to solid, tasty food as early as possible. It’s time to kick diet culture out of our homes!
About the Author
Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN is a non-diet dietitian and culinary nutritionist. She is the author of eight books, including Bread Making For Dummies and Meal Prep Cookbook For Dummies. As with all military spouses, she wears many hats, but her favorite is her role as a mama. You can find Wendy Jo in her garden, walking the beach, in her camper van, or providing culinary education across the globe. She splits her time between Austin, Texas; San Diego, California; and Europe.
Leslie Schilling, MA, RDN, CEDS-S, owns a Las Vegas-based practice specializing in nutrition counseling for families, people with disordered eating concerns, professional athletes, and performers. Leslie has served as a performance nutrition consultant for Cirque du Soleil® and the NBA and an expert contributor to U.S. News & World Report. With her warm, compassionate, and entertaining personality, Leslie has been featured in media outlets like Health, Women's Health, Self, Pregnancy Magazine, The Yoga Journal, Bicycling, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and on HGTV. As a registered dietitian certified as an eating disorder specialist and supervisor, Leslie spends much of her time supporting professionals across the nation through supervision. When she's not hiking or playing board games with her family, you can find her sharing non-diet messages on her social media and speaking platforms. Leslie is passionate about educating ministry, military, health, medical, and fitness professionals about the harms of diet culture.
“Born to Eat answered all my questions about baby-led weaning. Leslie and Wendy Jo will help parents raise children who feel good about food and their bodies, which is preventative medicine at its best. I wish this book had been around when my daughter was a baby! Highly recommended for new parents.” —Katja Rowell, MD, author of Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating
"A phenomenal read for those interested in starting solids with real food!" —Jenny Best, founder of Solid Starts
“What comes over in this easy-to-read book is that moving on to solid foods should be a positive experience, and that we can trust our babies to know their own bodies. By choosing healthy foods and being present and purposeful at shared family mealtimes, we can feel confident to sit back and let our children make their own discoveries and decisions—because we are all Born to Eat.” —Gill Rapley, PhD, coauthor of Baby Led Weaning
“Problem solved! Born to Eat is like a trustworthy friend showing you the ropes of feeding your infant with love and compassion. As new parents, we care deeply about doing what's best for baby, but food can be especially overwhelming. Read this book and experience the joys of watching your child explore eating with curiosity and engagement. Leslie and Wendy Jo give you the information you need and the permission to make it work for your family through the years.” —Rebecca Scritchfield, author of Body Kindness
"Born To Eat is a must-read for anyone thinking about trying baby-led weaning. It's a practical guide that provides simple, actionable steps for each stage of the process and addresses all of the common questions and fears that many parents have.” —Lindsay Livingston, RD, founder of The Lean Green Bean blog
"Born to Eat emphasizes two of the most important aspects of child feeding that also happen to be lacking in our society today: connection and trust. Leslie and Wendy Jo combine their professional experience with their parenting wisdom to remind us that feeding our children is supposed to be a simple, fun, and nurturing experience, rather than one of stress, guilt, and worry. Born to Eat protects a child’s ability to self-regulate their intake and nurtures their innate curiosity of food. For any parents considering the baby-led weaning approach or an approach that fosters a healthy relationship with food for the entire family, Born to Eat is a must!" —Lindsay Stenovec, MS, RD, CEDRD, owner of Nutrition Instincts & founder of The Nurtured Mama Club
"The bottom line is that parents are working too hard to feed their babies. It should be fun! Not intimidating. Let your baby explore and learn from experience on their own time. And if you think about it . . . the healthiest foods—foods in their whole, unprocessed form—are actually the easiest to self-feed! Born to Eat is a resource that every parent needs on their shelves." —Sidney Fry, MS, RD, James Beard award-winning food writer and nutrition expert