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  • Sophie Butcher

Taking the stress out of feeding your kids

Being a parent I am aware of the stress that providing healthy, balanced meals that your children will also enjoy can add to your mental load.

If you follow social media and photos of happy children and parents eating together has left you feeling a little overwhelmed at how you are going to add ‘Nutritionist’ to your many roles as a parent, then that’s ok.

There are simple ways you can teach your children to eat foods that won’t send them into the obesity epidemic or developing body image problems.

Ellen Satter’s Division of Responsibly in Feeding model can help take the stress out of feeding your children. This model encourages you to take leadership with feeding and gives your children autonomy with eating.

Trusting your children to determine how much and whether to eat is essential to teaching your children to eat. When parents do their jobs with feeding then children do their jobs with eating.

Parents’ feeding jobs:

  • Choose and prepare the food.

  • Provide regular meals and snacks.

  • Make eating times pleasant.

  • Step-by-step, show children by example how to behave at family mealtime.

  • Be considerate of children’s lack of food experience without catering to likes and dislikes.

  • Not let children have food or beverages (except for water) between meal and snack times.

  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them.

Children’s eating jobs:

  • 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 mealtime.

If you are interested in hearing more about this topic then check out the BabyTalk podcast episode Teach you children to eat (but not too much) featuring paediatric nutritionist Eve Reed or go to the Ellen Satter Institute page.

Remember you are not alone in parenting and many parents can feel the same, even those of us who are nutritionist's too!

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