Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Part II of my interview

tackling picky eating and the "war on obesity"


  1. What a fantastic interview! It's so good to read sane commentary around feeding, eating, and obesity. Thank you for this site and for your thoughtful and thought provoking posts. Even though I don't have children of my own, you help me understand how my actions and words can affect attitudes about feeding and eating when I am around others, as well as giving me some insight into my own adversarial relationship with food as an adult. You are doing such good work!

  2. i have just discovered your blog and am quickly skimming/amassing as much information as i can-i love your philosophy, and in theory my husband and i are on board, but in practice, we are not so hot at it.

    i have a question: i often use a dr. sears method of placing individual snacks in a muffin tin for my 2.5 year old son to graze on throughout an afternoon. the reason i do this is because from the time he could eat solids, he hasn't had any interest in remaining at the table with us to eat a shared meal. we endure many dinners of screaming tantrums. we don't ask that he eat anything, just that he sit until we are finished. should i allow him to continue grazing at his own speed, ignoring structure to avoid the power struggle, or is there something else you would suggest?

  3. Thanks all! la, the quick answer is grazing works for VERY few children. Child of Mine would be a great resource. You bring up a couple issues. (I will address this in a later blog...)
    1) grazing kill appetite, so it makes him less likely to be hungry at meal times.
    2) consider your expectations for how long he stays at the table. It's becoming a battle, and he is likely so upset by the battle, that even if he was hungry he might not be able to tune into those feelings.
    3) a toddler might only spend 5-10 minutes at the table, not 30 or so.
    I would consider working on eating about every 2-3 hours, meals and sit down snacks. Ask him to keep you company for only 5 minutes at the start, consider using a timer. Then let him go. He should be expected to entertain himself while you finish (maybe a video, or favorite game) If he comes back to the table to eat, you can tell him dinner is over
    -you might find that if he is allowed to develop an appetite, and he knows he only has to stay for five minutes that he might start wanting to stay longer.
    This all gets better as he gets older too! :)
    Good for you for making the effort (and it is an effort!) to have family meals and include him at the table. That's he critical step and you're already doing that part! Keep me posted!

  4. I'd like to second the suggestion about limited time at meals - we joke about my four-year-old son needing a mid-meal break but it's true. He frequently will sit down with us to eat, work on his food for about five minutes, and then need to play for a while. He'll then come back and finish his dinner. Part of MY letting go of his eating habits has been leaving his dinner out longer, rather than cleaning it up, because he does want more, he just needs a few minutes to play/run around, before coming back.

    He just did that, in fact - had some pasta and Caesar salad with us, then had his bath, and then came back for more salad before we brush his teeth and get him put to bed.