The Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family

Some conversation came up at the NYC dinner table last night surrounding children, food, and feeding practices. Ellyn Satter is an expert in childhood nutrition and has done lots of research on how to avoid and prevent abnormal eating behaviors during toddler years and adolescence.  She discovered that there is a clear “division of responsibility.”  It is the following:

  • The parent is responsible for what, when, where
  • The child is responsible for how much and whether

Source to read more: http://www.ellynsatter.com/ellyn-satters-division-of-responsibility-in-feeding-i-80.html

Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding

Parents provide structure, support and opportunities. Children choose how much and whether to eat from what the parents provide.

The Division of Responsibility for Infants:

  • The parent is responsible for what
  • The child is responsible for how much (and everything else)

The parent helps the infant to be calm and organized and feeds smoothly, paying attention to information coming from the baby about timing, tempo, frequency and amounts

The Division of Responsibility For Toddlers through Adolescents:

  • The parent is responsible for what, when, where
  • The child is responsible for how much and whether

Parents’ Feeding Jobs:

  • Choose and prepare the food
  • Provide regular meals and snacks
  • Make eating times pleasant
  • Show children what they have to learn about food and mealtime behavior
  • Not let children graze for food or beverages between meal and snack times
  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them

Fundamental to parents’ jobs is trusting children to decide how much and whether to eat. If parents do their jobs with feeding, children will do their jobs with eating:

  • Children will eat
  • They will eat the amount they need
  • They will learn to eat the food their parents eat
  • They will grow predictably
  • They will learn to behave well at the table
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