My kids love veggies!

How to make your wish come true

Putting the science into simple language to help parents change their children’s diets

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About this book

Is this book for me?

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  • Does your 7- to 10-year-old child demand junk food and reject fruits and vegetables?

  • How much influence do you as a parent have over this problem – and do you know how to fix it?

  • Do you know what parenting style is best for helping your child to eat healthy, or how and when to reward them for eating their vegetables?

These questions and many more are answered in this book, which puts the science of shaping children’s dietary habits into simple language for the busy parent to read and start acting on today. While many books focus on recipes or give a range of haphazard strategies, this book presents a fresh approach to empowering parents. It gives parents a scientific map, or what health promotion professionals call a behaviour change model, to move children towards healthier diets. Accompanying this map are strategies, tools, and resources to help parents kickstart the change process. This book is a one-stop shop for nurturing healthy-eating kids and eliminating some of the challenges of parenting.


Why buy this book?

Four main benefits of reading this book

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Easy reading

An easy read that puts the science of dietary change into conversational language for any parent to read and understand

Easy parenting

Learn how to achieve results with your children without arguments and power struggles

Time and money saver

A free one-stop-shop to ccess all the resources and tools needed to change your children's dietary behaviours

Empowered parenting

Make informed decisions about why, when and how to effectively intervene to change your children's dietary behaviours 

What's in some of the chapters?

A sneak preview of first 7 chapters

Why this book? I’ve written this book to help parents who are losing the battle at the dinner table to instil healthy eating habits in their kids. I was one of these parents. My struggles began when my firstborn reached the age of 18 months,  with many mealtimes resulting in total food rejection, tantrums, and tears. Once, when he was around five years old, I remember telling him to eat what was on his plate. He just sat there and stared at the food. I could see there was no way he was going to eat any of it. In frustration, I ...    

What’s the problem?

I’ll be showing you why you as the parent can’t be the sole person held responsible for your child’s dietary choices. But, before I do, I think it’s important for all of us to understand the dire reality facing our kids right now, and the risks they face from poor diets. As parents, we try to teach our kids to practice ‘stranger danger’, to keep away from drugs and alcohol, to have beautiful manners … the list goes on. So, why not make a healthy diet another important priority? Could it be that we ourselves need more awareness of the risks of unhealthy dietary behaviours and the right tools to help us fix the problem? Maybe, maybe not, but I decided to list a few facts to bring home the sheer desperation of the situation facing our kids...

I should give you a logical or scientific reason why you shouldn’t take all the blame for your children choosing junk or highly processed foods over veggies. See, there are three ways of thinking in public health: the ‘old public health’ way, the ‘individual responsibility’ way, and the ‘new public health’ way.1 Don’t worry about the first way, because it’s the latter two that are of interest here. Many of us still think in the ‘individual responsibility’ way, even though the science of public health has moved on to the ‘new public health’ way. In simple terms, the ’individual responsibility’ way of thinking is about blaming a person for their poor lifestyle choices without recognising that other factors are also at play.1

Terms you need to know

In this chapter, I’ll be describing some of the things you need to know before you start changing your child’s diet. For example, how do you know if your child’s overweight or obese? And what is a serve of veggies, and how do you measure it?

Change is a life-long journey of enlightenment

Let me start this chapter with an exercise. You’re probably familiar with optical illusions, so here’s one you may have seen before. What do you see?

Barriers and opportunities are basically a person’s attributes (like their confidence levels) or something in their environment (like veggie prices) that can make a behaviour (like eating veggies) harder or easier to do. There are lots of things that can become barriers or opportunities which help or hinder children from eating their veggies. But there are two specific environmental barriers and opportunities I want to explain here: parenting styles and parental feeding practices.

The next trick in the SCT bag that I’m going to explain is reinforcements and punishments. Reinforcements is a fancy word for rewards to encourage kids to keep up the good behaviour; and we all know what punishment means. I’ll be using the term ‘rewards’ from here onwards. Now, am I wrong when I say that this reward and punishment business has a lot of parents stumped?


Pricing available on Amazon and Book Depository sites.



  • Complete Book
  • EPUB
  • Access to online resources


Book Depository

  • Complete Book
  • Paperback Book
  • Access to online resources
Available now

About the author

Hoda McClymont

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Hoda McClymont PhD, BBus(Hons), GradDipPubHlth, GCertHuman Services

Hoda McClymont is a mother, researcher, and project officer for a national not-for-profit organisation. In addition to authoring numerous academic journal articles available on ResearchGate, Hoda has years of experience working for government, academic, and non-government organisations. Over the two decades of teaching and research in academia, Hoda’s research interests became more focused on individual health and well-being, leading her to change careers by studying, volunteering, and working first in human services, and more recently in public health. While completing her graduate studies in public health, Hoda became aware of the pressing need to educate and empower individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices for themselves. She also saw two key barriers that stood in the way: limited public access to trusted scientific information, and a limited understanding of the technical language used in scientific publications. Hoda saw that she could use her skills to remove these barriers, especially in the domain of health – which is fast becoming a growing concern worldwide. The outcome of her endeavour is this book, aimed at parents who are looking for help to improve their children’s diets. Hoda lives in sunny Queensland, Australia, with her husband and two sons, who were the inspiration for this book.


What people said about my books

“Cleverly written, a much-needed book, sometimes we need a wake-up call, and reading this book has put me back on track. It’s time to clean out the pantry and I love the idea of eating a rainbow.”

“My Kids Love Veggies! Is a very practical, helpful, well-researched book with interesting facts for those fighting an uphill battle trying to get their primary-school-aged children to eat more vegetables and be healthy in general.”

"You have an easy writing style!"

"Many families find it a real struggle to entice children to eat their vegetables. This is a book for anyone interested in some of the theory behind the practice of encouraging children to eat their vegetables. Hoda has done the heavy lifting of reading through the literature to bring you evidence-based strategies to encourage and guide your children to eat their veggies. The strategies Hoda brings to the table are presented in a casual, conversational way, as if you are sitting down, with a cuppa in hand, catching up with an old friend, my old friend in fact. Takeaway messages at the end of each chapter are a handy summary of the information and the additional resources sections provide easy access to more ideas and practical steps to follow through. Hoda shares a mountain of resources through links to other sites where you’ll find additional strategies, games, posters, recipes, gardening instructions, cooking shows and more, which really makes this book a fantastic reference for all parents."


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Veggie pizza

by Hoda McClymont - 02 March, 2023

Veggie pizz you can pack for your kids' school lunch

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Chicken and veggies soup

by Hoda McClymont - 02 March, 2023

Chicken and veggie soup

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Dahl and Raita - My style

by Hoda McClymont - 02 March, 2023

Cabbage rice (Kalam Polo)

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Grandma’s rissoles and veggies

by Hoda McClymont - 02 March, 2023

Grandma’s rissoles and veggies


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