Nicole Cruz, MS, RD Nutrition Consultant

Nicole Cruz, MS, RD   Nutrition Consultant Nicole Cruz is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant devoted to helping others create a balanced relationship with food.

Operating as usual

I came across a post the other day about telling your kiddo they can have cereal for breakfast but they also NEED to add...
10/06/2021

I came across a post the other day about telling your kiddo they can have cereal for breakfast but they also NEED to add a protein food.⁠

I completely understand the sentiment and the benefits of adding protein. What I don’t love or agree with is requiring them to eat it.⁠

There’s a big difference between providing the option and some gentle education without making it a rule.⁠

Instead of saying, You can have some but you need to add protein, try…⁠

I’ll grab some eggs to go with the cereal. Protein helps give us energy to last until lunch time.⁠

And then allow them to choose whether or not to eat the protein.⁠

Making requirements feels like making a rule. And rules are typically rebelled against. Not to mention they take away from the learning experience.⁠

I just talked with a client the other day who still struggles to incorporate veggies and protein because they were always made to be such a big deal and main component of all her meals growing up. Veggies and protein were ‘healthy’ and you had to eat them at every meal!!! She actually enjoys them but finds herself resistant to eating them because of her childhood.⁠

And what if your child doesn’t eat protein and ends up hungry before lunch? It might be annoying but they also might learn.⁠

We can provide the structure and gentle education without making hard rules about what they have to eat.⁠

What thoughts do you have about this?⁠

For more conversation on these topics with like-minded individuals, join our Free Facebook Group - Joyful Eating for Your Family today at https://www.facebook.com/groups/joyfuleatingforyourfamily

I came across a post the other day about telling your kiddo they can have cereal for breakfast but they also NEED to add a protein food.⁠

I completely understand the sentiment and the benefits of adding protein. What I don’t love or agree with is requiring them to eat it.⁠

There’s a big difference between providing the option and some gentle education without making it a rule.⁠

Instead of saying, You can have some but you need to add protein, try…⁠

I’ll grab some eggs to go with the cereal. Protein helps give us energy to last until lunch time.⁠

And then allow them to choose whether or not to eat the protein.⁠

Making requirements feels like making a rule. And rules are typically rebelled against. Not to mention they take away from the learning experience.⁠

I just talked with a client the other day who still struggles to incorporate veggies and protein because they were always made to be such a big deal and main component of all her meals growing up. Veggies and protein were ‘healthy’ and you had to eat them at every meal!!! She actually enjoys them but finds herself resistant to eating them because of her childhood.⁠

And what if your child doesn’t eat protein and ends up hungry before lunch? It might be annoying but they also might learn.⁠

We can provide the structure and gentle education without making hard rules about what they have to eat.⁠

What thoughts do you have about this?⁠

For more conversation on these topics with like-minded individuals, join our Free Facebook Group - Joyful Eating for Your Family today at https://www.facebook.com/groups/joyfuleatingforyourfamily

Managing any medical conditions or specific symptoms can feel tricky and counter to intuitive eating, but they’re not in...
10/05/2021

Managing any medical conditions or specific symptoms can feel tricky and counter to intuitive eating, but they’re not in opposition. In fact, using intuitive Managing any medical conditions or specific symptoms can feel tricky and counter to intuitive eating, but they’re not in opposition. In fact, using intuitive eating to guide you through your medical condition will likely be more helpful and sustainable.⁠

And of course, if you need more support and guidance, seek out a trusted provider.⁠

So here are 5 things to consider when focusing on your health and intuitive eating journey. ⁠

Do any of these resonate with you most?

The other day my kiddo opened up his lunch before school and saw that I had packed him a sandwich and he wanted leftover...
10/04/2021

The other day my kiddo opened up his lunch before school and saw that I had packed him a sandwich and he wanted leftover pizza.⁠

He started whining and complaining, saying he didn’t want the sandwich and wasn’t going to eat it.⁠

I let him know I had already packed his lunch (which FYI - he chose the night before when I gave him 2 choices) and that he didn’t have to eat it. I showed him all the other things in it and then said, “We can have pizza for a snack after school.”⁠

At this point, he grabbed his lunch and walked out the door for school without a hassle.⁠

Well, that’s one for the books 😂⁠

Becauses it doesn’t always happen quite that easily.⁠

In fact, there are many times my kids throw a complete fit about what they’re having or not having.⁠

But I will say this, they also do that at times when they want a toy at Target, want to go swimming, or don’t want to turn off a video game.⁠

It’s exhausting at times. And it’s also normal!⁠

Our ways of feeding and the language we use are not magic solutions. They don’t suddenly make your child change their mind about what they wanted or mean they won’t act out.⁠

They do typically HELP in reducing the battle and they also help your child feel heard and still get some say in the food choices, it just might not always be in that moment, oh instant gratification and the game of patience.⁠

And the more consistent we are, as opposed to switching out the lunch or cooking a new meal, the more they learn that behavior doesn’t work to automatically get what they want. They’re still allowed to be disappointed and have their feelings about it though.⁠

Can you relate?⁠


For more conversation on these topics with like-minded individuals, join our Free Facebook Group - Joyful Eating for Your Family today at 👉 Facebook.com/Groups/JoyfulEatingforYourFamily

The other day my kiddo opened up his lunch before school and saw that I had packed him a sandwich and he wanted leftover pizza.⁠

He started whining and complaining, saying he didn’t want the sandwich and wasn’t going to eat it.⁠

I let him know I had already packed his lunch (which FYI - he chose the night before when I gave him 2 choices) and that he didn’t have to eat it. I showed him all the other things in it and then said, “We can have pizza for a snack after school.”⁠

At this point, he grabbed his lunch and walked out the door for school without a hassle.⁠

Well, that’s one for the books 😂⁠

Becauses it doesn’t always happen quite that easily.⁠

In fact, there are many times my kids throw a complete fit about what they’re having or not having.⁠

But I will say this, they also do that at times when they want a toy at Target, want to go swimming, or don’t want to turn off a video game.⁠

It’s exhausting at times. And it’s also normal!⁠

Our ways of feeding and the language we use are not magic solutions. They don’t suddenly make your child change their mind about what they wanted or mean they won’t act out.⁠

They do typically HELP in reducing the battle and they also help your child feel heard and still get some say in the food choices, it just might not always be in that moment, oh instant gratification and the game of patience.⁠

And the more consistent we are, as opposed to switching out the lunch or cooking a new meal, the more they learn that behavior doesn’t work to automatically get what they want. They’re still allowed to be disappointed and have their feelings about it though.⁠

Can you relate?⁠


For more conversation on these topics with like-minded individuals, join our Free Facebook Group - Joyful Eating for Your Family today at 👉 Facebook.com/Groups/JoyfulEatingforYourFamily

Have you ever been just hanging out and then you start thinking about food? Or maybe you look at a menu and don’t feel s...
10/01/2021

Have you ever been just hanging out and then you start thinking about food? Or maybe you look at a menu and don’t feel super hungry but like food looks good?

Those are valid reasons to eat!!!

Hunger doesn’t have to be all consuming, gnawing at you, stomach growling hunger to mean it’s ok to eat.

Hunger starts much sooner than distracting pain and discomfort. It can come in the form of just thinking about and wanting to eat.

You don’t have to be ready to chew off your left arm to deserve to eat.

In fact, that likely means you’ve waited too long.

What signals do you notice about being ready to eat?

Have you ever been just hanging out and then you start thinking about food? Or maybe you look at a menu and don’t feel super hungry but like food looks good?

Those are valid reasons to eat!!!

Hunger doesn’t have to be all consuming, gnawing at you, stomach growling hunger to mean it’s ok to eat.

Hunger starts much sooner than distracting pain and discomfort. It can come in the form of just thinking about and wanting to eat.

You don’t have to be ready to chew off your left arm to deserve to eat.

In fact, that likely means you’ve waited too long.

What signals do you notice about being ready to eat?

Are you tired of dealing with snack requests all day?I know it can be exhausting to constantly make food & clean up the ...
09/30/2021

Are you tired of dealing with snack requests all day?

I know it can be exhausting to constantly make food & clean up the mess. And if your child’s eating snacks all day, you also might be frustrated because they never want to eat the meals you cook. It can be tiring on all levels!

While it’s pretty typical kid behavior, to ask for lots of snacks, there also might be a reason.

The snacks they eat aren’t filling enough - they might actually be physically hungry if they’re not eating enough substance at snacks. Try to think of snacks like mini-meals & include some protein & fat. Carbohydrates alone tend to provide quick but not lasting energy. Kids still need carbohydrates, & typically lots of them, but they also need some fat & protein for more staying power. As always, this is not a suggestion to force your child to eat fat or protein, but just for you to make sure you’re offering it.

Snack foods are different than meal foods - if snack foods feel like a set of specific foods, your child might be more interested in snacks because it’s a type of food instead of thinking about it as a time to eat between meals. If you always serve packaged foods for snacks but more prepared foods at meals, consider mixing it up.

They don’t like or eat the meals you serve - When your child doesn’t like what you serve for meals, they’re likely to just wait it out until they can have a snack again. You don’t have to cater & serve their exact request for every meal, that would likely drive you insane and not expose your child to much variety. But you do want to make sure you offer at least something you know they enjoy at each meal.

There’s not enough structure - when your child constantly grazes, they typically don’t get full. So if they’re bored or looking for something to do, they might just want to keep snacking through the afternoon, eating a little bit at a time.

Their portions are limited at meals and snacks - again, your child might truly be hungry. Just like meals, you want to allow your child to eat the amount they want at snacks. This doesn’t mean snack all afternoon. Instead, have a snack time and allow them to eat as much as they want.

For more conversation on these topics with like-minded individuals, join our Free Facebook Group - Joyful Eating for Your Family today at https://www.facebook.com/groups/joyfuleatingforyourfamily

Are you tired of dealing with snack requests all day?

I know it can be exhausting to constantly make food & clean up the mess. And if your child’s eating snacks all day, you also might be frustrated because they never want to eat the meals you cook. It can be tiring on all levels!

While it’s pretty typical kid behavior, to ask for lots of snacks, there also might be a reason.

The snacks they eat aren’t filling enough - they might actually be physically hungry if they’re not eating enough substance at snacks. Try to think of snacks like mini-meals & include some protein & fat. Carbohydrates alone tend to provide quick but not lasting energy. Kids still need carbohydrates, & typically lots of them, but they also need some fat & protein for more staying power. As always, this is not a suggestion to force your child to eat fat or protein, but just for you to make sure you’re offering it.

Snack foods are different than meal foods - if snack foods feel like a set of specific foods, your child might be more interested in snacks because it’s a type of food instead of thinking about it as a time to eat between meals. If you always serve packaged foods for snacks but more prepared foods at meals, consider mixing it up.

They don’t like or eat the meals you serve - When your child doesn’t like what you serve for meals, they’re likely to just wait it out until they can have a snack again. You don’t have to cater & serve their exact request for every meal, that would likely drive you insane and not expose your child to much variety. But you do want to make sure you offer at least something you know they enjoy at each meal.

There’s not enough structure - when your child constantly grazes, they typically don’t get full. So if they’re bored or looking for something to do, they might just want to keep snacking through the afternoon, eating a little bit at a time.

Their portions are limited at meals and snacks - again, your child might truly be hungry. Just like meals, you want to allow your child to eat the amount they want at snacks. This doesn’t mean snack all afternoon. Instead, have a snack time and allow them to eat as much as they want.

For more conversation on these topics with like-minded individuals, join our Free Facebook Group - Joyful Eating for Your Family today at https://www.facebook.com/groups/joyfuleatingforyourfamily

09/29/2021

Let's talk about vegetables!⁠

If you’re like most parents, you might be concerned that your child’s not eating enough vegetables.⁠

When we’re raising intuitive eaters and practicing the Division of Responsibility (DOR), we’re usually told that following this approach will help our child eat more variety (including veggies) and not obsess about sweets so much.⁠

But sometimes, that’s not exactly what happens...⁠

Recently in my course, Feed your Family with Confidence, a participant raised her concern that since switching to DOR her child won't eat ANY vegetables and she’s eating more sweets than before. ⁠

I know this sparks a lot of concern for parents, but to be honest, this is generally expected and part of the process!⁠

If your child previously had to try a bite of everything or finish their plate in order to get dessert, they may want to test the boundaries, like ‘Can I really get away with eating NO vegetables?’⁠

It can be uncomfortable to sit through, but usually, it just takes time to even back out. But even then, you don’t have to do NOTHING.⁠

It might be tempting to go back to requiring a few bites or bribing with dessert. But instead, you might consider:⁠

Trying to make veggies more fun!⁠

Like our FYFWC participant did!⁠

She took all the condiments out of the fridge and had a veggie tasting party! Her daughter was so excited to participate and EAT the veggies. She also went on to ask if they could try a new dressing on kale salad.⁠

💛 Think of providing veggies as fun, instead of a ‘have to get them to eat’.⁠
💛 Get your kiddo involved in the preparation.⁠
💛 Ask them if there is a particular dip or dressing they want to try.⁠
💛 Throw a condiment party and dip a variety of different veggies and other foods!⁠

Rather than requiring, think about fun and exposure :)⁠

For more ways to up the fun, grab my free guide: Make Meals Fun (without a lot of effort) at https://mailchi.mp/nicolecruzrd/make-meals-fun

Your relationship with food is your foundation. It evolves and changes, and that’s ok. But it’s based on you and your le...
09/28/2021

Your relationship with food is your foundation. It evolves and changes, and that’s ok. But it’s based on you and your learning about food and your body.⁠

On the other hand, diet culture changes their views of ‘healthy’ eating by the decade. It’s always a new trend with new products to buy.⁠

Trying to keep up will leave you not only dissatisfied but also likely confused and disconnected from your own needs.⁠

When you choose a healthy relationship with food, you’re never left wondering if you ‘should’ eat something or feeling guilty over your choices.⁠

You can trust yourself and feed yourself with stability and consistency.⁠

If you need support in making peace with food, schedule your free 15-minute call to see if we're a fit. You can schedule your call today at: https://calendly.com/NicoleCruzRD/15min

Your relationship with food is your foundation. It evolves and changes, and that’s ok. But it’s based on you and your learning about food and your body.⁠

On the other hand, diet culture changes their views of ‘healthy’ eating by the decade. It’s always a new trend with new products to buy.⁠

Trying to keep up will leave you not only dissatisfied but also likely confused and disconnected from your own needs.⁠

When you choose a healthy relationship with food, you’re never left wondering if you ‘should’ eat something or feeling guilty over your choices.⁠

You can trust yourself and feed yourself with stability and consistency.⁠

If you need support in making peace with food, schedule your free 15-minute call to see if we're a fit. You can schedule your call today at: https://calendly.com/NicoleCruzRD/15min

Address

Thousand Oaks, CA
91301

General information

Nicole Cruz is a registered dietitian providing nutrition therapy. Nicole specializes in treating eating disorders and also provides nutrition counseling for a variety of medical conditions.

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 6pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

(805) 341-9044

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Nicole Cruz, MS, RD Nutrition Consultant posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Nicole Cruz, MS, RD Nutrition Consultant:

Videos

Nearby health & beauty businesses


Other Health & Wellness Websites in Thousand Oaks

Show All

Comments

Ahh! I need help with resources for a 10 yr old kid in response to diet culture showing up in school instruction. I know lots of stuff for me, but it's more geared towards people who have had a lot of experience with diet culture already, and she is only peripherally aware of it because of how we talk about food in our house (we practice division of responsibility mostly. I try to follow Ellyn Satter.) My 5th grade 10 yr old daughter had an English lesson based on this essay (below) today and I was so irked. SO irked. She started getting defensive about her weight (! she is a thin kid! also it shouldn't matter!) and apparently kids were telling her it was wrong that she has soda every day. (She has maybe 4-6 oz of soda with dinner.) I'm going to write a letter to her teacher. But if I had something to point to it would be really helpful. I particularly was bothered by this paragraph because it's going to send a really all-or-nothing message, along with serious fear about death (CW this is chock-full of diet culture scare-mongering): "You've probably heard the facts before: Over the past three decades. childhood obesity rates in the Unites States have tripled. Today, more than 23 million children and teens are overweight or obese, which places them at increased risk for serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Consequently, wholesome and nutritious school lunches are essential. Think of them as preventative medicine against long-term health problems."