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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mommy Group Session 3: Class 5

I love going to my baby class. It is the one place where I feel I can get expert advice and everything from breastfeeding to my sons sleep habits. With all the books and opinions and philosophies and the crazy internet I get so confused.

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Today in class was all about food. Our babies are growing up, and I would say about half of us in the class are making our own food. So there were questions galore about calorie intake, nutrition, intake of breastmilk/formula vs how much food to feed, how much to offer food, when to offer food, baby lead weaning and the list goes on and on and on.

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The two things that I got most from this class was that we need to trust our baby to know how to eat and how much to eat. That word, trust, that we CAN and SHOULD trust these little 9 month old babies to just know. The second was that we as parents get to decide what food to offer and when but that the child gets to decide what to eat and how much. The newest research is showing that the cleaning the plate theory of our parents isnt smart to push. We end up turning off our natural impulse of when we are full. A powerful phrase is ‘You don’t have to eat’. Really, REALLY, I cannot even imagine this but taking the battle out of food will stop the crazy push pull that parents sometimes get into with their children. More often than not a child sitting in front of a plate of food will eat something. Even if they don’t that meal, they sure will the next or the one after that. Our bodies are smart and a child isnt going to starve themselves. The problem with food battles my instructor said is that there is a winner and a loser. If the parent wins the child loses, and if the child wins then the parents are no longer controlling the situation. Both sitations are not benifitial. Some parents may feel good about winning the battle, but the battle in the first place takes the joy and connection of eating away from the child. Additionally creating a push pull of eat these vegetables and I will give you cake creates a preoccupation, when we push something and withhold something else we create distintrest in what we are pushing and a need for the thing we are withholding.

Allowing a child to choose from what is offered most often fills a parent with fear, I know it does me. What if they go to bed hungry? What if they only eat carbs? What if they aren’t getting enough nutrients or calories? But experts say if we let go of that fear, if we model the behavior we want and let the child choose than more and more often a child will choose the vegetables of their own free will and enjoy it.

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Often our group is supported by emails the leader sends off after class. She suggested several books on eating and feed children. On how to develop good habits, not raising a picky eater and how to feed your child so they avoid the obesity epidemic that is raging across the world. I bought them all. Not that I have very much time to read them. Ahhhh I cannot wait to get to a time where most of my reading isnt revolving around my child.

Ellyn Satter Books
Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense
How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much
Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook
Your Child’s Weight: Helping without Harming

1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

Your little one seems to be leading the pack in exploration. Love the shot of him leaning over the round tub. Very interesting theories on food.

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