She literally rolled her chair over and we started talking. Another mom at Legoland at the Mall of America confided, "Bribing with dessert used to be the only way to get him to eat anything else, and now that's not even working!"
This happens all the time, at the park, the grocery store. People ask what I do, and then the questions begin. These are all well-meaning, loving, hard-working, devoted parents who are stuck with feeding, who experience significant stress around feeding, who get terrible advice, or no advice about feeding, who do what seems intuitive, what was done to them, and what is all around them– and it isn't working. We are investing too much time and emotion, investing a massive effort in trying to feed our children well, when many of our efforts are actually making things worse. Moms tell me how often playdate chatter turns into swapping sneaky recipes or trying to get kids to eat more veggies. "Somehow we always end up talking about food."
I know when I started to have feeding concerns with my daughter, the only reason I was so proactive in getting help quickly is that I saw over and over as a family doctor how the standard model played out, how it didn't work. I thank my lucky stars that I found Ellyn Satter's work.
Families struggle and agonize for years over feeding. I think because this struggle is the cultural norm, there is not the sense of urgency, or even the knowledge that it could be any different. It doesn't have to be so hard! A great resource is Child of Mine, or How to get Your Kids to Eat, both by Ellyn Satter. Still have questions? Give me a call or an email! I just had a lovely session with a mom from Mississippi who had a few questions to clear up. There is just too much bad advice out there (from our own moms to Parent magazines...) It doesn't have to be so hard!
How often do you and other moms end up talking about food issues, picky eating, etc? I wonder again if this is a cultural thing...