One our associates, Allison Singh, is currently reading this book and shares her synopsis with our clients.
Book: Your Child's Weight: Helping Without Harming by Ellyn Satter
For many parents, feeding their children can be a frustrating and complex issue in the home. This is particularly true if your child happens to be overweight. While a parent seeks to love and support their child as they are, media hype over childhood obesity as well as societal pressures may cause parents to feel the need to control their child's eating through restricting access to unhealthy foods and limiting portions. While it is important to encourage your child to make healthy choices, Satter's book is based on the concept of "Division of Responsibility" in Feeding. She argues that from birth, our body is programmed to naturally know what it needs to get through the day and that parents need to, at all stages of development, trust their child's body to make these determinations. When parents begin to restrict their child's diet, the body loses it's natural sense of what it needs. The Division of Responsibility in Feeding approach is simple:
- Parents are responsible for the what, where and when of eating.
- Children are responsible for the whether and how much of eating- this means the child can eat as much as they want of what has been served!
The parent is therefore responsible for choosing and preparing food, providing regular meals and snack times, and making these meal times pleasant for the family. If the parents do their jobs, then children will eat the amount they need to eat, will learn to eat what parents eat, will grow predictably, and will learn good table manners.