Jennifer Adams Anderson ’04 educates families on how to eat nutritiously on a budget
Words: Ciera Horton McElroy ’17
Photos: Tony Hughes
Feeding kids is hard. Feeding kids while struggling to pay bills? Even harder.
Jennifer (Adams) Anderson ’04 is dedicated to empowering and educating families about nutrition on any budget. After completing the Wheaton Human Needs and Global Resources program—when she studied poverty in India—Anderson worked at a food bank in Illinois. While there, she encountered children who had never seen a baby carrot, children who were scared of broccoli because it was completely foreign. “I saw how much nutrition played a role in poverty and keeping people in poverty long term,” said Anderson. “Hungry kids can’t learn.”
Now, as a registered dietitian with a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Jennifer runs the wildly popular Kids Eat In Color movement through her blog and Instagram. Her goal is to help parents get their kids to eat veggies and reduce mealtime stress. With nearly one million followers, Anderson is a cheerleader for everyday families. She helps parents feel confident about serving colorful meals to their kids, ending food battles, and recognizing unhelpful aspects of diet culture.
“When we participate in these diet movements, we are often hating our bodies and focusing on weight,” said Anderson. “Parents talking about weight in front of kids can increase their risk of developing eating disorders.”
Whether this looks like disordered eating or routine weight loss fads, children learn from their parents’ examples. “How do we have a lifestyle that shows our kids what balance and moderation looks like without giving them the baggage of moral judgment on food?” asked Anderson. It begins with parents serving their kids a variety of foods without making some “bad” and others “good.” Some of her most popular posts focus on rethinking “kids’” food and learning to talk about what foods do in your body.
For meal guides and tips for feeding kids, follow along with Jennifer Anderson at @kids.eat.in.color.