Let's Meet Ellyn Satter

The late Ellyn Satter was a RDN and therapist, and many would say shaped the process of bringing joy into feeding kids. Her legacy remains in her established institution and her Divisions of responsibility in feeding kids are national known and respected from pediatric RDN's. She has developed guidelines for both the responsibility of the parents as well as the rights of the children. By following these guidelines we can create an environment that is welcoming, and engaging -inspiring young eaters.

Let's Expand: 

Parents: What

Parents do the grocery shopping, the food prep and the meal planning - you decide What is in the house for snacks, what beverages are available, is produce organic, fresh, frozen or canned, is there a night that dinner needs to be picked up to go due to busy schedules?

Parents: When

Parents are responsible for establishing when meals are and when snacks are. We all know children operate better with a predictable schedule and when it come to food they will find comfort in this. A child that is less anxious will be willing to try more foods. It is also important to note that parents role here also allows them to decide when not. For example, the hungry kid wanting a snack at 5:30 when dinner is at 6 can be told no, the kitchen is closed until dinner.

Parents: Where

Studies show us over and over the benefits of regular family mealtimes around the dinner table without the distractions of screens. While this should be the goal, there will be nights where exceptions are made - dinner together as a family movie night, outdoor picnic at the park, out to eat at a restaurant or even the occasional eating in family shifts as schedules allow for the evening.

Children: How Much

Kids are born with a natural satiety level, as parents we want to honor that as much as we can. Kids also have various periods of life where they are growing and will need more or less calories - let them help guide you! One great way to help establish portion control and recognition of their own satiety levels is to serve meals family style. This also encourages manners!

Children: Whether or Not

This is a hard one for most parents. Keep in mind we as adults tend to eat the same amount of calories per day, kids eat the same amount of calories per week. As difficult as it is to throw out a perfectly balanced dinner, know that you are honoring their right to self regulate and even if they did not eat the veggies on their plates you are exposing them which helps with acceptance.

What's Next? 

It's time to take what we've learned in Module 1 and create a plan. Follow the link below to learn what are next steps are to becoming Thoughtful Feeders.