By Dr. Judy Bin-Nun
It is always best that we see “feeding” as a “Line of Development” as the scholar Anna Freud discussed. Anna Freud’s line went from “feeding to rational eating” as a specific developmental progression.
How to learn rational, intuitive eating unless children are able to explore foods, help themselves to food from a “family platter” or “family bowl?” The more a young child can select on his/her own meal portions, the more responsibility is taken in making independent food choices. Try not to pile food on your child’s plate, see what happens when the child begins to take responsibility for food at mealtime – make this a two-week experiment.
Parents, when you begin independent choice eating, set down a simple rule – one serving spoon (tablespoon) size helping from each serving platter/bowl at first and then seconds of any food are encouraged. Your child is guided gently to finish his/her plate commitment as it was set up as child-driven selection.
And please, no promises of desserts when a plate is finished; there is too much emphasis on sweets as a reward thus removing the interest from the regular food pyramid dishes at meals.
Just give a dessert naturally, family style, as a matter of fact – not as a bribe or a negotiation.
Try these simple suggestions and see if you can begin making subtle changes in your mealtime routine.
Sitting down at the family table is a time for eating and sharing news. Here’s how: edit an old fashioned game ‘spinner’, the one with the metal arrow and create a cardboard circle divided into four sections with the spinner in the center. Label the sections: ” my good news, my just okay news,my not so hot news, world news” and pass the spinner to everyone at the table and share one tidbit of the category that is chosen. This is a fun and fair way to have table turns and family interaction.
Preparing food, setting the table, eating by the platter selection method, cleaning up and just being together around the table can enrich and deepen your family’s roots.
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DR. JUDY BIN-NUN email@example.com — you may see your question answered in the next issue!