• Welcome & Introduction

  • Session 1: 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors

  • Session 2: How to Get Your Child to Eat… But Not Too Much!

  • Video Case Studies

  • Session 3: Increasing Variety

  • Session 4: Plan Balanced and Nutritious Meals

  • Your Child’s Growth: A Good Indicator of Whether Eating is Going Okay

  • Unsolicited Feeding Advice: What is a Parent to Do?

  • Research

  • Session 5: Meal planning strategies and easy family meal ideas

  • Division of Responsibility in Action: Toddlers Eating Family Meals

  • Last Day of the Program: Wrap Up

  • Survey Form: Introduction & Welcome

    Tell us more!
    A short quiz to help us understand your feeding approach and how we can help.

    I try to get my kids to eat more or less than they want to at meals. *
    Often
    Sometimes
    Rarely
    Never

    I always include some kind of simple food I know my kids eat at meal times
    True
    False
    Mealtimes are stressful because I worry about my child’s eating

    True
    False

    I trust my child to eat as much as he/she needs. *
    True
    False

    I make exposing my kids to a variety of foods a priority. *
    True
    False

    We eat together as a family at least 4 times a week. *
    True
    False

    I think toddlers should be allowed to eat whenever they feel hungry. *
    True
    False

    Kids need parents to help them eat the right amount, otherwise they will tend to eat too little or too much. *
    True
    False

    Serving dessert ony if they had a decent meal helps my children eat better. *
    True
    False

    In our house we have set meal and snack times and no eating or drinking milk/juice is allowed in between. *
    True
    False

    My toddler will overeat sweets if I stop limiting him. *
    True
    False

    Preparing family meals is too much work. *
    True
    False

    I plate my toddler’s food for him/her with how much I think he/she should eat. *
    Always/Usually
    Sometimes
    Rarely/Never

    I usually serve my toddler different foods than the rest of the family eats. *
    True
    False

  • Discussion: Introduction & Welcome We cannot wait to meet you!

    Please tell us a little about yourself and share your biggest struggle when it comes to feeding your toddler.. What meal with your toddler is the most challenging?

  • Discussion: Session 1 Assignment: eat what you eat now, but as a family

    Eating as a family is the best way to teach your toddler about table manners, expose to a variety of foods and help acquire long term good eating habits. If you are not doing it already, try sharing a meal as a family today or tomorrow. Make sure to focus on connecting with your child and creating a pleasant mealtime environment instead of trying to get him to eat certain foods or amounts. Share your observations in this discussion thread. We are looking forward to reading about your experience!

  • Discussion: Session 2

    Phrases that work and phrases that hinder

    Please share your results/thoughts after filling out the template provided in the Materials section on the left side and analyzing your mealtime recording for phrases that help and those that hinder. Hint: The only types of comments that may help kids do a better job eating are the two at the bottom of the template.

  • Discussion: Session 2

    #Analyzing food record for structure

    Please share your results/thoughts after analyzing your toddler’s food record for mealtime structure using the template in the Materials section on the left side. Can you think of any changes you would like to implement to establish a better meal/snack structure?

  • Discussion: Case Study Videos

    Discussing the Video Case Studies

    Share what was most interesting or striking to you as you watched the videos of families eating. Did you see your “old” self in any of those examples? Can you envision how you would do things differently?

  • Discussion: Session 3

    Adding variety to your child’s diet

    Did this session inspire you to add variety to your child’s diet? If yes, how? If not, why do you think these strategies will not work for your little one?

  • Discussion: Session 3

    #Analyzing food record for variety

    Did you make any interesting discovering about the food record after reading this session’s materials? What are your barriers to serving more variety?

  • Discussion: Sessions 4

    What you can change to boost the nutritional value of your toddler’s diet?

    Of course, when it comes to feeding picky eaters, it seems sometimes that we as parents have done all we could to improve the nutritional quality of their diet. But did you learn something in this session that inspired you to make some changes to your child’s diet?

  • Discussion: Your Child's Growth

    #Your child’s growth — A Good Indicator of Whether Eating is Going Okay

    What do you think about the case studies we discussed in this session? The parents needed to take a leap of faith in order to start trusting their child to regulate their eating. They also needed to do a lot of work around structure and providing variety of tasty food for meals. Do any of the stories remind you of yourself or someone you know?

  • Discussion: Unsolicited feeding advice

    #Unsolicited feeding advice - What is a parent to do?

    What has been your family and friends’ faction to DOR so far? Did you use any specific strategies to deal with pressure or unsolicited feeding advice?

  • Discussion: Session 5

    Troubleshooting & Burning Questions

    If you have a question or want to discuss something about child-feeding, trouble-shooting DOR, or have other burning questions on food/feeding topics we haven’t discussed yet, this is the place to ask :-)

  • Discussion: Toddlers in Action

    #DOR in action - your thoughts?

    What stood out to you from the Division of Responsibility perspective as you were watching the video of the 1 year old twins enjoying their dinner with parents? Any other thoughts/questions?

  • Material: All Sessions

    Session 2:
    Your child’s move, your countermove: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3E0sQDnIj5DVWNUYWlfRWRrbnc/edit?usp=sharing

    Session 4:
    Important Nutrients for Toddlers

    Snack Ideas and Recipes

    Nutritional Checklist and homework

    Research See links in outline + Drive

  • Announcements:

    #Daily Messages Sent to Students

  • Change Log:

    Record changes here. (Is this too cumbersome? Should we just “get it done”?)

  • Welcome & Introduction

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLnQ64YzVcw]

    Welcome to Feed Your Toddler With Confidence! Once you have completed this course, you’ll know what to expect, how to cope with normal toddler mealtime behavior and learn strategies for helping your child eat well now as well as maintain and develop a healthy relationship with food for the future.

    How the class works:

    • You can view materials in your own time
    • We will send updates whenever new material is posted
    • Material is organized in a way that will help you implement changes easily.
    • We will encourage you to complete assignments to get more out of the class.
    • We also encourage you to participate in discussion and post your questions.
    • If you prefer to remain anonymous, email us your questions directly.

    Since it is just the introductory day of our class that also happens to be Father’s Day, we did not want to overwhelm you with new information and assignments. We also know that some of you may need an additional day to finish up the food record for your toddler.

    But we included a very short survey in this session. It will help us to get to know you a little better and also adapt the class materials to make sure they are meeting your needs. You can find the link to the survey below or in the Forms on the left side vertical menu.

    Stay tuned for tomorrow’s session where we will talk about typical toddler’s behaviors and red flags that may indicate presence of a bigger issue.

    Need data collection assignment. What are they doing now?

  • 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors

    [intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osxm1kR2QGc]

    [image: cute_girl_at_table]

    When you’re in the trenches, everything about feeding a toddler seems a little unsteady, wild, and crazy. We’ve found that being able to distinguish between normal and problem behavior helped us tremendously. If nothing else, knowing your child is not really turning into a food monster, and that pretty much every other toddler out there behaves similarly, is well…calming. In other words, you’re not alone!

    One of the things we love about being dietitian moms is that we know what to expect when it comes to feeding kids at various stages—so we are not surprised by some of the frustrating things toddlers do when it comes to eating and we know how to deal with them. But we didn’t always know! We each made our own share of mistakes with our first children. Luckily by the time babies #2 came along we had already learned everything we’re going to be teaching you and consequently feeding was no longer a source of worry and stress. It’s our hope that by understanding what normal toddler eating behavior looks like (and later how to deal with this normal) you’ll be able to relax about feeding, be prepared for changes in eating behavior and implement the tips and tools we’ll give you to transform your little ones’ eating habits and enjoy eating together.

    [image: boy_fork_knife]

    Here are 5 very common, very normal, typical toddler eating behaviors:

    • Toddlers can’t sit at the table very long.
    • Toddlers have very erratic appetites.
    • Toddlers are wary of new foods (food neophobia).
    • Toddlers have a very strong desire for increasing autonomy.
    • Toddlers have erratic food preferences.

    Each of the 5 points above are explained in more detail in the subsections below. Read them in the order of your preference.

    Some families need more support when it comes to dealing with their picky eater. We discuss such cases in the “Signs of a bigger problem” subsection below.

    In session 2 we’ll begin teaching you effective ways to address these normal toddler behaviors. As you learn new strategies for dealing with your toddler’s normal (but confusing) eating behaviors, what we advise will always be based in a model of Trust and will include:
    — Trusting your child to do his developmentally appropriate eating jobs
    — Being trustworthy and doing your feeding jobs
    We’ll explain what we mean by this a bit more in session 2.

  • Session 2: How to Get Your Child to Eat…But Not Too Much.

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WykFF1rMmrI]

    If you’re like most of the parents we surveyed and the many we’ve heard vent about their kids’ eating, you have three main concerns:

    • You want your children to eat enough.
    • You want your children to eat primarily foods deemed “healthy.”
    • You don’t want your children to eat too much, particularly of foods deemed “unhealthy”

    … and you’d like them to do this now, tomorrow, through their teenage years and as adults. In this section we will be discussing how to work toward these ends in these early years and a feeding strategy to increase the likelihood that your children will have good eating habits as adults.

  • Session 3: Increasing Variety

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmlrQ7DNJTM]

    Are you stuck in the pizza/chicken nugget trap? Perhaps it’s PB&J at your house? The pizza/chicken nugget trap is essentially what can happen when typically picky toddlers refuse most family foods and parents, out of worry their kids won’t eat anything, start giving kids a limited repertoire of foods they know their kids will eat. If this has happened in your house it, no doubt, arose from good intentions.

    Now you are ready to get out of this rut and to expand your child’s limited palate, but aren’t sure how to accomplish this. We will give you lots of ideas in the subsections below.

  • Session 4: Plan balanced and nutritious meals

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ht8kieWTa4]

    In this session we are finally getting to the topic of nutrition. We felt it made the most sense to first talk to you about feeding strategies in the early sessions. Here is why: a positive feeding relationship between you and your child is more important than the most nutritious meals. Just because in the long term, your child’s relationship with food will determine his or her food choices. And we as parents are responsible for helping them have positive experiences with food and eating from the first days of life so that later on they have the tools to make good choices and enjoy eating. The ultimate goal of the DOR is to raise competent eaters, defined here as healthy children who are a joy to feed. Such children:

    • Feel good about eating, enjoying food and joining in with family meals and snacks.
    • Enjoy meals and behave nicely at mealtime and uses manners.
    • Are able to pick and choose from food you make available, eventually learning to eat almost everything you do.
    • Eat as much or as little as they need.

    “When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers” - Ellyn Satter

    Of course we believe that nutrition is important. We became Registered Dietitians for a reason :). But we also know that if we make nutrition a chore, it is not going to benefit anyone.

    And although counting grams may become necessary if your child is deficient in certain nutrients or you are switching to another diet like vegan or dairy free, we prefer to focus on food group balance and variety.

    Adina, as a semi-vegetarian, knows it is easy to rely heavily on cheese, so she makes an effort to make sure she varies protein sources.

    Natalia rarely serves fried food but she always serves an additional source of fat like olive oil, butter or sour cream on the table so every family member could add as much as they see fit.

    Let the following nutrition details guide you insofar as ideas hit you, ideas about where you might need to tweak this or that a bit. If any of these nutrients concern you then evaluating what you serve may help you make needed improvements. For example, if you realize that you aren’t serving much in terms of high fiber foods or there’s constipation or iron deficiency amongst your children, then focusing on those areas and what is served would be helpful. Otherwise, think of the big picture: balance and variety.

    That is why, in this session, instead of strict rules you will find suggestions on nutritious foods you can serve to your child to help her meet nutrient needs, information on planning balanced and nutritious meals that are also satisfying and suggestions on how to choose supplements for your toddler.

  • Your Child’s Growth — A Good Indicator of Whether Eating is Going Okay

    Parents of children who are smaller than average tend to worry and sometimes get overzealous or even pushy with feeding. It’s only natural for parents to fear the worst when their child is small or not gaining. This fear can really override good feeding practices and make the problem worse or altogether create new feeding problems. But the same thing can happen when a child is larger than average.

    When we work with with parents to identify areas of feeding that can be improved, it rarely involves a major dietary overhaul. But it often does involve changing the feeding relationship and dynamics between parent and child.

    Healthy kids come in all sizes.
    An excellent measure of whether your child is getting enough to eat is to examine the consistency of their growth. Typical healthy growth is consistent. If a child has been on the 50th percentile for a while but then takes a drastic dip to the 15th or climbs to the 90th, that’s worth investigating. But a small child who has consistently kept near the 5th percentile is showing consistent growth, not problem growth. Same with the child who is holding steady near the 95th percentile. A consistent pattern of growth is most important, not growth at a certain percentile.

    When there are changes in growth.
    A child who starts off small but grows heavier may be catching up. And both larger/smaller children could change their growth patterns to look more like his parents—this is okay. But if a child’s growth pattern starts to shift considerably and it isn’t catch up growth or related to parental body type, feeding practices might need to be examined.

    If growth has been an issue for your child examine how feeding has gone from birth to now:

    — Were you able to follow baby’s cues for feeding or was there pressure to make baby fit into a schedule or go longer/shorter between meals?
    — Did you feel comfortable giving baby as much as he/she wanted to eat from breast or bottle?

    — Did you work hard to make baby eat more/less of milk or purees than they were inclined to eat?

    — Did/do you feel pressure to fatten up or slim down your child?
    — Did/do you feel pressure to get your child to eat more/less of all or certain foods?

    Can you find any past evidence of pressure or restriction sneaking into your feeding? Do you spot areas where your DOR jobs have been reversed or confused? (Keep in mind that the DOR for babies puts them in control of all aspects of feeding and our job is to follow a baby’s cues).

    Whether or not you can spot past errors in feeding, following the DOR is most likely to improve feeding and allow your child to grow according to the way nature intended.

  • Unsolicited Feeding Advice - What is a Parent to Do?

    • Is that all she’s going to eat?
    • Looks like this girl has a good appetite!
    • What do you mean, she decides how much to eat?
    • She sure should try these peas, don’t you think?
    • When my kids were young, we had no picky eaters!
    • I always ask my kids to take a bite of everything and they are great eaters.
    • Let him go hungry and then he will eat whatever you give him!

    These are just a few examples of comments and questions you may end up hearing when you start using the Division of Responsibility in feeding. Your family and friends who grew up being pushed or restricted at mealtimes and who raised their kids the same way will probably not understand the concept without you providing some background information. They may also be lucky to never have experienced picky eating behavior themselves or with their children who may just happen to be adventurous or compliant eaters.

    The criticism you may receive from family and friends may be frustrating and hurtful and make you doubt your parenting. And although the unsolicited advice may be coming from their true concern over your child’s eating, it does not make it qualified or trustworthy.

    If you are parenting a child who has little interest in food or eats only a small variety, it may seem like everyone else around you knows what exactly you need to do to fix the problem. But the truth is that your parental instinct is the best guide in this situation. And if the advice seems to be too rigid and lacking in compassion for your child, then it probably is not the best choice for you.

    Is it worth explaining what the Division of Responsibility is to everyone? It depends on how involved these people are in your child’s life. If it is an acquaintance who you do not see very often, you may just say something like:

    “Thanks, I appreciate your input, we are doing just fine.” or “The truth is, we have been using this approach for a while and it seems to be working great for my son/daughter”.

    If it is your husband, parents, nanny, in laws or anyone else who is directly involved in caring for your child, it may be worth investing some time explaining more about the Division of Responsibility and maybe sharing some printouts from this class.

    Some of the talking points you may want to cover:

    • The food environment is very different now and the feeding strategies used a few decades ago will simply not work.

    • This is the only evidence based approach to feeding that is known today. You can refer to the “Research” section to see some of the research articles on the topic.

    • The focus of the Division of Responsibility is helping a child have long term healthy relationship with food, not just getting him to eat certain foods.

    • Most children to not do a good job eating when under pressure.

    • Some children are more affected by pressure than others and a request to take even one bite may spoil their meal.

    • Trusting a child to choose the amount of food he wants to eat helps strengthen the ability to self-regulate.

    From our experience, it’s hard to change another person’s perspective. Your parents or in-laws may never come around and understand why you feed the way you do. Some excellent quick responses we’ve read from other parents who follow DOR are below:

    Phrases to Say to Your Child (loud enough for the food pushing adult to hear):

    • “You don’t have to eat anything you don’t want.”
    • “Are you full?” (how can someone argue with ‘full’?)
    • “Auntie thinks you will enjoy this food, but it is your choice whether or not to try it”
    • “You have strong ideas of what you like and dislike, and that’s okay!”
    • “Someday you might love fish, but it’s okay that you don’t want to try it right now.”
    • “You really listen to your body when it tells you it’s full. That’s great!”

    Phrases to Say to a Food Pushing Adult

    “I know you love her a lot and worry when she doesn’t eat much. In spite of the way she eats, she is healthy and growing well. She loves being with you and taking part in family meals at your house. I want that to continue. But trying to get her to eat spoils that.”

    “Dad, she’s okay.” or “Let me handle this”

    “Mom, follow my lead.”

    “Thanks, Uncle Jim, he sees how much we enjoy this. Sooner or later, he’ll enjoy it too.”

    “Yes, she is selective. I know when she is a teenager I will really appreciate her skill in being selective with who she chooses to date.”

    For a quick reference and overview of DOR:
    Print out this “From the Cook” manifesto to hang prominently in your kitchen. (https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/cms-assets/documents/99663-21282.fromthecookheart.pdf) Explain to whoever is taking care of your child that these are the rules your child is supposed to follow at mealtimes.

    How do you deal with pressure and unsolicited advice from family and friends? Please join our discussion below.

  • Research

    For those who are interested in some of the evidence supporting a DOR approach to feeding children we’ve summarized a few studies below. We will summarize the articles here and you can view them in our materials section.

  • Meal planning strategies and easy family meal ideas

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phgjt8wZu2k]

    In the previous lessons we encouraged you to focus on stress free family meals with you child, mealtime structure and avoiding pressure. Today we will talk about the mechanics of putting a family meal on a table. For many of us this means cooking. If cooking sounds like too much work to fit in your busy life style, we hope that the tips and tricks we share with you in this session will make it sound less intimidating.

    In fact, although we will never frown upon an elaborate meal and love spending time in the kitchen, the reality is that life just gets too busy sometimes. And what was intended to be an home-cooked meal with fresh market ingredients may as well end up being a take-away pizza with some veggie crudités on the side.

    So, as always, you will not find any rigid rules or Pinterest-worthy meals in this session. It is all about ways to simplify, experimenting and trying to do what works for your lifestyle.

  • DOR in action - toddlers eating a family meals

    http://youtu.be/RHRyfkNrxII

    Today we are inviting you to take a peek into what Division of Responsibility looks like in action. In this video, adorable 1 year old twins demonstrate the eating skills and competence typical for their age if parents follow the DOR.

    Some of our favorite things about this video:

    • Both parents work but they make family dinner a priority.

    • They also keep it very simple: a small appetizer, pizza and fruit make a pretty balanced meal.

    • The twins are doing a great job self-feeding and making the amount of mess that can be expected at this age.

    • The twins are allowed to eat the way they want: experimenting with the food by putting it int he mouth and taking out, eat with plate or without, eat as much or as little as they want.

    • The dessert (fruit) is served with the meal.

    What else dis you notice about the video that makes it a good example of DOR? Please share in the discussion below.

  • Last Day of the Program: Wrap up

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiqafyXjTGI

    Hi everyone.

    We cannot believe it is the last day of our program: Feed Your Toddler with Confidence.

    Make sure to ask all your burning questions and leave all your last minute comments till the end of today, when Adina and I will be answering them in real time.

    Last housekeeping notes:

    • The classroom will be open till Friday July 4th so that you can have a few extra days to download and save all materials.

    • In the Materials section of the class we have posted a list of resources, websites and books that will help you learn more about the feeding strategies we teach and also get new recipe ideas.

    • Please take a couple of minutes to participate in our final survey and get a chance to win a copy of “Fearless Feeding” - a modern encyclopedia on feeding kids - it covers children of all ages from high chair to high school. The winner will be selected next week.
      https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-Q23kXLzFf_1bcs6R06C7a-7SSFT8GFB4-cnCpbYkTA/viewform?usp=send_form

    We shared a lot of information on the “how” and “what” to feed your little ones. We hope that what you have learned is not a set of rigid rules but rather a selection of doable strategies that can be adapted to your unique situation and lifestyle. We are confident that what you have learned will bring structure and common sense into feeding and make mealtimes much more pleasant.

    Thank you again for being with us these two weeks. We loved sharing the information, answering your questions and reading about your experiences.

    We hope you will stay in touch and email us at feedingbytes@gmail.com any follow up comments and questions.

    Once again we would greatly appreciate your feedback in our survey: Survey
    Have a wonderful day and enjoy Feeding your Toddler with Confidence!

  • response

    Yazhini

    Raji - 4 weeks ago
    Hello everyone!

    Its nice to meet all of you. I am mom for two adorable daughters - Yazhini is 3 and Sara is 5 months old. Yazhini is very slow and fussy eater. I didnt have proper help or guidance when i started solids for Yazhini and so i didnt introduce a whole variety of new food, but i always served her what we eat but pureed or smashed as per her age. Nowadays its a struggle to make her eat - she wants to eat by herself most of the time but always gets distracted and i have to constantly remind her to take the next bite. Getting her to eat a decent amount of food even after she doesnt eat her lunch (she eats at daycare and her teacher always says she is eager to trash the food than to eat :( ) is a struggle. So i am looking forward to learn what i can change in order for my daughter to enjoy meal time.

    Thanks,

    Raji

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    Welcome Raji! I hope that after reading Sessions 1 & 2 you will have some ideas to get you started. The DOR, as you will learn, is a tremendous help.

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    Hi Raji and welcome to the class!

    It is wonderful that you were giving your daughter what you were eating yourself. It is very important to expose babies to the food the family is eating. Looks like now she is eating pretty slowly is distracted more. I am curious what would happen after you analyze your food record for structure ( you can find the template in the session 2 materials). Also, as you read the materials from session 2, you may be surprised to see that a “decent amount of food” can be something very small, but sufficient for your daughter. Looking forward to your posts and questions!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    Raji, how are things going? Have you been learning some things you’ve had a chance to apply?

  • response

    A little about us…

    Cristy - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Hi everyone,

    It’s nice to meet all of you! I am a first time mom and my son Sebastian is almost 15 months old. He started solids around 6 months but progressed slowly. He only ate baby rice cereal, mushed bananas and applesauce for a LONG time. I slowly introduced other fruit and veggie purees but relied a lot on the “pouches” as I wasn’t sure how to combine ingredients to make a palatable puree that he would eat. Around 10-11 months he began to eat more solid foods such as breads, pasta, thick soups and non-pureed fruits. Around a year I tried to introduce meat but he won’t touch it. He will eat eggs but chicken, beef or fish he just spits out. He also has very little interest in vegetables of any kind. Otherwise, he is a pretty good eater in terms of quantity and table manners. He will sit in his high chair for a good 20 minutes and either let me feed him (if it’s a tricky food like soup) or feed himself bites of solid food. He has, however, started throwing food a bit, but usually only towards the end of the meal. I think it’s his way of signaling that he’s done. But it’s still frustrating nonetheless! My objective for the class is to learn how to ensure he’s eating a more well-balanced diet, and also strategies for dealing with the more challenging toddler eating behaviors.

    Adina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Welcome Cristy! You are probably right about throwing food to signal he’s done. My 4 year old was like that—she was relentless! It sounds like he’s doing pretty well for the most part, still learning, still training his taste-buds :-)

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    Cristy, eggs provide good amount of protein and iron too, so they can be a great substitute while he is learning to like meat, chicken and fish. Ultimately, the more exposure to these foods he gets, the more likely he will be eating them at some point soon. We will discuss other iron-rich foods in session 4 next week, hopefully we will give you a couple of new ideas. Good for you the mealtime behavior is (mostly) no issue! Not many parents of toddlers can say that :)

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    Beans, lentils, peanut butter, and tofu are good protein sources as well.

  • response

    Asher’s eating habits

    Sara W. - 1 month ago
    Asher only turned one year old less than a month ago, and I’m not sure if it’s the beginning of “toddler behaviors” or “first time mom’s unreal expectations” that are the problem;) I didn’t start him on solid food until he was around 8.5 months for two reasons- he has always been huge (tall, dense and heavy but not really chubby— his dad is 6’5 and a very naturally muscular build and Ash takes right after him) so I didn’t feel any hurry, and 2, I have a phobia of choking and was just too scared before that. Things went great for a couple of months. He would happily eat any pureed vegetable i made. At the time, i had zero stress about feeding him— he was still on formula, so i knew his nutritional needs were being met regardless of what he ate, so when, for example, i tried mixing in ground meat and it was a no go, oh well, we’ll try something different tomorrow. Now that he’s one, we’re almost completely off of formula, so my anxiety about his nutrition is much higher, along with the fact that right around 11 months he suddenly had Very Strong Opinions. He will not eat any solid fruit or vegetables, spits them right out, even strawberries and raspberries. I’ve noticed he has a particular aversion to tartness specifically so fruits especially have been hard— the only one’s he’ll eat are applesauce and bananas. He even has a “word” for bananas and will ask or them by “name”, but it’s a 50/50 shot whether he’ll gobble the whole thing in 3 minutes or spit it all over the floor. He does love applesauce and eats it every day. I pureed some peaches and mixed some in with his applesauce, but he had acidic diarrhea the next day and got a bad diaper rash, so i’m afraid to repeat that. I’ve tried giving him things like (un-pureed) peas, carrots, and lima beans at separate times on several occasions and he spits them out and throws them. He does eat solids such as cheese, bread, cereals and the like. The biggest frustration we have right now is that he’s too headstrong to “allow” us to spoon feed the pureed veggies to him, but since i started him on solids so late, he obviously can’t control a spoon well enough to feed himself (can a typical 12 month old use a spoon? I have several friends with babies born the same month and I have heard at least 3 of them claim their babies can “spoon feed themselves” but haven’t actually seen it). In the past week, I’ve just “let go” and sat him in his high chair with a spoon and a bowl of pureed veggies and sat down to watch. All he can do is dunk his fist in the bowl and lick it off which is A) inefficient B) incredibly, incredibly messy. and C) sad for me to watch because I just want to feed him so he can get “enough” but he just bats the spoon away and gets mad if i try. He does sort of dunk the spoon into the food and chew the spoon, so i know he’ll eventually figure it out, but he won’t let me help. Another issue is that he knows the signs for “eat”, “milk”, “more” and “all done”, and at first when he started signing spontaneously (maybe 11 months?) we gave him food or a bottle every time he signed the respective sign, to reinforce the meaning. So predictably, now he signs “more” and “eat” CONSTANTLY. Yesterday, I spent probably 4-6 hours giving him different foods, 80% of which he rejected, throwing or spitting, and literally ten minutes later he toddles up and signs “more” again. If I tell him “no” or even “yes, we’ll eat more later”, he wails like his heart is broken and then i worry that he’s actually really hungry and give in. I honestly don’t know what I’m doing and I want to balance letting him have autonomy with ensuring he stays healthy and develops good habits. Help! :)

    Sara W. - 1 month ago
    Also of note— I am on the west coast (Portland, OR) and have more free time (haha!) in the evening so it looks like I’ll be a bit behind everyone else. I’ll do my best to keep up!

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Hi Sara,

    I’m on the West Coast too (Walla Walla, WA!) :-)

    If it makes you feel any better, your 13 month old is soooo very normal. It’s not common for a 13 month old to spoon feed himself very effectively, to be anything other than super messy while eating. But any food is a ‘finger food’ if he can manage to lift it off his tray and get it into his mouth….even something like mashed potatoes. But puree might be too useful anymore. Gagging is not a bad sign. It’s normal. Choking is a problem, not gagging.

    Natalia - 1 month ago
    Hi Sara, thanks for your post and welcome to the class! My first question to you - have you mentioned to your doctor the episode with diarrhea and diaper rash to make sure it is not an allergic reaction? And second question - is Asher drinking cow’s milk now that he is off formula and how much of it he gets? It looks like there is a lot of anxiety around Asher’s eating at the moment and we hope that the class will give you confidence to adhere to a feeding strategy that works. But I would like to reassure you that even without a spoon (most by kids can use spoon only by 18-24 months), toddlers are capable of self-feeding. I would recommend serving thicker purees (think of the texture of mashed potatoes) alongside finger foods (even if he does not eat them yet) and give him plenty of practice with the spoon and his hands. he is an eater-in-learning and it may take him a few months to become a pro. I used to strip my babies to diapers at mealtimes and then just rinse them in a kitchen sink when they were going through this learning to self-feed phase. I see a lot of babies in my practice who start refusing spoon feeding around your son’s age so it is not that uncommon. As far as what constitutes enough food and how to implement structure, you will learn more in session 2 and the following sessions. My guess is that a few tantrums will be hard to avoid as you are going through the transition to more structure in meals and snacks but you will also see how beneficial it is. And it will also give you peace of mind since you will know that he is going to get food at regular intervals.

    Adina - 1 month ago
    puree might NOT be too useful.

    Sara W. - 1 month ago
    Thank you! I hadn’t thought of that! So maybe mashed beans, really thick oatmeal.. more “mash” than “mush”, I suppose…

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Yes. Spoon feeding runny things like soups and purees takes a lot of spoon mastery. It’s a higher level spoon feeding skill.

    Natalia - 1 month ago
    Agree with Adina! At this point, mashing food with the fork instead of pureeing and plenty of practice with finger foods will do the trick. And although practicing with a spoon makes a lot of sense, he may not need it as much right now to get enough food. I recently saw a baby who was refusing to be fed from a spoon but then was happily albeit messily self-feeding herself the same chicken soup with fingers after we strained it and put it on her tray.

    Sara W. - 1 month ago
    Thank you both for your responses! I’ll bring up the issue with the peaches and diaper rash with the doctor. He does drink cow’s milk and loves it- I’d guess he gets about 20-24 oz a day on average. We definitely could use more structure to our eating schedules. I’ve let him “take charge” , feeding him on demand with his signing but I can see how it has led to chaos. I’ll be brainstorming more soft textured food ideas and won’t worry so much about the spoon for now:)

    coachclaire - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    My boys ate off a spoon well earlyish, when I loaded the spoon and then they guided it in, they then went through a stage of throwing their spoons so I went to feeding them, u til we were more on solids and finger foods, now they are much better with a spoon again but I control stuff like soups

    Adina - 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    How are things going Sara?

  • response

    Getting to know you

    Lindsey - 1 month ago
    I have b/g twins that will be three in a month. To say that meal time is stressful is an understatement. My girl loves certain foods and will eat plenty of them, but she will not try new things very often. Part of her problem is that she has a very sensitive sense of smell. Anything “stinky” to her will never make it in her mouth, (can I blame her?). My boy is a much more adventurous eater and will usually try what I make for dinner for me and my husband. He is very emotional and explosive in general, but especially at meal time. I have learned that he has a small stomach and can’t eat very much at any given sitting. This has led me to “feed him when he’s hungry”. I find myself feeding the twins before my husband gets home so we can have a peaceful dinner together. I would love to have nice meals together as a family. It has gotten better with age, but being a short order cook does not appeal to me.

    Natalia - 1 month ago
    Lindsey, looks like a mealtime structure that works for all the family would help you have everyone in your family fed and happy and reduce the amount of work you are doing. We will talk about structure more in the second session of the class and throughout the program. We will also continue the conversation about your daughter’s smell sensitivity as soon as the structure and pleasant mealtime environment are in progress. These are the cornerstones of good eating for kids. We would also love to hear more about how exactly your son’s emotions and explosiveness express themselves at mealtimes. I hope you will complete today’s assignment to eat what you always eat but sit together as a family, without focusing on nutrition too much, just enjoy the time together. I hope you will share your thoughts and reactions to this little experiment with us.

    Lindsey - 1 month ago
    My son wants to be held and fed often. I am much better about getting him to sit in his own seat than my husband. In the morning, he especially wants to be fed. Generally, we have cold cereal for breakfast, and if either myself or my husband feed him he will freak out about the size of bite we are giving him. A bite will be “too big” or “not big enough”, and he changes his mind every bite. This is all communicated via screaming and tears. If he ever spills anything, it is an instant meltdown. Anytime he makes a mess at all he instantly screams. We have really tried to make messes inconsequential. We always say, “it’s ok that you made a mess, we’ll just clean it up.” This poor boy does not like to be dirty or have anything on his hands. This boy can randomly just start yelling at us, red faced and all. I don’t know if we push him to eat too much, or stay at the table too long. He usually sits and eats at the table 5-10 minutes.

    Natalia - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Lindsey, you are doing your best trying to figure out how to help your little one eat well. 5-10 minutes looks like a reasonable amount of time to eat for a 3 year old. But I am wondering what your thoughts will be as your progress through today’s session on trust and realistic portion sizes. Also, did you try to switch to self-feeding 100% of time? I understand that mess may be an issue so, for maybe dry cereal in a bowl and 1-2 ounces of milk in a cup that can be refilled? It maybe too early to make recommendations, of course, and I am sure we will learn more about your situation as we go though the program. And you will be able to figure many things yourself. I think that If your son wants to be fed often, mealtime structure and family meals will definitely help him to be fed at regular interval in low-pressure environment. Please keep us updated on how assignments go.

    Lindsey - 4 weeks ago
    Yes, we try to have them self feed 100% of them time. I feel like being a twin forces the need for independence much earlier than with a singleton. This is mostly for my sanity, or course. The sooner they do things on their own, or “by myself”, the less work I have to do. “By myself” is a very popular thing in our home right now, and I’m milking it for all it’s worth.

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I see…. I got confused when you shared your son’s reaction to the size of bites of cereal you are giving him in the morning. Self-feedign is one of the most important skills for toddlers to master and I am happy to hear that you have been doing it. I am wondering how you may help your boy react more calmly to food mess. Does he like playing with messy things like play dough, glue and sand?

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Hi does like playing with play dough and he loves digging in the sand. We also finger paint, but he gets bored with that easily. He really only freaks out when he spills something inside, and that is generally food related. He doesn’t have a problem knocking over toys or anything like that.

  • response

    Rebecca

    Rebecca - 1 month ago
    Hello! Thank you the opportunity to take this class. I have two kids, 5 and 2.5. My oldest has always been a great eater. She eats almost everything I put in front of her… so when my second came along I figured whatever I was doing worked and did the same with him. It worked for awhile… he ate almost everything i pureed for him. But about the 16 month mark, he began to refuse a lot of what he previously ate. The most concerning of this is that he will not eat one single veggie OR fruit! I’ve heard of many toddlers not liking vegetables but fruit?! It’s crazy to me. I’ve even tried making him smoothies with bananas and strawberries, greek yougurt and even added a little sugar to make it sweeter. Nope. Won’t touch it. He doesn’t even like juice. Only drinks milk or water (which i know is a good thing). But my hopes of getting fruit or veggies in him via a smoothie/homemade juice have vanished. He is basically all carbs, all the time. Bread, crackers, pasta, pizza, etc. How can be possibly be getting all the nutrients he needs? My other issue is family meals, which i know you recommend. I work full time so by the time I get home it’s 6:30 and to then prepare a meal, by the time we’d eat it would be close to 7:30. Right now they eat b/w 5 and 5:30 with my nanny. They’d be ravenous if I tried to implement family meals at this age. Anyway, looking forward to the class!

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Hi Rebecca, so far what kind of tactics (if any) have you tried to get your 2.5 y.o. to eat fruit/veg?

    Do you have a certain definition for the foods that would constitute a ‘family meal’? Think about how this definition might create a barrier.

    How far prior to your arrival in the evening do they eat any type of snack?

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Also, does your Nanny eat with them? Do you know what she serves, how, and if she uses any tactics to try to encourage your child to eat?

    Rebecca - 1 month ago
    Beyond the smoothie tactic, I have tried simply placing cut fruit or veggies on his plate. He does not touch them. Other times, I will be eating fruit and he will be watching me and he will point and say “strawberry”, at which point I will say “do you want a strawberry?” and will hand him one. He will either say NO or actually put it in his mouth to taste it but then spit it out.

    I would say whatever I decide to cook for my husband and I would be the family meal. My husband and I like to eat somewhat healthy so i usually cook some sort of protein (chicken, fish, steak) and vegetables or salad. We rarely eat white flour carbs of the kind my son will eat so adding it the family meal just so he would eat it sounds like I would be catering to him - which i know is something you don’t recommend.

    They usually eat a snack b/w 2-3pm.

    Rebecca - 1 month ago
    She does not eat with them. Probably b/c it’s too early for her and she doesn’t eat what they are eating. She is not the greatest cook to be honest. So she serves them basically what she knows they will eat and what I have prepared and put in the freezer. She rarely take initiative to offer them anything new… Even if i’ve suggested she does. I have seen her do the “one bite” tactic if either of them won’t eat.

    Adina - 1 month ago
    How do weekend meals go? Are you able to have family meals on the weekends or breakfast or any other time? What kind of starches do you and your husband eat? (whole grain breads, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain crackers, potatoes, ?)

    Rebecca - 1 month ago
    During the week, i turn into a short order cook for everyone for breakfast. My kids will eat toast or eggs or waffles, my husband usually makes an egg white omelet or doesn’t eat at all. I rarely eat breakfast either due to time contraints. On weekends I usually make whole grain pancakes for everyone as we all eat them or eggs or we go out to breakfast and dinner a lot on weekends. Does that constitute a family meal? I do make quinoa sometimes or farro or polenta if a make a starch for my husband and I at dinner. Rarely do I make potatoes.

    Adina - 1 month ago
    If you’re eating together, sitting down, enjoying each other’s company it is a family meal. The only tricky part in restaurants is that the same food is rarely shared except perhaps when eating Chinese and ordering a bunch of entrees that everyone takes from. Generally in restaurants, everyone has their own entree.

    You definitely have a number of challenges to eating together and sharing the same foods. They are not insurmountable, thankfully. Session 2 will give you some possibly new things to consider and ponder. Natalia and I will definitely revisit this and continue the discussion! I have plenty of ideas to give you, but I’d like to see what you come up with on your own first as you learn more.

  • response

    A little about me and Simon

    Ammick - 1 month ago
    I have an 18 month old who eats things he likes very well, but other things he won’t even try. Before having my son, I was determined not to have a child who only ate kid food. I read the books Bringing Up Bebe and French Kids Eat Everything and wanted to follow this model. He has a repertoire of things he eats, but when I try to introduce new things, he won’t even try it. He just throws it on the floor. This is so frustrating, especially when I have taken the time to make something. So, I end up defaulting to what I know he will eat, even though I know it’s self-defeating in the long run. I’m not particularly worried about him not getting enough nutrition; I think he does and he is not long and lean, but long and squishy. He is not going to waste away. Mainly I just want him to enjoy and eat a diversity of foods.

    He recently started a new daycare that serves a hot lunch family style and I was very excited about him being exposed to new foods and the benefit of peer pressure from seeing the other kids eating the food and liking it. However, the report I often get is that he won’t eat the food, pushes the teacher’s hand away if she tries to help him, and often throws it on the floor.

    I felt newly inspired after watching the webinar. Particularly about eating together and eating the same food. My husband and I often don’t eat a very healthy dinner and we want our son to eat better than we do, so I usually make him something else and while he is eating that (hopefully eating that), I make our dinner, which is usually something quick and processed. At the end of last week, I was inspired to make something healthy, but after getting home from work, it took awhile to prepare a good dinner and it was getting later and later and my son was getting irritable and impatient, probably partly from hunger since he probably didn’t eat his school lunch. So I gave him a variety of fruit to sustain him until dinner and then when dinner was ready, he was already full from the fruit. In other words, he wasn’t hungry enough to try the new things.

    Natalia - 1 month ago
    It is so frustrating to see a nutritious meal being rejected! Looks like Simon is going through a very typical toddler phase of “I do not want anything new on my plate”. It is great that you are trying to expose him to new foods regularly and looks like the daycare has a perfect mealtime setting. I am curious to see what would happen to Simon’s eating after you implement structure and family meal style we will discuss in detail in session 2. We will address many of the issues you are struggling with in other sessions, too. Today’s assignment is to sit down to a meal together and share something simple, that does not require a lot of preparation (one of your son’s favorites with some fruit and veggies on the side, for example). You do not have to cook anything special, just sit down and enjoy this time with your family. I am looking forward to reading about your experience tomorrow!

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Ammick, I see some level of ‘guilt’ about what you and your husband choose to eat based on the time you have available. One thing that I too have to remind myself of often (in various areas of life) is to “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good (enough). In other words, you may have very valid ideals about what constitutes a quality meal, but if those ideals are not realistic (for you, at this point in time) you will keep yourself from enjoying a good enough meal together. Remember how in the webinar I mentioned we had watermelon, cottage cheese, and buttered toast for one dinner? It’s okay to keep things simple. Sharing the same food together has to be doable, FIRST, before you can expand on making that food more fitting to your ideals. I visited family this Father’s Day weekend and one of my relatives is not big into cooking. But she’s found ways to create quick and balanced meals in much less time than me (who prefers to cook from scratch). For example she put together a taco soup in what I think was 10 minutes: can of black beans, can of pintos, veggie meat crumbles, can of diced tomatoes, can of tomato sauce, can of corn, taco seasoning…I think that was it. Plus chips. Might not be up to everyone’s standard, but it was balanced, quick and quite healthy and nutritious.

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Some more thoughts…

    Think of Simon as an eater-in-training. Natalia used that phrase in an interview once and I loved it! Eater-in-training — exactly what most children are. He’s a mere 18 months…only 12 (?) of those months have involved eating. Imagine moving to a foreign country with some strange food choices. Even after a year, I’m sure there would be a lot you’d still steer clear of—even as an adult. You’d probably latch on to a few favorites and HOPE that you could easily find those in the homes of people you visited and at restaurants.

    Basically he is just starting out in this new world of food and food training. He’s got years to go. He won’t be a “foodie” by Kindergarten, so it’s definitely important to take a step back and remember forming your child’s attitude toward food, his preferences, is the work of all of childhood. Think long term :-)

    So for your homework to “Eat what you eat but do it as a family” don’t translate the family meal to be a perfectly balanced, all-from-scratch, gourmet dinner. Consider what you have time for, what’s in the fridge/cupboard and pick something very realistic—food that you can share together.

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Oh and one of the reasons to “think long term” is so that you don’t give up in the short term. One area that I struggle with is getting my kids to clean up after themselves around the house. It is SO much easier for me to do it myself and I have to constantly remind myself that yes, in the short-term, me picking up after them yields a tidier house (what’s that?), but in the long term they will benefit most from learning to do it themselves. So don’t give up because of his temporary low interest in being a “French baby” ;-)

    Ammick - 1 month ago
    Thank you very much for your responses. I do have ideas of what an ideal meal is supposed to be, not just for Simon, but for everyone in our family, and I rarely meet that goal, which does leave me feeling guilty and unsuccessful. I look forward to the rest of the classes.

  • response

    Regarding Mary Lynne’s 18 month old

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Mary Lynne said all her daughter wanted to eat at supper was grapes (despite a nice variety of foods served). What Natalia and I would have done is… let her eat just grapes. Most toddlers are not super hungry by dinner time. We also don’t believe in making dessert dependent on eating certain foods first. Holding out on dessert can feel punishing to a child who wasn’t hungry to begin with. It also elevates the status and power of dessert and lowers the enjoyment of the meal food. As though the meal food is ‘work’ and the dessert is a prize. It makes that hard to get prize MORE desireable, not less. Plus it can teach kids to overeat because it’s required to eat dessert sometimes. Luckily we cover both of these issues in our next session, so it won’t be long before we expand on this!

    Adina - 1 month ago
    I suppose you could think of the practice of serving dessert at the end of a meal as serving a meal in 2 courses. You know how in some countries, like France, meals are often served in courses? First an appetizer, then the entree, then a salad, then dessert/cheese…etc. Well in such countries the 4th course comes after the 3rd which comes after the 2nd which comes after the 1st regardless of how much each person eats. It would be unfair to make each course dependent on the eating of the previous course so one person is stuck in course #2 while others have moved on to course #4. Just another way to look at it. Although, as you’ll see tomorrow, we promote a very different way to serve dessert…

    Natalia - 1 month ago
    I agree with Adina, serving meal in courses is a great way to stay away from “if you eat this, you get that” feeding pitfall. As far as her choice of food for dinner is concerned, it is pretty typical for toddlers to eat little eat nothing for dinner. As far as she can find something to eat from what you served, you did a wonderful job feeding her.

    Mary Lynne - 1 month ago
    Interesting. I like the concept of not elevating dessert as the prize. I am curious to what you will present further on this topic. I am also curious as to whether you believe the methods you discuss on toddler feeding should continue into childhood or if there is a changing point where different methods should be used. I have a friend for example who uses a “thank you bites” method with her elementary age kids. They have to eat at least as many bites as they are old of every food she has prepared and those bites are called “thank you bites” as a thank you to mommy who made the meal. I know we are talking about toddlers, but i am curious how long your approach to feeding should be applied into childhood? Thanks!

    Mary Lynne - 1 month ago
    Was i to make this comment as a new post?

    Adina - 1 month ago
    Mary Lynne you commented just right! You would only “add post” if responding to a new topic entirely.

    Our feeding philosophy doesn’t end after toddlerhood—it is a pretty universal feeding philosophy. We touched on the one-bite/thank you bite rule in our webinar briefly. I think with some kids (and not toddler-age typically) it can go okay, but it definitely depends on the feeding history and the child’s personality and general attitude toward eating. It can backfire for many kids, especially toddlers.

    Mary Lynne - 1 month ago
    That makes sense. Excited to learn more this week!

    Mary Lynne - 1 month ago
    That makes sense. Excited to learn more this week!

    Natalia - 1 month ago
    The one bite rule is a tricky one. Will work for some kids and will backfire for others. Typically I recommend parents to stay away from it until kids start being naturally more curious about new foods. So unless they started asking “what is that?” and “can I have a bite?” on a regular I would not pressure them to take a bite of anything new if they have not volunteered themselves. Reminding that there a food on the table they have not tried yet is ok but establishing a firm rule about trying it can spoil the mealtime for everyone. Again, some kids are more adventurous and open and they probably would have tried all these foods even without a special “rule”. My 8 year old used to be super picky and she is still a little more cautious with new foods than my 5 year old. She will NOT try a new food that she does not want to try. I may nudge her gently but I am prepared to take a “no” for an answer. But she tries new foods regularly on her own accord, without me saying a word and in friends’ houses. And this is what we want to see when it comes to feeding kids - ability to try new foods regularly because they want to, not because they “have to”.

    Adina - 1 month ago
    It is really satisfying when your child tries something NEW of their own accord. I have had many experiences with my daughter trying new foods on her own. Or turning something down and 5 min into the meal changing her mind about it.

  • Response

    Food is Like Other Parenting

    Maria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I find it interesting that although I embrace authoritative parenting, it seems “harder” to do so when it comes to food. This course has been like a weight has been lifted off me. It’s not my job to make them eat. I’ve spent too much time thinking about my own hang ups about food, what happened as a child & how I overcame them. The scheduled, family meals & snacks have made such a huge difference, I’m amazed. So much less stressful!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Feeding is definitely parenting! We so often think of it in terms of the food and only the food, but those feeding dynamics really have to do with parenting. I’m so happy to hear of the difference it has made for you :-D

    After this class you’re going to have such a ‘different’ outlook than many parents. You’ll hear other moms complain of this or that about how their kids eat, how they try to get their kids to eat things, etc…and you’ll think to yourself “it does NOT have to be so worrisome and stressful—it can be easier!”

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    When I first read about the Division of Responsibility in feeding, I thought it was a parenting philosophy, not only feeding-specific. I learnt so much from it that it definitely affected the way I parent my kids in all other aspects of our life. I am glad you feel the same way!

  • Response

    Tuesday Dinner

    Ammick - 4 weeks ago
    When I picked Simon (18 mos) up from daycare yesterday, his teacher said he didn’t eat any of his lunch; not even the fruit, which he always eats (this is his third week at the new daycare, which serves hot lunches family style. Previously, I packed Simon’s lunch). So I knew he was going to be very hungry. In the car, he saw the grocery bags and saw the bananas and kept pointing at them. I gave him one because I knew he hadn’t eaten lunch. He ate it and did the more sign. I gave him a few goldfish crackers that were in his diaper bag.

    He was getting irritable once we got home and my husband kept him distracted and occupied so I could get dinner ready. I normally plate everyone’s plate; mainly because I don’t want to dirty more dishes by serving family style and I’m really not comfortable for an 18 month old to serve himself. We had fresh green beans with yellow squash and onions, a cherry tomato and mini mozzarella ball salad, rice pilaf, fruit, and I gave him some cottage cheese. The fruit and the cottage cheese were his familiar items. He started eating his cottage cheese with a little fork, but turned to his hands so he could get more of it in his mouth faster. He wanted more cottage cheese, so I gave him more. He ate the fruit. He picked up the tomato and laid it on the table. He picked up the mini mozzarella ball and touched it to his tongue and threw it on the floor. Didn’t touch the rice. Signaled more for additional fruit. Ate a lot of that. Turned the plate over and dumped the green beans on the table. This is what a typical meal looks like at our house.

    Ammick - 4 weeks ago
    I meant to say, “I’m not really comfortable with an 18 month old serving himself.”

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    Thank you for the post, Ammick. It is a fairly typical mealtime scenario. You did your job wonderfully: established time and place for a meal, chose a menu with at least one “safe” food for your toddler and enjoyed your own meal. He decided what he wanted to eat and chose the amount he wanted. The tomato and mozzarella experience count towards extremely valuable exposure to less liked foods. He clearly (albeit messily) signaled when he was done. So the mealtime was a success I would say! I would only consider a more substantial snack, especially if he did not eat lunch and had to wait for more than 1.5-2 hours for dinner. Maybe a toast or/and a piece of cheese alongside the banana. When kids are famished by mealtime, it is harder for them to eat well. Also, to simplify family meals, we serve the food in the pans and pots right on the table. This way, we cut on dishwashing and even reduce food waste since the kids choose what they want. For an 18 months old, I would just show them a spoon with each food and ask if they wanted some. Do you think it would work for your little one?

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    It wasn’t until a few months ago that I let my 2.5 year old serve himself. And even then we help him when necessary (big clumsy pot or really hot food, you get it). So I wouldn’t expect most 18 month olds to be very skilled at the job or for you to feel terribly comfortable doing it. What Natalia suggested is right on. Just show him the food and offer it that way. Also I was wondering about timelines. What time do you pick him up, what time is dinner, what time is bedtime routine?

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I just remembered something else that helps some reduce the food/dish mess that goes with family style meals! If you don’t want to serve in the pots, tempered glass food storage containers work great! I know at least one person who puts the food into those and then after dinner is over, if there are leftovers the food stays in the container, the lid is put on and it can go straight into the fridge.

    Maria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I have started to serve right in the storage containers or in the pots. It’s not pretty but it works and it makes far fewer dishes!

    Ammick - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Those are good ideas. Pots on the table….duh! Sometimes it’s so hard to think outside of the normal routine. I usually pick Simon up at around 5-5:30. The daycare provides a “late snack” for those last late kids, so they can make it through the drive home until dinner. They provide a normal afternoon snack at about 2:15, which is a little more substantial (cheese and crackers, yogurt and graham crackers, fruit and cheese). This usually consists of a couple of saltine crackers. Yesterday, I picked him up at 5:30 and was told he didn’t eat any of his lunch (again!). I gave him a few goldfish crackers in the car. He ate about 10 (that’s all there was in the container) and he signed and said his version of “more.”

    By the time I got home, my husband had already made a plate for Simon (turkey lunch meat, cheddar cheese, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and crackers). My husband put a frozen eggplant entree in the oven for us which still had about 30 minutes to cook. So Simon ate his plate and we sat with him. When our frozen entree was ready, we ate and he sat at the table with us and colored. I normally have dinner ready about 6:30 or so. Then bath, books, and in bed by 8pm. We were putting him to bed by 7:15-7:30 pm, but we haven’t been successful in getting him to bed earlier when the time changed

  • Response

    Family meals

    RachL - 4 weeks ago
    I feel like we do a pretty good job of this in our family. We struggled a bit in the beginning when Evangeline started solids because my husband and I would eat a late dinner, but we are now accustomed to eating a little earlier so that we could eat as a family. I do need to make sure the table is free of distractions for all of us, and not just E! My husband and I can be guilty of being on our phones and not truly ‘present’ for the meal!

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    Looks like you did a great job with family meals - it is a challenge with the demanding schedules. Meals without distractions will be setting a great example for your little one! Imagine her in 12 years, with her own mobile phone :). I know moms of older kids who collect all the phones before meals and store them in the kitchen until everyone is done eating. :) I think that if we shift our goals for a meal and see it as a family quality time, it helps to organize the priorities and stay away from pressure, too. Looks like you are on the right path!

  • Response

    our surprising family dinner

    Sara W. - 4 weeks ago
    This didn’t work out the way I originally planned it, but Asher surprised me and reminded me not to assume I know everything;) I originally planned our “together” meal as a mid-day meal of eggs and English muffins. My husband works overnight, so this would be husband’s breakfast, our late lunch. Asher signed for food about 15 minutes before the planned time, but fell asleep before it was ready! So my “sure thing” plan was out. We ended up sharing dinner, which sounded much more risky- we had panned to eat chicken chow mein, and I thought Ash wouldn’t eat a bite, since it was so many mixed foods and heavy on veggies. I made sweet potatoes fries on the side, positive he would eat those since it is a very familiar flavor to him . Well, he gobbled up a huge amount of chow mein, including some veg, even signing “more” and eating a smaller second portion,and throw every single sweet potato fry onto the floor. I theorize he was thrown off by the shape- they happened to be waffle fries. As for the chow mein, he chewed the chicken for a while but eventually spat it out. He does this with meat often. I think he can’t get it soft enough to feel comfortable swallowing. He got a few veggies by default because they were stuck to the noodles. I did have v trouble figuring out how long to leave him in the chair and when he was done. The noodles offered tons of entertainment and he ate really slowly. He was in the chair for 45 minutes total with a couple false endings when I asked him “all done?” and he either shook his head no or signed “more”. I eventually just waited till all the noodles were gone, but he didn’t show any really obvious “done” signs.

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    Sara, thanks so much for sharing your experience! I think that a good summary for it would be “Do not assume anything when planning meals for family with a toddler”. Asher surprised you by eating the exact opposite of what you expected him to eat and it is another typical toddler behavior :). And although each toddler has a list of “safe”foods they typically accept, they are quite unpredictable in what they will like at each specific meal. I think you did great by exposing him to a new food (chow mien), including one potentially “safe” food (sweet potato) and giving him time to eat as much as he needed. I have a couple of questions: did you notice any difference in his eating behavior when you all are present at a table? And another one: do you think he would have continued eating if there were more noodles on the table? It helps to have plenty of food on the table so that kids could eat till they are satisfied. I am curious because he never signed “done”.

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    Natalia makes excellent observations, I’m curious what your responses will be Sara.

    The only thing I want to add is regarding the fries. The fries could be any food for this lesson, really. But let’s say the fries were something you and your hubby really enjoy and like to keep as part of your diet. In such a case (be it fries or beets or chicken) continue to serve them as often as YOU two want them. Don’t take a toddler’s current refusal/throwing/dislike as reason to cross a food off your list of things you serve. In other words, don’t feel like you have to serve non-waffle fries from now on. Rotate between regular and those to your liking.

    Sara W. - 4 weeks ago
    I did wonder if he made more “attempts” on the fries because he saw us keep eating them. He tasted them several times and went back to them throughout the meal, even though each time he took the bite out and threw it. He probably would have grazed on more noodles if available, but his rate of actually eating them had slowed so much that its hard to say. He does do one thing that gives me pause. Even if he’s sat in his high chair for 15 minutes totally uninterested, as I’m detaching his tray, he often does this mad grab for the food like, “hey, that’s mine!” If I stop and reattach the tray , he still doesn’t eat it (he usually squishes whatever he grabbed) but it always makes me question if I should leave him longer.

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    My son (2.5 presently) went through a period where he’d sign or say that he was “all done” and then when I’d come back with a wash cloth to wipe his face, he’d change his mind or grab and eat more food all of the sudden—like in a mad race to not lose out. It’s pretty much solved itself with time. There was no clear reason for him to worry about getting enough food because it was always his choice when to be “done.”

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    What you described about him tasting them several times through the meal is a really great sign actually. We often think in black and white terms: Either the child eats his portion or it’s a rejection. But really all that messy play, tasting, putting in and spitting back out—they are learning and it is very normal in the process of becoming skilled little eaters. When we share case studies tomorrow, you’ll see that pointed out in one video.

  • Response

    This is what I struggle with the most

    Rebecca - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    I touched on this in my intro yesterday, but figuring out how to eat as a family is what I really struggle with. I can certainly see how family meals can improve kids’ eating habits based on the readings, but am just frustrated b/c I feel like, based on my lifestyle, that it’s impossible. I keep hoping that as my kids get older and their schedules change, it will get easier to implement. The two things I struggle with are timing and family friendly meal planning. Like i’ve said previously, once i get home from work and take the time to prepare a meal it’s already about 7:30 which is essentially my toddlers’ bedtime, plus the fact that they could never last that long waiting for dinner. Secondly, i really love to cook gourmet meals and healthy stuff at that. So trying to think of ways to deconstrust what I already make so the kids can eat the same meal but more simply, is going to be something I really need to work on. I fear that per your suggestion, if i always add something to the meal that i know my toddler will eat (bread or pasta), that is literally all he will ever eat. But I guess I will never know until i try… :)

    Adina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    What if bread is the only thing they will ever eat? A very understandable fear. Making sure your kids are well fed is at our core as a parent. We want them to eat enough. We want them to have good nutrition and eat healthy foods.

    Having grown up in a culture (Romanian) where bread was served with every single meal, I would say the likelihood of kids becoming bread-only eaters for life is slim. My grandparents would eat bread and fried potatoes, bread and watermelon, bread and grapes. Made no sense to me as I grew older…why would you eat those things together? It wasn’t for the sake of us kids, it was just what people ate. Natalia, having grown up in Russia can attest to something similar. We saw no evidence of bread eating leading to greater picky eating.

    Right now the kids are eating without you and they are eating foods that don’t meet your standards. I can totally understand your desire to eat to a certain standard that is excellent and desirable, and it might even be better for you. But is there any place for compromise when you consider that the compromise is building a foundation for progress? Is there any way to compromise those standards temporarily, knowing you can more easily build on that than on the status quo? Would it help to brainstorm ways to accomplish this in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling TOO compromised?

    Rebecca - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Yes… brainstorming would certainly help! I can certainly compromise on the adding a desired food to every meal. But I can’t get to that compromise without compromising on the timing… which would mean leaving work everyday early… how have your other clients handled the late dinner time that comes with 2 working parents? Thank you again for all your advice and help! I hope i’m not sounding too defeated already :)

    Ammick - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    I struggle with this too and your description of juggling work and dinner in a reasonable time before bed is something I haven’t really figured out either.

    Adina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    So you would feel okay adding a basket of dinner rolls (maybe some butter?) to whatever else you are serving? That’s a very fair compromise :)

    Looks like what is left is still the most DIFFICULT aspect of things: timing. How to get a decent meal on the table in 20 minutes instead of 60. If, you were able to accomplish a 20 minute meal, would that also cut things too close to bedtime? If so, that’s fine. We can look at other options.

    Rebecca - 4 weeks ago
    Yes I can add bread and butter to every meal… i just have to trust that is not all my toddler will live on…. how much time do i give it before i see him start to try other things on the table?

    I could try a 20 minute meal but knowing me and my kids, just not sure that is realistic. Maybe once they are older and can push their mealtime to later.

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    Trusting that he won’t live off bread forever is going to take a leap of faith—so it will take some guts on your part. I can’t give you a timeline, I would imagine in a couple of weeks you may see him try new things. Possibly sooner, possibly later. Keep in mind he has breakfast, lunch and possibly other snack times (?) in which he is getting plenty of other nutrients.

    Is the 20-min meal unrealistic because it still gets too close to bedtime? Or something else?

    Let’s look at this another way. Somewhere between dinners that take 1 hour full of only gourmet food happening 7 nights per week and no family meals with kids eating chicken nuggets alone while nanny watches there are many ways to compromise knowing that progress can be made with time. What are the baby steps? The details:

    — Number of nights per week you eat together. Is there a realistic starting number? It doesn’t have to start high.

    — The meal — it doesn’t have to be dinner (breakfast?). Would it work to make breakfasts into family meals instead of short-order cooking starting with common ground and building on it.

    — The food — even if it is dinner, what are the compromise options? I’ll throw something out there. What if once per week YOU ate what THEY normally eat with Nanny but threw in a gourmet side dish that makes you look forward to the eating? Something new to add to what they already accept. Let’s say they love Mac&Cheese, you can add a simple vegetable and then make a kale-apple salad or something more elaborate (but that is quicker than a full gourmet meal).

    — Nanny’s contribution — you said she’s not the greatest cook. Is she trainable? Can she be bribed with a bump in her paycheck? If you set down the law and a menu would she follow it and sit with them and chat at the table, perhaps making their meal her snack?

    — Timing — I don’t know what time they eat prior to dinner.. But what if they had a meal at 3:30 followed by dinner with you shortly after you came home? Perhaps it would be like a bedtime snack for them instead of “dinner”? This would simply create an eating together habit that you can build on. You could build on the concept of “dinner together is pleasant” and maybe 6 months from now you can start working on introducing new foods.

    — Advanced meal prep. Some people find it helpful to prepare food the night before and reheat the next day. Would it be realistic to double the food you cook for you and your hubby and then reheat leftovers of it as soon as you get home the next night? Nanny could do the reheating so it is ready when you arrive. 10 minutes of reunion time with kiddos and then you could eat together. Maybe just one night a week as an experiment. Could Nanny-the-non-cook do some simple prep (wash, chop, measure) for you to save you time on anything? Could she start a salad or prepare the veggies for cooking?

    Do any of these areas where you could take baby steps appeal to you?

    Rebecca - 4 weeks ago
    These are all great suggestions - thank you. I especially like the first three. I just need to be able to adjust their mealtime back about an hour and not have them melt down before then b/c they are so hungry. I would fee awkward asking my nanny to do meal prep for me as that’s not really what we ever agreed to… the nanny/mom relationship is always a delicate one… but that is a topic for another webinar :) Regardless, i feel like alot of these are good suggestions that I can start to possibly work on.

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    Oh I’m so glad some of it was helpful.

    Rebecca - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    One more thing…. you say he is getting plenty of other nutrients from all the other meals and snacks during the day. Could that possibly be true if he doens’t eat any veg or fruit?! He eats lots of carbs, some protein - but nothing else.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Yes in general he could be getting plenty anyway. Grains, legumes, nuts, dairy and protein are also full of vitamins and minerals. You can use a multivitamin as “insurance” and we’ll talk about choosing a good one in a later session.

  • Response

    A habit we need to get into

    AKM - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Hubby & I have gotten into the habit of eating in the living room while watching a show on Netflix. We eat together, but are trying to be better about sitting at the table to have that be the norm before we start introducing solids (so we need to really get on that…which means finding a new home for my sewing machine!)

    Natalia - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Looks like you already know what needs to be down for your little one to join you at a table. Of course, your schedules may differ, especially at the beginning, but I could see you setting a realistic goal of 4-5 family meals a week. And they do not have to be dinners only! Breakfast and lunch on weekends also count :). I hope the sewing machine will like its new home :)

  • Response

    Cheating

    Lindsey - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Tonight we had dinner as a family. It was a little complicated because my husband got home just before 7, and we usually eat between 5:30-6. I had to take the twins on a walk to keep them from wanting dinner before my husband got home. they did have a snack around 3:30, so I wasn’t worried about them being particularly hungry.

    I cheated tonight because I let them dish up some of their food. Major success here. I let my daughter pick out the ear of corn she wanted and dish up her watermelon. I let my son dish up his watermelon, but that is it. Both of them ate all of their watermelon and they served themselves large portions. This is not a new food, and one that they both love. My son ate two bites of his grilled cheese sandwich, didn’t touch his corn or lentils, but ate all of his watermelon. He sat at the table for five minutes max, but was distracted by a hand ball pump that was promised him when his dad got home.

    My daughter still sits in a high chair. It is a space saver chair that sits on a regular dinette chair. She couldn’t wait for her dad to get home, but only started eating a couple of minutes before. She dished up her watermelon, and then had seconds of watermelon. She ate two bites of her corn on the cob. I gave her a slice of bread that we used for our sandwiches, and she ate all of that. She does not like cheese, mainly because of the smell, but I am fine just feeding her whole wheat bread. She stayed in her chair the entire meal, and only asked once to get down before we were done eating. She is a messy eater, and smears food on her tray. I’m sure this is the main reason I still have her in a high chair. My son just sits in a booster seat at the table, and is a very clean eater. There’s hardly anything in his bib at the end of a meal, unlike his sister (ha!).

    There were no melt downs at dinner. I let my son leave the table once he was done eating, but he never asked for more food and seemed quite satiated.

    We generally are all in the house together every night, but not all eating at the same time. My husband and I always eat together, but sometimes my son is begging for food before daddy gets home.

    Adina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Sounds like a successful meal to me. No cheating at all… in fact when you read the lessons for tomorrow you’ll see why letting your kids dish up their food is precisely the opposite of cheating!

    Natalia - 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Agree with Adina and congratulations on a successful family meal! When we talk about snacks in session 4 we will discuss the types than keep kids’ bellies full for a few hours - perfect for when the dinner is a little later! Also, family dinner does not have to happen every day for the kids to reap all the benefits of it. You can also try to eat breakfast together and focus on family mealtimes on weekends, when you have more time. Just a few ideas. We are looking forward to more questions and news from you.

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    We have had three family meals in a row for dinner and they have been successful. My son sat at the table an entire fifteen minutes tonight and he LOVES dishing up his own food. Who knew what a difference that would make for him? Last night he begged for a piece of bread, and I continued to only offer him what was on the table. He ended up eating plenty. My daughter has asked for a different food once at dinnertime, but easily accepted that we weren’t eating that for dinner. She found foods she wanted to eat and was happy. Thank you for the great education thus far!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Yay! That makes me so happy to hear it :-)

    A local mom who is in charge of a mom’s group decided to try letting her boys (all grade school through preteen) serve themselves broccoli after hearing me talking about it. She discovered she had short-changed one of her boys all these years because he took way more broccoli than she ever served him. Kids feel SO good being in charge of that serving process. I find with my 2.5 year old that the joy of using serving utensils is great enough he’ll serve himself just to handle tongs, for example. He might not eat much of some things, like salad, but these are all steps toward good eating habits.

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    After years of serving themselves, my kids get really offended if something is being put on their plate without their permission. Some parents are taken aback when they hear about it, but, ultimately, their plate is their personal territory, they feel that it is an extension of who they are and do not tolerate intrusion. I also learnt that on the nights when I cooked something yummy and really want them to try it, they never like it as much as when they ask for it themselves.

  • Response

    Mealtime phrases

    RachL - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    I noticed that I do try and ‘sell’ the food when we are eating, “Mommy just took a bit of yummy beans! Do you want to try them?” I also encourage her to eat more of a particular item and praise her when she does, “Let’s have one more bite of chicken! Good girl!” She is 18 months old, so I do talk to her about other topics when eating, though sometimes it gets kind of quiet during meals (my husband is away during the week for work right now). I have been more cognizant of what I say now, and am trying to avoid the phrases that hinder. I have caught myself a few times, but hopefully the phrases that work will be easy to integrate into mealtime!

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    As your daughter is growing up, you will enjoy more fun conversations at mealtimes! My girls now talk about boys and friends a lot :). I cannot imagine this special time happening if I was focused on the number of bites they were taking. The goid news is that as soon as you fully adopt the DOR and stay away from pressure, saying things like what you described will feel unnatural and it will be easy to stay away from it.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    Catching yourself is the first step—it shows awareness. I can hardly remember the time before we did family style meals and my kids are not that old! Because we eat just about every single meal together (the perk of working mostly from home) I have to force myself to remember to engage in conversation because sometimes I’m just tired and I want to eat and not talk at all.

  • Response

    Video analysis

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    During our meal we reminded Rachel to eat her corn three times, and to eat more once. We commented on the chocolate she was eating, saying she needed less, and that sugar is bad for your brain. We also took away her chocolate until she ate her corn. We talked amongst ourselves, as adults, but didn’t direct any conversation to her. We did not comment on the texture or flavor of the food, although we did “sell” the food by commenting on how good it was.

    Johnny’s meal started bumpy, we much coercion to sit in his own seat and feed himself. He sat on both his dad’s lap and my lap before he made it to his own chair. We reminded him to eat his sandwich twice, and hold it with two hands. We asked him to eat more once. We sold the food, by saying, “that is so yummy, huh Johnny.” We praised him for sitting in his chair and eating his sandwich. We didn’t directly include him in non-food conversation or comment on the food’s texture or flavor.

    I basically plated everyone’s food for them and only served fruit family style. We did ask both children if they were all done, and let them down when they were.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Those are all important observations Lindsey. What would you do differently in light of the DOR? Do you see where “pressure” was sneaking in?

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    I definitely see where pressure was sneaking in. In light of DOR, I would never remind them to eat more, or talk about food being good or bad for you. We have been trying to talk much more about texture and flavor of our food now.

  • Response

    signs that hinder!

    Sara W. - 4 weeks ago
    Since Asher is so young, (only 13 months today) i don’t use many of those particular phrases with him— I do try to encourage him to eat by saying “yum, those are good!” and the like. One thing i DO do that isn’t helpful, is towards the end, when I’m unsure if he’s done or not, I do tend to hover and ask, “you want more? or all done?” while signing, which i bet is confusing to him and he ends up signing back at random just to answer. I think i will try to stop this, wait till he is definitely done on his own, and sign “all done” to him as I take the tray. He doesn’t often spontaneously sign “all done” on his own, but he does sign it when we say it, so i think it needs more reinforcement so hopefully he’ll start clearly telling me when HE feels done.

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    I agree, if it is confusing, maybe it is best for him to give you a signal the meal is over. I also think you will see that his interest in eating is going down and this could be another way to see he is done.

  • Response

    The twins’ food record

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    In analyzing Rachel’s food record, I found that meals are at a pretty set time, but snacks are all over the place. One day she had three snacks between breakfast and lunch. One problem that I’m facing right now is rewards for using the potty. I’ve been giving her one piece of chewy candy when she uses the potty, and sometimes she will use it just to get the candy. Since starting the class I have made her wait till snack time, lunch time, or dinner time to get her “reward” for using the potty. She has adapted fine to this, but before, I would just hand the candy out every time she used the potty. Eating opportunities are offered every two-three hours, but are not necessarily planned.

    Johnny’s food record is not structured at all. He does not have food opportunities every 2-3 hours and food is served between meals and snacks.

    One thing that I have noticed this week is that half of the time, Johnny naps before lunch. The poor boy is not a good sleeper, and can rarely make it to noon for his nap. The only way I can get them to have lunch together is lucking out, and having Johnny take a cat nap in the car between 9:30-10:30, or feeding lunch at 11am. We generally have breakfast between 7 and 7:30 every morning. So if we have lunch at 11, I feel like that would eliminate the morning snack. I am totally happy to do this, and I don’t know if four hours is too long to go for almost three year olds. Otherwise, I have Rachel eating breakfast at 7, snack at 10, lunch at noon. Then I have Johnny eating breakfast at 7, snack at 10, and lunch at 2. I feel like if Johnny eats lunch after nap, that he needs to skip the afternoon snack in order for him to be hungry for dinner. The joys of twins!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    That is certainly tricky. But now you have made the important observations and it just might take a little bit to iron out exactly how to schedule things so they work for everyone. I know lots of people use food treats for potty training. I never did but I only have one trained so far. With my 4 year old I cut up pieces of paper and wrote prizes on each one then had her pick a prize out of a bucket. The prizes included: time watching TV, time playing Starfall on my laptop, getting a couple nails painted, stickers, etc. I think at the time I included candy as one of the prizes. I probably wouldn’t do the candy again, but I think that as one of several prizes it diluted it enough.

  • Response

    Snack & Sides

    Maria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I am still having a hard time a little bit with things like snack. If we have fruit - my son doesn’t like blueberries. He just doesn’t. It seems strange, but he doesn’t. If we have blueberries for snack, is it OK to have blueberries AND strawberries - allowing each child to take what they like?

    This was one of the most helpful things for me. My kids grazed WAY too much, so it was too easy for them to get off schedule and refuse dinner.

    Also the idea of allowing them to eat as much or as little as they wanted, and making “treats” part of the overall picture rather than a reward…still working on that!!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Oh yes, totally fine to serve blueberries and strawberries. My kids just happen to like every single fruit they’ve ever tried (nothing I’ve done, just their natural preference) and even so I sometimes set out two fruits. Sometimes it’s because I don’t have enough of one, other times just for MY preference or for variety. Similarly I might have a cooked vegetable and salad or sliced cucumbers and carrots.

    There will be days when you may feel nervous about their small intake but you hang in there and see a huge intake several days later.

    The first few times I served dessert with a meal it was a little nerve-wracking. As were the times I served a dish of candy and side of milk at snack time. I felt a bit loony. But they always amazed me in their stopping before they emptied the dish of candy or plate of cookies. I don’t do that very often but every great now and then. Now that I think about it might be time to serve some unlimited treats again in the near future.

  • Response

    Most helpful

    Mary Lynne - 4 weeks ago
    I just want to comment that for me the most helpful yesterday was the division of responsibility in feeding document. Thank you! This will definitely be printed and kept on the fridge!

    Mary Lynne

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    I definitely find it to be a breath of fresh air! I wish there was a DOR for tooth brushing ;-)

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    And for putting kids to bed :). I am so glad you found it helpful, Mary!

  • Response

    Scheduling meals

    RachL - 4 weeks ago
    I thought that I did a pretty good job of this already, but I have realized two things: 1) She ‘grazes’ a lot throughout the day (mainly nursing) and 2) I typically offer ‘snack’ food at snack times. I think I am on the right track though, so that is promising! I like thinking of every time I feed her as a ‘meal opportunity’ and not just full meals or snacks.

    The nursing thing will be a little more difficult, as I suspect it is more about comfort due to our living situation right now- our new house is under construction and my daughter and I have been living between my parents’ houses while only seeing my husband on the weekends!

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    You totally got it!

    As for nursing, if it’s meeting a need, don’t feel rushed to make drastic changes NOW. It’s tricky to take away a major comfort without a suitable replacement in the middle of a stressful time. But now you’ll know why her appetite might be affected and you can relax about it. I don’t remember your daughter’s age, but she won’t nurse forever so at least you have the tools for when that transition comes. You know your child and will make the right choice there :-)

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    We will be talking more about mini meals that can be served for snacks next week but basically it is about a small meal with at least 2 food groups that do not have to be “kid foods”. A sandwich or a cup of soup make a great snack! Looks like you are on the right track :)

  • Response

    Putting our meals on a schedule

    Sara W. - 4 weeks ago
    I’m posting from my phone so this will be brief, but I realized I was constantly feeding Ash because I was only feeding him one food at a time. No wonder he was constantly asking for more! I concentrated on fuller meals of 2-3 foods and mostly managed to make him wait two hours in between. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked much better.

    Natalia - 4 weeks ago
    This is a great observation, Sara! In our balanced meals session that is coming out next week we will talk about this.

    Adina - 4 weeks ago
    I like this!

    Maria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I’ve done this as well and it has been life changing. Sounds dramatic, but true! Snack is now cheese, fruit & crackers etc. A mini meal instead of a “snack food.”

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Maria, you are a snack expert! This is exactly what we recommend. Mixing starches with protein and/or fat helps increase the satiety factor. And it feels more satisfying, than just an apple or a bag of crackers.

  • Response

    Not letting child say ‘how much’

    RachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I mostly identify with the Norma/Isabella video. My biggest fear is that Evangeline does not eat enough, and so I would encourage her to eat more by ‘selling’ the food and repeatedly asking her to take a bite of this or that. I realize now that this adds pressure to meals! It has been difficult to trust that she will eat as much as she needs, but making sure that she has adequate (and scheduled!) eating opportunities during the day has helped with that.

    I would never make her eat a bite of something that she clearly did not want! I have never liked raw tomatoes, and I remember one time my day care lady made me eat them. I threw up and she got mad at me and made me clean it! I do try them every once in a while to make sure my tastes haven’t changed (there are several foods I didn’t like as a child that I now love!) but so far, I still do not like them. I still offer them to Evangeline though!

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    RachL, you got it! “Selling food” adds pressure to meals. I sometimes ask parents to imagine they have a colleague or boss sitting in from of them. Would they insist on another bite the same way? And you are right, meal structure gives peace of mind to parents. I am sorry you had such an awful experience with raw tomatoes as a child. Good for you to still want to try them - I would completely understand if you wanted to stay away from them for the rest of your life! And you still giving them to Evangeline shows that you are an amazing parent. :)

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    RachL have you tried different types of tomoatoes (i.e. grape or cherry tomatoes too?) You might not like any of them, which is okay, I was just curious. One of my nutrition professors did not like tomatoes until she went on a trip to Europe and ate some right out of the garden—she then grew to love them.

    RachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Adina, I have tried cherry tomatoes, but unfortunately I did not care for them! Though, I do like the pico de gallo my dad makes with tomatoes fresh from his garden, so you may be on to something! I will keep trying them though, especially as it seems that Evangeline really likes them!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Good for you for being willing without feeling like you MUST like them :-) I really dislike mushrooms, but if they aren’t huge I’ll eat a few if they aren’t huge and are part of a dish.

  • Response

    Green Beans Video

    Ammick - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    I think I identify the most with the grandma and the green bean videos. I want to believe the underlying division of responsibility philosophies, but deep down I don’t think I’m really convinced Simon will eventually try new things. I can’t remember exactly what the narrator said, but something like, in time, once he feels less pressure, he will begin eating the green beans. I want to believe that, but it wouldn’t work for me, so why would it work for Simon? For example, no matter what, and no matter how many times I’m served it, I will never help myself to a beet. I am never going to eat a beet again. :-)

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    We all have different personalities and food preferences. Typically more anxious kids are more suspicious of new foods and it takes longer for them to learn to like them. In other cases, children are the so called “resistant eaters” when feeding problems expand beyond typical picky eating definition. We discussed symptoms in session 1. Division of responsibility helps kids reach their eating potential regardless of how adventurous or cautious they are. It gives parents tools to affect things they can and avoid making things worse where their influence is limited. And while chances are the boy in the video may never be able to include green beans in his eating repertoir, he will definitely discover a variety of foods he is able to enjoy. Would love to hear more of your story with beets! Did you try them as a child?

    Adina - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    I’m curious about your story with beets too, if you don’t mind sharing it. It seems most people I have heard mention them either love or hate them. One of my friends mentioned once that beets were not allowed to enter her house…lol. So the fact that you don’t enjoy them, is well, just part of life and our different preferences.

    I don’t think we can know, with certainty, what Simon will try over time. Chances are his food choices will expand with time. He’s only 18 months and an ‘eater-in-training’ — some people take longer to learn certain things and he may take longer than average to learn to like certain foods. But let’s say he never likes green beans, specifically, is that so terrible? There are so many vegetables out there to learn to like. And at this age, most children with their tiny tummies need calories most and are understandably drawn to good tasting calories.

    My husband, who is not in any way a picky eater, does not particularly like fresh cooked green beans. He finds them to be “squeaky” when chewed and would much rather eat them from a can then when I cook them from fresh.

    Also what is the alternative to DOR? Pressure. And pressure, in general, makes eating worse and creates bad associations with the food one is pressured to eat. Creating a pressure-free, pleasant mealtime together sharing the same food is much more conducive to creating healthy eating habits. Before a child who is naturally wary of new foods is going to feel comfortable branching out he has to have a foundation where he feels comfortable branching out: He needs to feel good about eating, enjoy the foods he does like and enjoy the times he gets to eat. He needs to feel like he can safely pick and choose from what is available and respond to his appetite appropriately. Consider that Simon has just started toddlerhood. He has another year and a half till he’s done with toddlerhood and then another couple years till he completes the pickier period of his life. If during this time he develops a positive attitude toward coming to the table, toward eating, toward meal times and isn’t one bit anxious about what he might be made to eat, it will be far easier for him to start to get curious about new foods. But this requires a long term outlook. DOR is about that long term outlook. I know one dietitian’s child didn’t touch veggies for the first 10 years of his life. She didn’t push him and he came out on the other end just fine and able to eat many veggies with enjoyment.

    Ammick - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    An example: Fruit is one of Simon’s “familiar safe” items. So I have tried to introduce cantaloupe on a couple of occasions over the last week. I served an unfamiliar or familiar main dish depending, a familiar fruit (ie: blueberries; he likes them) along with cantaloupe, which is unfamiliar. By the way, this melon is perfect. It is a little soft and not hard like it can sometimes be and so sweet! It’s so good. Simon may or may not eat the new main dish, eats the familiar fruit item and won’t touch the cantaloupe. The unfamiliar items almost always end up on the floor. I think if he would just taste a bite of cantaloupe, he would love it. So once again, I know for me, sometimes a gentle suggestion DOES work for me. It opens up a possibility for something I hadn’t considered or wouldn’t have tried otherwise and sometimes it’s successful; sometimes it’s not. I am not trying to challenge or be difficult, I’m just having a hard time being convinced and I really want this to work. I mean, as the adult who has been around a little longer than the little one, isn’t it our job to suggest things that at first may not be desirable because they simply aren’t equipped to decide on their own?

    So in many cases, I’m not even trying to introduce a food that some would consider distasteful (ie: a green vegetable). For example, I made chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday and they went on the floor. Which was so frustrating (and not good for our dog; I couldn’t get it all up fast enough). I’m thinking to myself…you don’t want chocolate chip pancakes, you are no son of mine!!

    I would also like a recommendation on how to respond to the tipping of the plate onto the floor. It’s often not the case that he’s finished because he often asks for “more” (meaning the familiar fruit he likes). Even if he is actually trying to tell me he is finished (which sometimes I think he is), it’s still not acceptable behavior. It usually surprises me, so I often gasp, then try to pick up the food really fast so our dog won’t get it, and say “we don’t throw food on the floor” or “just leave it on the plate if you don’t want it.” Help!

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I would like to address the plate issue first. It is pretty frustrating and messy of course. Looks like you react to it appropriately, i.e. not making a huge deal out of this. I think that little kids may not even need plates so you may try serving food on the tray or on the table. And if he keeps throwing food, I would remove him from the table saying something like “If you throw food, you are all done”. If he is not signaling the end of the meal by doing this he may stop doing it in order to avoid being removed from the chair.

    I completely understand your frustration when kids do not even want to try a new food. Especially if it is really yummy. I think that a gentle reminder like “ We have some juicy melon for lunch today, would you like a bite?” is totally appropriate. But ultimately I would be guided by a child’s reaction to the presence of new food and reminders to try it. Does he seem anxious or behaves/replies in a defiant way? Or does he say “No thank you” in a matter-of-fact way and continues eating? This could help to see whether the DOR has had time to work its magic at mealtimes by making your child a competent eater, someone who enjoys being at a table and is ready to try new foods on his own accord.

    Of course, as adults, we are know more about every aspect of living including eating and there is a lot our kids can learn from us. They learn the best by seeing us doing things like eating a balanced diet, trying new foods and behaving in a certain way at mealtimes. And although kids are not equipped to decide many things about their everyday life, what they want to put in their mouth is something they have more control of than, let’s say, what preschool they get to go to. That’s why food can become a source of power struggles and everyone loses in this situation.

    One of my kids (the picky one) does not like the typical kids’ favorites like smoothies, cakes, pancakes, juice or crepes. She would rather have a toast with olive oil and salt or sushi rolls with avocado. She does not like a lot of fruit but likes kale chips and broccoli rabe so introducing foods outside what is considered “kids-friendly” may be something to consider?

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    So there’s the throwing and there’s the rejection. Is one more important/frustrating than the other?

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Ammick, I found this old thread from the Ellyn Satter (DOR originator) Institute’s Facebook page. It’s about food throwing and perhaps something in there from others who have been there will be helpful to you: https://www.facebook.com/ellynsatterassociates/posts/687733681262670

    Ammick - 3 weeks ago
    Thank you again for the suggestions and resources. The tipping of the plate definitely feels like a giant “f you!”. Especially the manner in which Simon does it. Intellectually I understand there are toddler reasons he’s doing that, but it’s exasperating for the more practical reasons that 1) it’s a huge mess; 2) it wastes food, which really bothers me; 3) he didn’t eat something I spent precious time preparing.

    Beets have a bad association. Growing up, we ate dinner at my grandmother’s house. She frequently prepared canned veggies; including waterlogged asparagus. I didn’t have fresh asparagus until I was in my 20s! I mean it’s like they aren’t even the same vegetable. Another of her favorites was canned beets. I remember that purple juice rolling all over the plate and contaminating the other food on my plate and turning them that nasty purple. I’ve tried them as an adult in fancy ways: roasted, etc. But no matter what they still have that familiar musty smell and taste. Gross!

    Adina - 3 weeks ago
    It really can feel like an “f you!” when you’ve worked hard to put a meal on the table. But any naughty seeming looks he’s giving you is probably just him being curious and intrigued at what kind of response he can elicit. Maybe some other feelings that are not at all personal to you. My daughter was really bad with the throwing. I think we tried lots of things at the time (2.5 years ago! seems like much longer) but we were not consistent. Lots of reminders, occasionally firmer “NOs” or scolding. But because she was such a thin child and I worried about her intake (before I had fully understood DOR) I couldn’t bare removing her from the table. But I should have. It seemed like forever that she threw food. AND…we have CARPET under our dining room table—yikes. Luckily we have dogs too that are at the ready for clean up ;-) This stage WILL pass. I can’t think of any additional suggestions to add to the ones in the link above. Lots of good ideas there.

  • Response

    Sell that food baby

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I love how in the compliant eater video, the mom says the cheese will make the boy strong. We do that a lot with my son, especially because he’s into super heroes. I have also felt like the desperate mom with the green beans. Sometimes I just want to have my children eat vegetables to have a more balanced diet.

    I also used to let my son eat on the kitchen floor because that is where he was comfortable. I’ve let my children eat plenty of snacks in front of the TV, (my poor carpet).

    In like that there’s a video with a grandmother in it. My in laws are close by and my kids are at there house for lunch a couple times a week. I know they sell food big time, when I’ve been there, and they let them eat whenever they want. Looking back, the crazy thing about them selling food to my children is that they only serve things they know my kids like. Its all a concern of quantity.I really hope they will be accepting of the DOR concept.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I’ve had picnics on the kitchen floor with the kids. You can follow DOR and lay a blanket on the ground in the yard. The main thing is that there is structure to eating.

    Regarding the concept of DOR and grandparents, we will definitely need to have a discussion in the next week about responding to family and friends. It can sometimes be a tricky area to navigate.

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    I also want to add that kids at this age do not “buy” nutritional talk. In fact, it may make them want eat vegetables even less! Here an article with recent research results. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/about/newsroom/press-releases/2014/2014-05-08

  • Response

    Don’t Switch Jobs

    Maria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    This course (beginning with the webinar) has been life changing for me, dramatic as that sounds. My job as a parent is to put the (right) food on the table and eat with my children. That’s it! :-) The videos really illustrate some of the silly things I’ve said in the past, also thinking about the fact that while children are NOT tiny adults, they ARE people. How strange to treat children this way about food, right??

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    You nailed it! I often tell my clients to imagine they are sharing a meal with their colleague or boss. Would they make the same comments to them regarding their eating? Kids deserve the same level of respect when it comes to eating, don’t they?

  • Response

    Bottom line

    Rebecca - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    I think the bottom line of most of those videos is RELAX! :) Don’t pressure your kids to eat anything. Don’t coax or comment or bribe or worry.

    Also - is the 4th video only meant to me 24 secs long? Seems like it gets cut off.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Definitely relax :-) Doing the opposite tends to create issues where none need exist.

    I’ll look into that video, thanks for letting me know.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    But Isabella’s grandma was “relaxed” in the sense of being mellow and not talking much. Yet she kept quietly and gently addressing food repeatedly. Before I knew about DOR, I would have never read that as not relaxed. I would have thought “oh what a nice grandma, helping and reminding the little girl in a gentle way. She is not pushy at all.”

  • Response

    She asked to try something

    Lindsey - 1 week, 6 days ago
    I just have to share that my daughter asked to try Natalia’s yummy white bean soup two nights ago. I cooked the beans with garlic and onion in a crock pot so there would be a mild, deconstructed option. My daughter didn’t want the soup, but she wanted plain beans. When she tried the plain beans, they were too bland, and she asked if she could try the soup!

    She is also asking me what’s for dinner every night instead of demanding rice krispies.

    My son loves DOR and has started eating more variety and more quantity. He just seems all around more happy about food.

    Adina - 1 week, 6 days ago
    Awwe…that’s so great to hear! You’re doing a fabulous job and your kids are responding amazingly well.

    Natalia - 1 week, 5 days ago
    Yay! So glad the soup was a hit! Beans are surprisingly popular with babies and toddlers - easy to chew and mild in flavor. Tons of good nutrition, too. I try serving bean- and lentil-based meals at least 3 times a week. Since my younger one was once prone to constipation, got to keep an eye on that fiber :)

  • Response

    She ate Beets!

    Adina - 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    I just wanted to share with others my 4.5 year old’s progress lately. She is my “picky” one and never once has she shown any appreciation for beets except the one time I made beet pancakes (where the beet flavor was well masked by enough raspberry sauce). Tonight’s dinner involved roasted beets & onions on top of sauteed beet greens, pesto linguini, and fried tofu. I set aside some plain linguini in case she and her little brother didn’t want pesto sauce on theirs.

    My daughter served herself PESTO pasta, tofu and asked for bread (which was also on the table). She ate some pasta, all the tofu and 2 slices of bread…and THEN scooped herself some of the beet mix. And she ate every single beet chunk!!! (leaving only the greens and onions). This was all quite remarkable to me. And she has been slowly doing little things like this that show growing adventurousness with food over the last few weeks. It’s really neat to see. I did nothing more than MAYBE acknowledge what was on the table so the kids knew what it was. No suggestions, reminders or hints to try anything. Luckily, for her, I didn’t add quite enough pesto to the pasta so it was kind of bland. I actually lhad to go get more from the freezer so mine and my husband’s had more flavor. But she CHOSE to get the pesto pasta over the plain. Really big deal for her in my eyes. I could hardly wait to talk to my husband about it (he didn’t make it to the table until after she’d excused herself).

    I credit this to her coming out of that toddler age, no pressure, and continued exposure to the foods we enjoy.

  • Response

    Power struggle

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    My poor daughter has been catered to for far too long. The girl has been on a rice krispies food jag that last few days and has had a hard time being denied them. Two days ago, the afternoon snack was only 90 minutes from dinner, so they didn’t eat great at dinner. I decided that they could have cold cereal for the after dinner snack. Rachel loves cold cereal for breakfast, and it’s what my twins eat for breakfast every day. I think this is mainly because they want breakfast as soon as I get up. (They are early birds and play in their room until their alarm clocks light up.) I let them pick whatever cereal they want, and I generally have healthy cereals. The only sugar cereals we have are Life and Honey Nut Cheerios. Today, I made oatmeal for me and my husband, but the twins were nearly done eating their cereal before we even started. The twins both like oatmeal, and a few other breakfast foods, but they are too impatient to wait for it. Many times we are rushed in the morning as well to get out the door and I don’t have the time to make a hot breakfast. I feel as we establish DOR it’s not a bad thing to let Rachel have her beloved cold cereal every morning for breakfast. Any feedback on that?

    I love the idea of having fun with food. Painting with food, or dissecting it to see what’s inside would appeal to my kids. They already like to “help” in the kitchen, so this is a great way to expose them to new foods.

    I experimented with snack yesterday and gave finely shredded carrots, shredded apples, and strawberry yogurt. Rachel used to love yogurt, but has become quite averse to it in the last year or so. Her biggest issue is that it’s stinky, but I generally only have greek yogurt in the house. I bought regular yogurt and she dished some up for herself, but didn’t end up eating it. Neither one of them would touch the carrot or apple shreds. I think if I continue to cut food into different shapes that they will continue to reject it. I’m really nervous about messing with a food that they love.

    Unfortunately, my husband took the twins to my in-laws for lunch and DOR went out the window. As long as I’m in charge, DOR works great. My husband is getting on board with it, but he did not provide the lunch that I went to the trouble packing yesterday. There was a lot of food out, and true to form, my kids demanded what they wanted. If I had been there, I would have just told them that Fruit Loops (seriously?)weren’t for lunch and set the table with the lunch I had made. They could choose to eat or not, but I feel so liberated with DOR I refuse to go back to a short order cook. I also am observing that my in-laws pressure and sell food a ton. I have no idea how to deal with this. I’m sure that they did this with their five children, and I don’t know if they’ll change. I’d love for them to talk about the texture, color, and flavor or the food, but I need advice on how to broach the subject.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Those light up alarm clocks are the best! We have them too and travel with them to keep the kids contained till a decent hour in the morning.

    Cold cereal is okay, we eat it from time to time—particularly on those mornings I am rushed or just don’t feel like turning on a stove. I don’t prefer it because I don’t think I can eat enough of it for it to stick. I get tired of the flavor long before I’ve consumed enough and it tends to leave me feeling starved. We usually only have the same 2-3 cereals available and put them all out on the table. The kids and my hubby like to eat a mix of what is available anyway. If cereal is working well for you, then maybe ‘variety’ can come from the selections you buy. Perhaps trying new cereals or granola might work well for you. So that you can still teach the concept of “different can be good” within that comfortable genre of breakfast food. You can also vary the fruit sides and put a bowl of walnuts or almonds on the table. Sliced strawberries or sliced bananas are very tasty on non-sugary cereals. I have heard of some people using their crockpot for oatmeal—perhaps that might be an option once or twice a week?

    Great job trying a new snack experiment! Sometimes experiments will be hugely successful and sometimes they won’t be. Are carrots and apples foods they generally like or was this an attempt to make something they don’t like more appealing? It might work better when you can eat it with them. Remember that carrot-blueberry-pumpkin seed salad (experiment) I wrote about in the carrot article? I LOVED it and they only touched the blueberries in it. Also perhaps if they are in the kitchen with you when you shred the apples/carrots and make it into a slaw (i.e. combine the two together, drizzle with honey/sugar [just a little] and lemon juice) maybe they’d like it better. Make it for a sweet side sometime for dinner and try it yourself. But really it’s not like they have to like shredded apples. I always do ‘experiments’ as part of meals where we eat together otherwise ‘new’ foods don’t go over as well. SO let’s say that you normally serve carrots in strips for dinner, then you could cut them into coins another time. That’s what I mean. You don’t have to constantly change things, just keep the concept of change in mind so that you DO do things differently now and then. That particular snack may just have been a time they weren’t all that hungry. Rejection of a food doesn’t mean you shouldn’t serve it again. That’s why it helps for parents to experiment in ways that they are likely to eat the food too so whether or not the kids love it, it can be repeated for exposure’s sake.

    I’m glad you feel liberated by DOR. I feel the same way. In-laws, grandparents, aunts, friends…the list of people who think they need to “help” your kids eat is very long. We will write up a short bit about that and begin a discussion in the next few days. I like to sneak in phrases to combat ‘selling” like “…and I eat it because I like it.”

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Snack too close to dinner may spoil kids appetites. Maybe a 2 hour “gap” will be more appropriate for your kids? My kids are older (5 and 8) and I try to make sure there is nothing but water served to them at least 2.5 hours before dinner. Otherwise they are just not interested in eating. Playing with food outside of meals is a great way to provide exposure without pressure to eat. We do “taste-tests” when we try and rate different kinds of food. I do it not only for the kids, but also for my husband and myself, so we get to try new types of cheese or dark chocolate!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Natalia, do you tend to do taste-tests with your kids around a typical snack time? Would it make sense to serve some acceptable snack alongside if it is a normal snack time? I ask because I imagine if they like the item in the taste test, they could eat more of it but also have a normal snack in case they are hungry but dont like the taste test item?

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    I typically serve bread, crackers or cookies alongside whatever food we choose for taste tests and do it around mid afternoon snack.

    Lindsey - 3 weeks ago
    Carrots are not a regular snack for my kids. I shredded the apples to see if it would make the carrots more appealing to them. I like the idea of making a “salad” with the carrots and apples. We did a chocolate chip taste test yesterday and they had fun with it. My next taste test will be a “dip” taste test with hummus, peanut butter, and almond butter. I might even throw in nutella for fun.

    Adina - 3 weeks ago
    Fun! Let us know how it goes :-)

    Adina - 3 weeks ago
    Oh and I Like that you started with a very easy to love taste test…to win them over to the concept.

    Lindsey - 3 weeks ago
    I feel like it’s all about gaining their trust at this point. Especially with my daughter.

    Adina - 3 weeks ago
    Yes!

    Natalia - 3 weeks ago
    Exactly Lindsey! Variety does not mean only more fruit and vegetables. Teaching children to appreciate the idea of variety within any food group is an important step to balanced eating.

  • Response

    Don’t Get Bogged Down with Rules!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    It sounds like trying to juggle variety and balance and the DOR is getting stressful for some. So I want to implore you to drop some of the balls you are juggling. DOR is really the only thing we consider a ‘rule’ to follow. The rest is icing and here to help you see the many possible ways to improve your child’s diet. Getting too caught up in achieving some kind of perfect variety is putting the cart before the horse and may add stress where none is needed.

    The purpose of the Variety session of our class is to help you get out of ruts. We have found that parents often prefer to compromise variety for the sake of getting food (calories,) into their kids. By doing this they end up serving only the foods their kids are eating so that they get the calories they need. At the same time, parents are concerned that their kids are eating a limited diet and wonder when they will start eating more variety. So for those stuck in this cycle, doing some work to increase variety is helpful. There are benefits to serving a variety of delicious food for meals and snack after mealtimes have been established. We can’t expect our children to eat a varied diet without serving one. But the variety doesn’t have to be limitless and akin to new foods 7-days a week, 4 weeks a month.

    Here’s a real life example of how sometimes variety can take a back seat. I’ve been needing to go grocery shopping since Sunday. I’m out of fresh fruit and fresh veggies except for carrots and celery and I’m not a big fan of plain celery as a side. NOTHING shopping related got accomplished on Sunday for many logistical reasons (uncooperative kids were one reason). Well on Saturday night I had served carrot sticks to go with our picnic supper in the park. Sunday at lunch I served carrot sticks again. Last night we had burrito take out with NOTHING on the side. And today for lunch I made a carrot-raisin slaw to go with a pre-packaged potato soup. CARROTS AGAIN. I had planned to go shopping this morning after the trip to the park, but nope. And then I had a patient at work scheduled later than usual. So…I sent hubby out for take out pizza while I steamed frozen broccoli at home. Big deal? No. Just real life. We still ate our meals together and enjoyed what we had.

    And since we’re talking about carrots, remember how in my carrot article I said something about serving a food 10 x the number of ways it can be served? Well that can be taken two ways.

    1) OMG what a tall order! I don’t know if I can be constantly creative that way, that sounds exhausting!

    2) Oh, I see! So I shouldn’t consider it set in stone that my child doesn’t like carrots. He simply hasn’t had that much exposure to them. I guess I won’t consider him a carrot-hater until he’s really seen them and tried them in lots of ways. That means that I should occasionally re-introduce them in new ways, but I won’t sweat over it.

    It’s the second option that I had intended.

  • Response

    Leftover dilemma

    RachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I try to provide a variety of food, but I find that balancing not wasting food and providing a variety of foods is sometimes difficult. Right now, most of our meals are just the two of us. It is challenging for me to prepare a meal for just myself and her without having leftovers, which I would prefer to serve again before they go bad. I love to buy and serve fresh produce, but again, it will go bad unless I serve it with several meals between the two of us! I find that I try to serve them in different ways, but I am ultimately serving the food twice in a day or the same thing over three days. Sometimes she will eat all of the particular food and the next meal she will not touch it, so I know that she likes variety. I try not to serve the exact same things so that she can have other foods to choose from at a meal, but it can be difficult!

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    RachL, I have the same problem in our house - we need to reuse the leftovers over 2-3 days to prevent waste. And we like variety! What I have down so far what 1/freezing leftover grains like rice or quinoa. I transfer them into zipper lock bags and throw them in a freezer. 2/ Reusing leftover vegetables to make soups (my kids like pureed soups), add them to stir fry, frittatas, meat sauce, add them to salads etc. I always have a few bowls with leftovers in the fridge and just keep recycling them until they are gone! I just made a delicious sauce for leftover couscous with leftover roasted pork (chopped in small pieces), leftover steamed green beans, zucchini and tomatoes. Just added some herbs and a little soy sauce to make flavor more interesting. Yum!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    This is a challenge for anyone cooking and preparing food for only 1-2 people…and toddlers eat like 1/2 a person if that. Your variety may have to come in every other day. Or if you have leftovers save them for 2 meals from now rather than the very next meal.

    Would you be willing to share examples of some meals where you had tough-to-use leftovers or just didn’t like how much was left? What was served?

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    This is an example of a meal of leftovers we had: http://goo.gl/Ho7IaD — Sometimes I collect a few days’ leftovers and serve them all. Or supplement one particular leftover with a new meal and at least us adults will eat up the leftovers. Leftover veggies can be added to quesadillas too…or omelets.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I want to add a little more. When I cook dinner I almost always have leftovers for the next day. We usually eat those at lunch. It means the same food shows up again the next day. I don’t think that is necessarily a problem because we’ll eat something different for dinner that night and the next night and often there are new foods the following week we didn’t eat the week before. Salads aren’t always the same. Other things change. So in your quest for variety, just do what is realistic for you and if you feel like you’ve been eating the same things over and over, you will likely want a change anyway. It’s a tough line to walk today. Variety is important because different foods have different nutrients and it helps kids learn to like different things. But at the same time, you don’t have to win a Pinterest award and you can repeat your family’s favorites and create your own little food culture based on what your family likes and your drive to try new recipes.

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I guess we wanted to talk about variety in this class because we often see parents who would rather feed their kids only the foods they accept over and over again. We did not mean it as a challenge to come up with new recipes all the time. As you could already see from what we teach in this class, it is about keeping things doable. That’s a partial reason we do not typically recommend sticking to a specific meal plan. It will not be sustainable for many families partially due to a big amount of waste and leftovers that are not accounted for in the meal plan.

    Ammick - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    This was a good question and something I struggle with, too. I stress out about it because one of the rules says to not serve the same foods twice in order to increase exposure and variety.

    RachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    It is good to hear that I may be over-thinking the variety dilemma! Natalia, those are some great ideas to use up leftovers. I can see myself incorporating them into our mealtimes! Adina, thank you for the picture example! I often do something similar, so it is good to see I am not completely off base!This past week we had some baked chicken with veggies for dinner. I used the chicken the next day for lunch, shredding it into some pasta salad. I need to come up with more ideas like that! I guess the hardest leftover for me to do something with is spaghetti and meat sauce (or meatballs!) It always seems like there is so much left over, even when I only prepare a small portion of noodles!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Ammick, that is not a rule! We said that we considered making it a rule, but realized it is far too rigid and unrealistic. Sometimes you just have to use food up. The closest thing to a rule we believe in is the DOR. And at birthday parties we give more freedom than that because food is always out and it’s an exception to the normal daily habit. So please please don’t stress out about variety. Variety is good, healthy, beneficial, but not if seeking it out is causing stress and worry. #1 thing: follow a division of responsibility and serve the foods you like. Chances are you’ll WANT variety yourself. Any time you serve food solely for the benefit of your child you risk they won’t eat it, so serve things YOU like so you’re not stuck with unusable foods. Please use the Variety section as food for thought and to help you get creative, but don’t stress over the ideas. They are meant to help you see possibilities not to feel trapped.

    RachL I can re-use spaghetti and sauce about twice, max. If after that it’s still lurking in the fridge I toss it because I just feel bored with it. Maybe a meatball sandwich?

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    I would freeze the meatballs and bake the pasta into a casserole with some veggies and cheese. Posted a recipe a few days ago: http://tribecanutrition.com/2014/06/pasta-broccoli-casserole/.

    Ammick - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. As I said in a previous post, I read the books Bringing Up Bebe and French Kids Eat Everything when i was pregnant and set a high bar for myself. The pressure of making a delicious healthy and interesting meal was something I struggled with even when it was just my husband and I. Now the pressure is more intense because I want to do the best for my son and feel I feel so disorganized. Usually I haven’t been to the store, so don’t have staples to work with, get home late from work, everyone is hangry, and I’m usually faced with a sink of dirty dishes from the night before. I guess I stress about meals because it is an area where I have begun to feel very inadequate.

    Natalia - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    Ammick, first of all, French parents get much more support in teaching their kids good eating habits than we do. As you remember from the books, the school and daycare meals over there are quite amazing and kids are taught cooking lessons, instead of being showered with candy and cupcakes 5 days a week.

    What the French prepare at home is very simple actually. I was in France last September and we had dinner in our friends’ house (a couple with two kids). And they served cantaloupe for appetizer, steak with mashed potatoes for entrée and store bought brownies for dessert. I do not think that it took more than 20 minutes to put the meal together. And since I always talk about food at dinner :), they shared that this level of simplicity in meal preparation is pretty common among their friends and family. Again, it is not about cooking an elaborate meal, but maintaining structure and sharing a meal as a family.

    In the tomorrow’s session we will share a few shortcuts to having a meal on a table in no time. I hope you will experiment with some of them.

    Lindsey - 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    Spaghetti sauce freezes great! I make a large batch of marinara and then freeze it in pint size jars, then I’m only defrosting as much as we will eat. Another way to repurpose the sauce is making homemade pizza or making calzones.

    RachL - 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    Lindsey, I actually just made some marinara to put over raviolis, and I portioned out what we needed and froze the rest! That had never occurred to me before, but I’m sure I will be doing it often now :)

  • Response

    Did you say, short order?

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    My children definitely had variety in their food records, but they rarely ate the same thing at the same meal. They eat lots of different fruit, gratefully, and they love crackers. My son loves cheese and yogurt, and the only dairy my daughter will touch is milk. My son loves peanut butter sandwiches and my daughter will only eat plain wheat bread. One dinner, my boy had mac n cheese and my girl had ramen. The next night they both ate pepperoni pizza.

    Since we started DOR, everyone is eating the family meal and we have lots of variety.

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Lindsey, looks like DOR brought some quick results! Glad to hear that :). Your kids seem to have different food preferences, how did you manage to “bridge” them within family meals?

    Lindsey - 3 weeks ago
    I’m just making sure that I have two items they both like at each meal. Often times it’s fruit and bread. That’s what happened tonight. We had mashed potatoes, creamed chicken with peas, dinner rolls, steamed broccoli, and watermelon. My daughter ate half a roll and some watermelon. My son ate two rolls and two bites of watermelon. He served himself broccoli, but didn’t eat it. They both refused the potatoes and creamed chicken.

    My daughter did beg for rice krispies for dinner and proceeded to have a huge meltdown. I told her that we weren’t eating rice krispies for dinner and then we basically ignored her and talked about our day. She calmed down in about 3 minutes and proceeded to eat more dinner roll and watermelon. She is definitely struggling with DOR and not being able to choose what she eats.

    I’m happy that they are getting exposed to many new foods, but I am struggling with lunch. Mainly because I would always cook them a kid friendly food, like ramen, mac n cheese, or even cold cereal, served with fruit and maybe string cheese or yogurt. I personally eat a spinach salad with raspberries or strawberries 3-4 times a week accompanied by roasted sweet potatoes. I have no desire to eat ramen or mac n cheese for lunch, so it’s hard for me to figure out “meals” for lunch.

    Natalia - 3 weeks ago
    Lindsey, it is very normal for kids to fill up on fruit and bread for dinner, when the other food is a little too challenging. In fact, they may not even need a lot of calories after a whole day of eating! The fact that your son served himself some broccoli is a great sign :). Maybe you can serve rice krispies for snack one day and let her have as much as she wants? I do not think she is struggling with DOR if she is able to pick and choose from what is offered. Of course, a few meltdowns are unavoidable as kids are adjusting.

    What about you serve everything family style for lunch and have just a bite of their food and offer them some of your salad? It will send them a message that there is no special food for them and they are expected to learn to like yours, too.

    Lindsey - 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    Today I served lunch family style. I made the twins mac n cheese, my spinach and strawberry salad, cottage cheese, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, and Healthy Choice fudge bars. I had a bite of mac n cheese and Johnny tried one bite of raw spinach. He spit it out, but he tried it. So, I think Natalia, your idea was genius.

    Natalia - 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    Yay! Glad you tried it :)

  • Response

    Question about “catering”

    Maria - 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    I have one child that doesn’t like soup. I made a soup with chicken, corn, potatoes and rice, and he ate heartily when I used a slotted spoon to drain the broth. Is that OK or should I have just told him he didn’t have to eat it and that he could eat just he bread?

    When I make chili, it is quite spicy and I will rinse part of it with a bit of water to remove some of the spice for the kids - rather than make 2 batches, one spicy & one not. Is that ok or is that catering?

    Adina - 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    It’s a fine line, but I consider what you did just fine. When serving oneself you can always take more/less broth anyway. Rinsing a batch of the chili is okay too.

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I think it is very close to the concept of “deconstructed” meals we discussed in the class. So I agree with Adina, it is ok. And spice is hard to handle for most little kids, so rinsing a part of chili so you could enjoy the meal together is a small price to pay for sharing the same meal.

    coachclaire - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I’ve seen people on cooking pages I am on say add your spice in after taking their bit out?

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    That could work beautifully, Coachclaire. My husband likes tons of black pepper on his food. My kids not so much. So he adds it to his plate. I do the same with red chili flakes.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Seasoning after a portion is set aside would be totally fine too. Probably depends on the timing of the seasoning.

    Maria - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    My chili is the kind that cooks all day long & tastes delicious. :-) Different seasonings and some sliced hot peppers etc. Not really something that you can season afterwards, though I’ve done that when possible!

  • Response

    Iron and protein

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    My kids rarely eat meat. My son will eat roasted chicken occasionally. I think I could serve him meatballs with his spaghetti, and he likes lasagna. My daughter really won’t touch meat. I would love to start offering meat more often. I have never offered fish and I do have concerns about it.

    My husband does not like fish. Never will. I love it, and I order it when we go out to dinner every chance I get. Maybe this will become a lunch option? I’m still very leery to offer fish to my daughter due to her smell sensitivity. I think I’ll start with tuna salad?

    I definitely could serve beans twice a week. We love haystacks, and it’s a built in deconstructed meal. My son loves burritos, but I haven’t offered one to my daughter in so long I have no idea what her reaction will be.

    I have been giving my twins DHA supplements for the last year. We use Nordic Naturals and they do great with them. Since they don’t eat fish should I continue these?

    My nutritional goal is to serve iron rich foods twice daily.

    I will do this by:

    1. Introducing iron rich cold cereals.

    2. Start offering meat with snacks, mostly natural, low sodium cold cuts.

    3. Serve beans more. Either as burritos(whole or deconstructed), soup, or as a main dish.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Sounds like a great plan! I’ll be curious what she thinks of fish the first time. She may not touch it, but that’s okay—a lot of things won’t get touched the very first time. Does your husband tolerate the smell or is it hard for him to be around it?

    I’m really amazed that my pickier (4 y.o.) one likes fish. It’s bizarre considering that it does have a horrible smell (sometimes) if you’re not the one eating it. I found a recipe for.. this sardine pate and it came out completely wrong (too runny) and I figured it would bomb, but both kids took to it. Yet neither of my kids like hummus. You just never know.

    Something worth trying is homemade baked taquitos. It took serving them on four occasions before my 4 yo tried one and she ended up liking it. If you’re interested I have a recipe for roasted veggie-black bean-corn taquitos and you could always tweak the precise ingredients. Goes great with a salad and fruit on the side.

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    I would love the taquitos recipe! Thank you.

    My husband can’t stand the smell or the taste. The only fish he’ll eat are Rubio’s fish tacos. Beer batter and all…

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Here you go: http://www.sugardishme.com/2013/10/31/roasted-veggie-taquitos/ — I don’t take the time to roast the veggies, I just lightly saute them and adjust a few other things to suit me. One warning: they are deathly hot for the first 5+ minutes out of the oven. So time it for when they can sit up to 10 min to cool. My poor hubby. He bit into a hot one and then joked about how cruel I was for also serving barbed wire (kale salad) to go with his burned tongue. He’s not a kale fan.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Google comes through once more! I ran across this article on helping kids like meat a while ago and thought it offered some useful tips: http://www.yourkidstable.com/2014/01/how-to-get-your-kid-to-eat-meat.html — at least I think it was this one. Maybe something in there would be helpful. From a quick perusal of this therapist’s site (very quick) I didn’t see anything that screamed “pressure” and some hints of a feeding philosophy congruent with DOR.

    Lindsey - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    www.yourkidstable.com is a great resource! Thank you.

  • Response

    What happened to my schedule?

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    I strictly breast fed my twins their first year, and I was rigid with their feeding schedule. I’m sure you can imagine how hard it was to just breast feed them for a year. I can’t imagine not having a schedule (it was every three hours, until we added solids). I’m so happy to have a schedule again!

    Sometimes I feel like pediatrician’s can go overboard. My neighbor has a child that only ate a handful of foods until age four. They had to see a growth specialist. She told me they would even spank their son because he wouldn’t eat. She also told me that the more she “let go”, the better her son would eat. I was so happy to share DOR with her. Do growth specialists not know about DOR? Her son is now six, and loves red pepper hummus. He is still quite selective, but he is growing. I’m sure he’s in the 1st percentile for weight, but 50% for height.

    Luckily for us, our pediatrician is a veteran, and she doesn’t get concerned about much. My kids have always been long and lean, and we’ll see where they are in August.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    Oh man, spanking for not eating. That makes me so sad to think about, but I totally get how some parents can feel helpless and resort to that in hopes of not seeing their child starve.

    Honestly, not all dietitians are familiar with DOR so I’m pretty sure there are plenty of pediatric specialists that have never heard of it or have heard the “eat this or starve” misinterpreted version. It’s not something I was taught in school, or if it was it wasn’t taught except in a cursory sort of way. But I know other nutrition professionals who spent quite a bit of time learning about DOR and feeding dynamics. So it probably depends on the particular school one attended and the faculty’s interest. That’s one of the main reasons I started my FB page a year ago—I just felt like I needed to spread the feeding “gospel” so to speak. It’s so helpful and such a huge stress relief to know it doesn’t have to be a battle, that kids really DO want to learn to eat and they will provided we let them.

    How did your neighbor respond to what you shared with her?

    Glad having a schedule again is working well for you.

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    I think she likes the concept, but it seems like a lot of work. She has four children, 8, 6, 3, and 4 months. She was very receptive though because meal time is chaos and her idea of the perfect meal is having all her kids strapped into their car seats eating snacks. I sent her links to both of your websites so she can reference them when she comes out of the post partum fog.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    Post partum fog…that felt like my life for at least the first 6 months with each child. Maybe as she sees it helping you reduce chaos/stress she’ll find ways to baby step into it.

  • Response

    5% babies

    Maria - 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    I myself am just under 5’ tall and around 100 lbs when not pregnant or breastfeeding. My kids have all hovered around the 5%. When my first was a baby, she was subjected to a battery of tests, despite having ZERO indication of having something wrong. I was pressured to put cereal in a bottle, stop breastfeeding etc. etc. Fortunately we found a GREAT pediatrician who looks at all 3 of my kids and says that it’s genetic, they are healthy & happy, meeting milestones, have a varied diet etc. It is hard to shake though when you have slender babies and see big chubby babies everywhere & get snide remarks from people.

    At the same time, I had a friend with a 100% breastfed baby crushing the charts for height & weight and SHE was getting the opposite, her milk was no good yada yada because baby was BIG! You can’t win. Just plug your ears and “lalala” and follow what we’re learning here!

    Adina - 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    Haha…amen to the “lalala” ;-)

    Adina - 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    I had a 2 year old patient a year or so ago who was growing perfectly at the 5th percentile. Mom was worried about her light and picky eating. The thing I worked hard to convey was how amazing the child’s body was regulating things. When you really think about it, that consistent 5th percentile (or any percentile) maintained for her whole 2 years with barely a blip is quite remarkable—that the body can maintain a steady growth like that…amazing!

  • Response

    #Getting on board

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    My in laws and nanny are pretty open to the idea of DOR. I don’t know what my nanny feeds my kids for lunch and snack, but she no longer feeds them dinner. I shifted our schedule so we can have our family meal at 6pm. We used to eat dinner as early as 4:30 before because my boy seemed to be quite hungry by then, and I “struck while the iron was hot.” When our nanny was a child her mom served dinner, and that’s all there was.

    My in laws have made comments that our kids seem to be eating better. My biggest concern with them is “selling” food and feeding on demand. My mother in law will follow my lead, but I can’t count on my father in law to pay attention enough to learn about DOR. We will invest some time to teach them.

    The best compliment for your course comes from my husband. Tonight he thanked me for all the changes I’ve implemented with feeding our children. Not only are they eating better, but mealtime is enjoyable. We used to dread dinner, but my son has not had a melt down at the table since he started serving himself ten days ago.

    I’m a control freak, so until DOR is solidly in place, we are doing all our eating at home. My babysitters are always left with instructions and a schedule, so I’m not concerned about that.

    I think the best strategy is to have people observe the difference in my children’s eating.

    We will be visiting family in August and I will keep all of your phrases in my back pocket in dealing with family.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Way to make us feel awesome. I’m thrilled that you’re getting such great results.

    There will be times when other people don’t do things the DOR way with your kids and it will bug you, but ultimately, the fact that it is a blip won’t hurt your kids when you maintain that DOR at home :-)

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Congratulations Lindsey! Pleasant mealtimes is definitely a worthy prize for all your efforts! I think you are doing right by eating at home until you feel absolutely comfortable with DOR. Since kids have more choice when they are eating out, DOR is not 100% applicable to these situations. You can still help them to choose a meal and split a dessert but you will definitely have less control over the “what to serve” aspect of the meal. However if restaurant outings are only occasional you may relax and be more flexible with their choices. If we happen to be on a vacation etc I tend to choose menu myself and we often share 2-3 entrees + 1-2 vegetable sides and/or appetizers among the 4 of us. I try to make sure that I pick at least one food they will eat, sometimes it is just mashed potatoes, a vegetable and/or bread with butter. Now that the kids can read they often want something from the kids menu so I may allow them to choose 1 thing to split plus they eat off our plates too.

  • Response

    #Random-- spacing of a supplement

    Sara W. - 3 weeks ago
    This is kind of random and doesn’t exactly pertain to what we’ve learned here, but thought you may have a suggestion nonetheless. Asher was prescribed fluoride drops because Portland water is unfluoridated and i have a family history of weak enamel. When my husband picked it up, the pharmacist told him not to give it to him within 2 hours before or after eating (i understand it’s because it binds with minerals in foods and therefore doesnt absorb into his body— Calcium and Magnesium maybe? Potassium? can’t remember specifically.) Anyway, there is no time during the day when Ash goes 4 hours without eating! That sounds crazy to me. Sometimes it happens when we’re out and about and having fun and get distracted, but never on purpose and certainly not on a normal day at home. Pretty sure he’d start gnawing my arm off around 3 hours and 15 minutes;) Ive thought about not feeding him 2 hours before bedtime, but he is still in the habit of one last cup of milk before he falls asleep, and besides he doesn’t go to bed at the same time each night so it’s impossible to plan perfectly. Originally I thought it was JUST calcium that was the issue, so i’d give him things on a short list of “safe foods” during the time when he couldn’t freely eat— applesauce, Baby Mum-Mums (crackers) and Cheerios, but I’ve since read that it’s not just calcium and now im super confused. Thoughts?

    Adina - 3 weeks ago
    Well, I’m stumped. If it were me I’d call the pharmacist and explain that at 13 months the only time your child (and most kids) goes 4 hours without food is overnight and ask him/her how strict the 2 hour rule needs to be.

    Natalia - 3 weeks ago
    Definitely too long for a 1 year old to wait between meals. I would also recommend discuss it with pharmacist again.

  • Response

    Smell sensitivity

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Should I be concerned about my daughter’s smell sensitivity?

    Natalia - 3 weeks ago
    Many kids are sensitive to smells in some degree. Some just cannot stand the offensive food on their plate, others need to leave the house or restaurant when it is prepared or served. It can be quite frustrating, especially this food happens to be one of the family member’s favorite! If she can tolerate being in the same room with the food, keep serving it within a family meal but try to keep the bowl with it not to close to her. I would not try to put any on her plate, it may only slower the process. By seeing and smelling the food at a respectful distance numerous times she will most likely learn to be be around it without any trouble and chances are she will even eat and enjoy it. I would give it some time and avoid pressure in all forms.

    Lindsey - 3 weeks ago
    Ok, she can “mostly” be in the same room with offensive smells, and it is getting better. I’ll just keep the pressure off her. Thank you!

  • Response

    Snacks

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Do you have a favorite “healthy” cracker? Also, any favorite brands of popcorn? I do have a special microwavable popcorn bowl that you put raw kernels in and add whatever you want. Maybe I’ll try that. My son loves kettle corn, and we get it at our farmer’s market about once a month, but I know it has too much sugar and too much salt.

    Natalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I use Carr’s whole grain crackers to make all kinds of open “sandwiches” for my kids. They are a little sweet but they work great with savory toppings too. But our favorite way to eat them now - a little cream cheese and fresh strawberries on top. (Yum!) We also make popcorn at home - we have a stove top pan for that. Before we got it, I used to make it in microwave and season with melted butter and salt. Oh, we also like Kashi 7 grain crackers with cheese.

    Here is a Consumer report article comparing some popular brands: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/05/cracker-taste-off-we-compared-30-kinds-of-crackers/index.htm

    Adina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I’ve always liked Rye Triscuits, but I think most of their crackers are 100% whole grain. They are pretty salty though. The occasional kettle corn is fine. Remember, include ‘forbidden’ food now and then too. If, once a month, you got some kettle corn to share for a snack, I don’t see a big problem with it. We have a microwavable bowl too and I like it a lot.

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Triscuits now has a “hint of salt” variety, only in original. I scoured the shelves at Target today, but they didn’t have Kashi crackers or Carr’s. I’m sure I can find them at my local grocery.

  • Response

    Thank you!

    Mary Lynne - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    Adina and Natalia,

    I just want to say thank you for equipping us to be better parents to our children. It’s interesting talking to my mom about what I’ve learned in this class. Her response was “I don’t remember ever having to think so hard about what and how you kids were fed” ….well it’s been over 20 years for her, so i think she just forgot the tough moments, but also I think that generationally we are now so different. The increase in heatlh awareness today is a blessing….but a “curse” in that it can become a little obsessive. I tried not to let it be so obsessive with my now toddler, but I just didn’t know HOW to still care about what was going in her mouth but not control and make a big deal out of it. That ‘s no way to live! I feel that you have given us tools to be able to be well balanced in our approach to feeding our little ones. Thank you.

    I also thought the mix of materials and videos and discussions was great! Your prompt replies to our questions were excellent. This course was perfect in that we could get out of it as much as we could afford time to put in. There was no pressure to get assignments done, yet great email reminders that the course was still alive and active! Thanks again! I hope you will continue to offer it so that I can recommend it to struggling parents in the future.

    Adina - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    Thank you! I’m really pleased that this class was helpful to you. When explaining the DOR it does sound like thinking “so hard about what and how…kids [are] fed.” But really it’s just about doing a good job of providing and not getting in the kid’s way. And yes, today, parents are generally very confused about what to do. So much more pressure to get XY and Z into their kids and keep EFG away from their kids, it can be overwhelming.

    We will offer this class again in the fall!

  • Response

    #Real Trial

    Maria - 3 weeks ago
    This weekend, my husband has our 9 and 5 year olds in South Carolina (we live in Maryland) to visit his parents. I stayed home with out 2 1/2 year old because he’s just not up for the 8-9+ hour drive or disruption. It’s been tough to stick with the routine for the 2 1/2 year old but pretty easy for hubby since MIL (YAY) has a similar parenting style.

    Tonight I fed my son a chicken sandwich with a side salad and toppings for the sandwich, along with a Friendly’s brand sundae cup we chose at the grocery store. He ate nearly all of his dinner and about 2T of his sundae. I call that a win! :-D

    He has done so well with sticking with meals & snacks since I have stuck with it too!

    Natalia - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    This sounds like a win-win, Maria! Did you share a meal with him, too? Mealtime structure truly is the foundation of productive feeding relationship. Thank you for reminding us of that!

    Maria - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    I did sit down with him, but I’d eaten while he napped. I took him to our local John Deere dealer (they were closed and he LOVES looking at them. Perfect opportunity!) and he fell asleep on the way home. I transferred him to the couch & let him sleep a bit but honestly, I was too hungry to wait! So I just sat at the table & drank my glass of water while he ate. Ideally I would have waited. :-)

    Delete
    N
    Natalia - 2 weeks, 6 days ago
    A perfect example of how flexibility is totally appropriate and exceptions to the rule do not undermine it. :) Life happens…

  • Response

    #Really helpful! and a question

    Sara W. - 3 weeks ago
    Hi all, I’m back catching up tonight. Had a busy work week (Husband and I work opposite shifts, so we both do a lot of “single parenting”) and had a hard time fitting in the active participation I had hoped and planned for myself.I found this really helpful, especially since these two seemed not much older than my 13 month old. I laughed at Maddie putting food in and pulling it back out of her mouth repeatedly. THIS IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW! It’s like he wants to chew it, see what it looks and feels like now, re-chew it, and repeat on and on. was surprised to see the open cup but am excited to try it. He does okay from water bottles. I was wondering, what if he drops everything or almost everything on the floor? Does this automatically mean his meal is over? My instinct says that a lot of time it’s just playing or experimenting and doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want it. Do you offer more? If so, how many times till “game over”?

    Sara W. - 3 weeks ago
    I did just see that Ammick asked a similar question in another thread. reading that discussion now.

    Adina - 3 weeks ago
    Let us know if that other discussion doesn’t solve it for you. The only thing I’d add to it is that at 13 months I’d probably be a lot more ‘lenient’ than at 18 months. You might just ignore it for now and give a lot smaller portions if possible. If you don’t do an open cup, be sure it is a straw based cup because the typical sippy requires a sucking motion that isn’t helpful in a child’s development of mouth movements. So say speech therapists.

    Natalia - 3 weeks ago
    Agree with Adina, sippy cups are not helpful for oral motor skills development. A little bit of water in an open cup would be a great practice at mealtimes.

  • Response

    #Distractions

    Lindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    I felt like there was a huge emphasis eliminating distractions. From the phone ringing, although being ignored, still being a distraction, to the mom wiping Maddie’s face multiple times really drove it home. We are still working on having the kids play quietly once they are done with eating. It is near impossible for them to not be distracted at an extended family meal, and that’s when I’m grateful for the last snack of the day. I just love establishing a calm, enjoyable family meal so early in our kids lives. Once they are older, I’m going to have an electronics bin to have everyone dump their devices in before we eat.

    Adina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    I’m STILL working on my 4 year old playing quietly after she’s done eating. She loves to talk and be with us but once she’s done eating she can not sit any longer…she can barely sit while she eats. Luckily my 2 year old son is not easily distracted from his eating. He takes a while to start, but once he does he is fairly committed to the task.

  • #Welcome

    Hello everyone!

    Welcome to the class “Feed Your Toddler with Confidence”. Please activate your account by clicking www.coursebeyond.com/activate. After that, you can use www.coursebeyond.com/login to get into the system.

    If you have questions, please email us at feedingbytes@gmail.com.

    We will see you in the classroom!

    Adina and Natalia

  • We cannot wait to meet you!

    Good day!

    Our first discussion question has been posted - “We cannot wait to meet you!”. Please log in to tell us a little about yourself, what your biggest struggle is when feeding your toddler and what you hope to take away from the class. We will also participate!

    Best,

    Natalia and Adina

  • 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors

    [unpublished?]

    Good morning! Our first session has been posted. We are going to discuss typical toddler eating behaviors and red flags that may indicate a presence of a bigger feeding issue. See you in the classroom!

    Natalia and Adina

  • How to get your child to eat, but not to much…

    Happy Tuesday! Our second session has been posted. This session is a lot more involved, but you will learn our feeding philosophy and how to respond to the typical toddler eating behaviors plus much more!

  • Your child’s move - your countermove

    Good morning,

    We hope you had time to look over the materials on Division of Responsibility we posted yesterday. And thank you everyone who posted on the discussion board their reflections on the assignments: 1/eat what you eat as a family, 2/analyze your food record for structure and 3/phrases that help and phrases that hinder. We see great observations made by some parents and we hope that this mini analysis will help you see where you are doing an excellent feeding job and how you can improve your feeding relationship with your child.

    Today we are posting a list of exact things you say and do when you child tests the limits you set at mealtimes with the help of the Division of Responsibility. You will find answers to questions like: “what if he asks me for food 15 minutes after a meal?” OR “ what to do if he does not eat at mealtime?”. The printout labelled “Your child’s move, your countermove” is posted in the Materials section of the class.

    We are looking forward to more discussion around the topics of session 2 “How to get your toddler to eat, but not too much”. Please feel free to share your successes, thoughts, fears, concerns and doubts. It does not take one day to adjust your feeding approach and we are here to help!

    Stay tuned for video case studies we will be posting tomorrow - it is going to be a very fun and useful exercise.

    Best,

    Natalia and Adina

  • Did she really say that?

    Happy Thursday!

    Today we’ve added some video case studies of families eating together. We hope you will identify where the DOR has gone awry in each example. Watch Adina’s intro video first. Then, after watching all 5 video case studies, join us in discussing what was most interesting to you in our Discussion section.

  • Ways to include more variety

    Welcome to session 3 where we discuss how to introduce more variety in your child’s diet. We hope you will find one to two ideas that will work for your family. As always, feel free to share with us what you found useful and what you are struggling with. We will see you in the discussion section!

    Natalia and Adina

  • Planning Balanced & Nutritious Meals

    So far we’ve covered our feeding philosophy and you’re becoming well acquainted with how to implement The Division of Responsibility as the foundation. Now it’s time to look at the nuts and bolts of planning balanced and nutritious meals! Session 4 starts today and we’ll address the basics of balanced meals as well as the basics of … dairy, fiber, fat, iron, sugar, snacks and supplements. You’ll also be able to see Before/After photos of some meals Adina’s kids have eaten and meal records from her kids’ eating.

  • Your Child’s Growth - A Good Indicator Whether Eating is Going OK

    Happy Tuesday everyone!

    We cannot believe we are in the second week of our class already! Thank you for everyone who contributes to our discussion by asking questions and sharing experience. For those who did not have an opportunity to do so yet, please feel free to join the conversation in the discussion section of the class or send us an email to feedingbytes@gmail.com.

    Our yesterday’s discussion topic is all about nutrients and supplements. If you have any question about the content of our yesterday’s class, we are looking forward to your posts!

    Today’s topic is growth and growth charts. We see many parents in our practices who are concerned about their child being too high or too low on growth charts and we thought it would be important to address these concerns. We also shared a few case studies to show how DOR can bring parents peace of mind and help stabilize a child’s growth.

    Enjoy the session and have a great day!

  • Unsolicited feeding advice - what is a parent to do?

    Today we will share with you some ways to deal with pressure from friends and family who may not know about the Division of Responsibility in feeding. We included some talking points as well as exact phrases you can say to them.

    In materials section you will find a fun “From the cook” manifesto that will look great in your kitchen and hopefully become a conversation starter with your family members, friends, nanny and your older kids.

    In the discussion section we are talking about dealing with the outside pressure and other people’s reaction to your feeding strategy.

    Since some of you could not see the case study videos on our tablets, we included a link below each of them that you can copy in your browser to see them. Please go to the “Video Case Studies” section on the left side menu to access them. Do not forget to ask questions and share your thoughts in the corresponding discussion section.

    Thank you - we are looking forward to seeing you on the Feeding Bytes discussion board!

    Natalia and Adina

  • Research section open!

    Sorry for multiple emails!

    I just wanted to add that we also opened our Research section (check the vertical menu on the left) where you can find some research articles on children’s appetite regulation, different food parenting styles including authoritative parenting (aka Division of Responsibility) and other relevant to the class topics.

    Feel free to share these with your friends, relatives or anyone else who is curious or skeptical.

    Have a great day!

    Natalia

  • Meal planning strategies & easy family meals

    Happy Thursday!

    Today is our last full session and the goal is to get you thinking about meal planning strategies and easy family meals. Please pop in to our discussion forum and ask your final burning questions too—we don’t want anyone to leave this class without getting answers and finding something simple they can do to improve meal times at home with your toddler (and whole family!).

  • DOR in action - toddlers eating a family meal

    Happy Saturday everyone,

    As our program is nearing the end, we are sharing with you a video demonstrating the Division of Responsibility in action. Many of you have achieved tremendous progress in feeding your little ones and are enjoying more pleasant mealtimes. Some are still working out the kinks and adjusting the mealtime strategies.

    We hope you all will enjoy this little example of what DOR looks like from outside and share your comments and questions with us in the Discussion section, as always.

    Best,

    Natalia and Adina

  • The last day of class

    We cannot believe today is the last day of our program Feed Your Toddler with Confidence.

    We would like to thank you all for taking this journey with us!

    Today we are sharing with you some last announcements, a list of resources published in the Materials section of the class and link to the final survey—we love feedback and to thank you for your feedback we’ll enter you in a drawing for an excellent book on feeding kids.

    Check “Last Day of Program:Wrap up” on the left side menu to get access to these materials.

    Have a wonderful day and stay in touch!

    Natalia and Adina

  • Toddlers Can’t Sit at The Table for Long.

    Dinner is ready!

    When we’ve worked hard to put together a delicious and balanced meal we’re pretty tired by the time the table gets set, food set out, and we can plop down in our seats. We don’t really want to get up again for at least 20 minutes. But the average 18 month old doesn’t feel the same. She might want to get up within 5 minutes and go play. You may have experienced this yourself. You may have bargained and reminded your child that dessert is coming, if she would just sit still. You may have tried to get a few more bites out of her to buy you time. Perhaps you’ve wrestled her back into her chair several times before giving up.

    The fact is toddlers have a very short attention span, are easily distracted, have a fairly small stomach and have a lot of energy to burn. These factors combined create a strong incentive for him to get moving soon after he’s started his meal. If he’s not particularly hungry, this behavior will seem amplified.

    If it’s a family meal you might be thinking “but this is family time, not just eating time, she needs to learn to sit quietly and participate in our conversation.” A very understandable desire. With time and maturity, your little one will grown in her ability to meet this expectation, but as a toddler, that ability is simply not there.

    Perhaps what you’re struggling with is not so much that he is quick to be ‘done’ eating and ready to leave 5 minutes into the meal, but that he wants to go back and forth between play and eating. Maybe he leaves only to return just as you’re finishing up and demand more food. Maybe he wants to take his food and run around the house to eat it.

    Maybe your toddler is going through a food tossing phase and constantly throwing food down off her high chair and it’s driving you bananas.

    All of the above is VERY normal and we’ll share with you several strategies for solving these frustrating dilemmas.

  • Toddlers Have Very Erratic Appetites

    Toddlers can be ravenous one meal and then seem to survive on air for the next two - or five! Meal skipping is the norm, rather than an exception. And this is normal. Normal. We can’t stress this enough. It’s particularly common for little ones to skip supper of all meals, but of course it varies from day to day. Eating barely a bite could happen at any meal or several meals in a row. Adina used to call her first child a breatharian…you know one who lives off of nothing but breathing air?

    • Your toddler’s fickle appetite is not something that you have to change. It will happen on its own, naturally. One reason for this unpredictable appetite is because after the age of 1, a child’s growth slows down considerably compared to what it was before. Toddlers simply don’t require as many calories per pound of body weight as they did before.

    • Another reason is because kids at this age are so busy, busy, busy. They’re still learning a lot and want so much to play and explore.

    • A third reason for their normal erratic appetite is that toddlers (just like infants) are still very much attuned to their hunger and satiety signals. We, adults, often eat regardless of hunger pangs and might even eat past that feeling of fullness just because the food is there. Toddlers are not this way. When they hit that moment of satisfaction or fullness they are immediately ready to move on to the next fun activity.

    • Finally, how we approach feeding sometimes can work for or against us. If meals involve a lot of conflict or parents are over-controlling, kids tend to respond by pushing back and resisting eating. We’ll address how to respond appropriately as the course continues.

    • Lest you think that only finicky eaters are normal, rest assured that if your child has a hearty appetite, it does not mean he’s abnormal. Some kids do have hearty appetites from the beginning and continue enjoying the task of eating even as toddlers. The key will be in doing a good job of feeding, rather than expecting a certain kind of eating as evidence of all being well. There’s always a reason(s) that a child eats a lot or hardly anything and it’s usually a good reason stemming from internal self-regulation. Unless there have been struggles over the matter. Then it might have to do with the feeding errors that those struggles sparked. If that is the case, have no fear because this class will help you iron it all out. If that’s not the case, then this class will help you to keep up the good work and not create struggles where none exist.

  • Toddler are Wary of New Foods

    Between the ages of 2 and 6 years of age, most kids go through a period of “food neophobia” — essentially this simply means a fear of new foods. A child who previously would scarf down a bowl of broccoli may very well turn up her nose at most anything green. This is very normal and demonstrates a new developmental milestone. Kids at this age might not want certain foods to touch, or might prefer individual foods rather than mixed dishes like casseroles. Presenting some 3-year-olds with goulash or ratatouille or lasagna could be comparable to presenting the average American adult with a plate of fried grasshoppers—completely unappetizing!

    Toddlers also have an innate predisposition to like sweet foods and dislike bitter foods. They also tend to look for predictable texture and flavor

    This is no doubt very frustrating to you if you are an adventurous eater and enjoy trying new dishes often. But take heart, your enjoyment of these foods will work in your favor. We’ll explain why this is so and teach you how to cope with this food neophobia to maximize your child’s learning as we go along.

  • Toddlers Have Fickle Food Preferences

    Your predictive powers about what your kids will eat will plummet drastically during the toddler years. The salad they loved on Wednesday, might not be touched the next several times you serve it. And then one day you’ll serve very beety pancakes to your daughter who isn’t a fan of beets and her enthusiastic eating will blow your mind. [https://www.therapyandlearningservices.com/-blog/guest-post-axe-the-agenda-a-lesson-in-expectations-for-your-picky-eaters]

    Expect any of the following:

    • Food jags — wanting the same food over and over and over and ….
    • Loving something one day and not touching it again for weeks.
    • Will try veggies while helping with food prep but show no interest in them at the table.
    • Foods can’t touch
    • Liking components but not mixed meals.

    Because of this common toddler finickiness, it is futile to plan menus around what you think your child will eat. Trying to do so will lead to a lot of frustration and disappointment. Most parents only offer a food a few times before giving up (prematurely) and crossing it off the family’s food repertoire. We’ll teach you how to help your child learn to like the foods you want to include.

  • Toddlers Have a Strong Desire for Increasing Autonomy

    Kids are born with a desire to learn and grow. Both physically, mentally, socially, emotionally…and with their eating. We all have a strong biological drive to survive and with this comes the desire to be fed and get enough to eat to meet our energy needs…and for kids, to GROW. But, when it comes to the developmental stage of toddlers, their growing desire for autonomy often trumps their biological need to eat. Typically not to the point of starvation (though kids with bigger feeding problems might risk it), but the need to make decisions about eating can over-power their hunger enough to drive a parents bonkers. This need for autonomy often manifests itself in picky eating, food refusal, power struggles at the table, or even skipping meals.

    There is quite a bit of research that demonstrates that the more parents push a child to eat (or to eat more) the more kids dig in their heels about eating and want to eat less.

    In this program you will learn how to make this normal desire for autonomy work for you (and them) at meals and snacks. You’ll learn simple ways to turn the family table from a battlefield into a harmonious place where everyone gets enough to eat and your kids grow in their eating skills. You will learn to take the right kind of leadership while giving appropriate autonomy.

  • Signs of a Bigger Problem

    If you suspect that your toddler’s eating habits and struggles go beyond the “5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors,” your child may be what we call “resistant” eater. Here are some signs to look for:

    • Limited food selection. Resistant eaters often accept only 10-15 foods or fewer.
    • Limited food groups. Refusing one or more food groups is fairly common among resistant eaters.
    • Anxiety and/or tantrums when presented with new foods. * Resistant eaters often gag or vomit when presented with new foods.
    • Histories of food allergies/sensitivities
    • The onset of feeding problems started shortly after birth
    • Resistant eaters are sometimes diagnosed with a developmental delay such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorders- Not Otherwise Specified. Some of them may also have a diagnosis of mental retardation.

    If your child exhibits one or more of these signs, working with a group of specialists to rule out any underlying disorder will be helpful. Many parents start by having a conversation with their pediatrician who may refer them to an allergist, GI specialist, speech therapist, or occupational therapist specializing in feeding.

    Here are some of the contributing factors compromising the child’s ability to accept food:

    • Inadequate oral-motor skills, when the child may not have enough jaw/tongue control to chew foods.
    • Sensory processing skills, such as sensitivities to smell, taste or texture that can influence food choices.
    • Gastrointestinal factors can be a problem, when children refuse to eat the food that they associate with stomach discomfort or pain.
    • Environmental controls. These may include parenting around food, such as allowing the child to graze throughout the day, so that he is not hungry for meals or tolerating inappropriate mealtime behavior.
    • Medical issues such as food allergies or swollen tonsils/adenoid.

    It is also recommended to see a dietitian to identify potential nutritional gaps in the diet and determine ways to boost your child’s nutritional status, often via supplements. A dietitian who understands “feeding dynamics” is ideal. We also recommend against feeding therapy that is control-based or puts a lot of pressure on a child.

    Once the underlying issue has been diagnosed/ruled out and you have a strategy for improving his or her nutrition, following the feeding model we discuss in this class will help your child reach his or her eating potential at a comfortable speed. Some parents find it particularly helpful to connect with families struggling with similar issues. One such resources we recommend is the website and Facebook page of Mealtime Hostage, founded by a mother of a child with feeding problems. [http://mealtimehostage.com/about/]

    Some questions to ask your health professional:

    • Are they trained to identify signs of underlying issues such as GI disorders, food allergies, sensory sensitivities, oral-motor delays and refer to specialists as needed?
    • Are they familiar with the Division of Responsibility by Ellyn Satter? Using this principle has been shown to minimize counterproductive feeding strategies such as forcing/pressuring food which can make feeding problem worse.
    • Are they familiar with the Food Chaining approach? It is an individualized, nonthreatening, home-based feeding program designed to expand food repertoire by emphasizing similar features between accepted and targeted food items. Limited research suggests Food Chaining may be an effective treatment for selective eating disorders.

    What can you do at home in the meantime:

    • Sit down with the child and have a shared meal.
    • Let the child select a seat where they feel comfortable and will be least likely to gag, choke or vomit smelling or being too close to offending foods.
    • Have the child watch you eat a variety of foods.
    • Reassure the child that you are not going to make them eat and try to create a normal, mealtime atmosphere.
    • Focus on light, pleasant conversation and not on what is being eaten.
    • Refrain from making special foods for your child at these family meals.
    • Ensure that the child arrives at each meal hungry. Keep snacks to no less than two hours before a meal and have them at planned times.
    • Consider supplemental nutrition as the child continues to work through his or her underlying food anxieties. This will allow normal growth to be maintained without the daily battles and fights. If the child is able to drink, a high calorie, high protein formula with added vitamins and minerals can be offered.
  • Feeding Past & Present

    100+ years ago there wasn’t much choice with regard to food. Each culture tended to have their small selection of foods and nobody worried much about lack of variety. The concern for all but the wealthiest people was getting enough to survive. The recipe finding/swapping power of the internet was nonexistent and you made do with what was available. Your great-grandmothers surely did not think about being “green” with her food choices, she didn’t worry about genetically engineered food, whether her kids were overdoing their sugar intake for the day, or if gluten was something to avoid or not.

    We’ve come a long way, in both good and bad ways. While we have not eradicated food insecurity in the United States, for the most part most people have constant access to food. Instead of cooking and food prep taking most of our day, we can drive to get take-out, use a microwave, and buy pre-chopped, pre-grated anything — without having to grow it ourselves. Our great grandparents didn’t worry about how much sweets their kids ate because sweets weren’t available at every corner, at school, at church, and at every bank drive-through. Vegetables just were (or were not) part of meals and most of it was grown at home.

    [image: Vegetables]

    We live in a very different food culture today than that of our parents’ and grandparents’ decades ago. Feeding & eating habits that may have seemed fine and “harmless” in times when getting enough food was difficult, just aren’t a good match for today. So the feeding strategy we choose needs to take into account the world we live in and the constant availability of every kind of food imaginable. Barring a major disaster or drastic change in life circumstances, our kids are unlikely to ever experience chronic hunger.

    [image: donuts]

    So how do you choose a feeding strategy in today’s food environment of abundance? We suggest that an effective feeding strategy meets the following criteria:

    1) Takes into account a child’s biological drive to eat.
    2) Takes into account a child’s drive to learn.
    3) Maintains/re-establishes natural self-regulatory skills.
    4) Maintains/creates a positive relationship with food and eating in the face societal messages that support the opposite.
    5) Does no harm.

    In thinking about the ways we grew up and our nutrition counseling experience it seems most parents try to “correct” the food problems they grew up with. Those of who had food pushed on them as kids, may try to back off. But even parents who are sensitive to being overtly pushy might use bribery because they want to see their kid eating what they think is good…and they don’t know another way to get the job done. Those who grew up with scarcity want their kids to experience the joy of abundance—thus they fear putting limits on their child’s eating. Perhaps limits feel too much like a reminder of times when there wasn’t enough.

    Being laissez-faire about food and letting children eat without limits or structure may feel refreshing to someone who grew up being forced to eat or who spent their life in scarcity, but our children are not living in that world. And there are options that don’t involve force, bribery, or permissiveness.

    The strategy you’ll be learning in this class comes down to an issue of Trust:
    A) Trusting your child will get the right amount to eat while you provide structure.
    B) Being trustworthy about food by providing structure, a pleasant eating atmosphere, and safe foods.

    Can it be that simple? Mostly, YES! But of course implementing something new is rarely easy. So we will walk you through it!

  • Summary & Homework

    Regardless of which normal toddler behavior you are struggling with most, following a Division of Responsibility in Feeding will make mealtimes more pleasant for both of you. Stick to your feeding job so your child can do his eating job. Don’t trade jobs.

    The pleasant and relaxed family meal is foundational. When you’ve achieved that, you’ve achieved a lot and can begin to build long term healthy eating habits.

    Your Homework is:

    1. Watch/listen to your mealtime video/audio and write down the phrases that were helping your child and those that were hindering his eating. The template and the sample list of phrases can be downloaded from the Materials section on the left side of the page.

    2. Use the food record you kept prior to the beginning of the class and analyze it for mealtime structure using the template that can be downloaded from the Materials section on the left side of the page.

  • Avoid the Kid Food Trap

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with “kid food” — serving it from time to time won’t harm your child and is nothing to feel guilty about. The problem comes when you become dependent on it and your kids start to refuse other foods. Most “kid food” is highly palatable: extra crispy, extra sweet, extra salty or some combo of awesomeness that is tough to replicate with grown-up food, fruits, vegetables and things you might cook at home. For example, fruit chews taste nothing like real fruit and have nothing texturally in common with fruit. Same with baby “puffs” and other special foods marketed for toddlers.

    Now, we don’t want anyone to think “oh no I can’t give my kids goldfish anymore!” or “puffs are bad!” Because it’s really not about that. It is about keeping your food offerings well rounded. Many parents fall into the “kid food trap” because they desperately want something their child will actually eat when the normal phase of food rejection and picky eating begins. That fear that your child isn’t eating enough is the issue, not what they are actually eating. So you might start serving chicken nuggets for your kids’ sake every time the rest of the family eats baked chicken. Maybe you served them initially because they were fast and easy. Nothing wrong with that. But then the preference stuck and it was easier than the worry that accompanied dinner when they didn’t eat much.

    Preventing the Kid Food Rut

    • Progress through textures as soon as baby is ready. Don’t get stuck in purees. When your child is ready for thicker or lumpier food, share grown up food by mashing, chopping and dicing it for baby.
    • Don’t take the spitting out of food the wrong way. It is part of the many ways babies learn about food. They may taste it and take it out. They might spit it out and then pick it up again and try again. The path to accepting different flavors and textures is messy :-)
    • Combine flavors. Let’s say baby Zoe loves sweet potato puree but isn’t a fan of pureed peas. You could mix a dab of peas together with her yams to give the beloved yams the slightest hint of peas. Over time you can add a little more. If you cook & puree your own veggies, you can add herbs and seasonings similarly to the way you’d season your grown up food. Skip salt and pepper, but even something like a mild curry could work.
    • Don’t sweat “rejection” or take it personally. Remind yourself that kids have to experience a food many, many times in order to learn to accept and eventually, possibly, like it. Many babies make “eeew, yuck” faces upon trying a new food, but are eager to try another bite anyway. Does he lean forward for more if he sees the spoon in front of him? Follow his lead, not just his funny faces.

    A 12 month old that shows no interest in chicken, might start to enjoy it 5 servings from now if you don’t quit offering it. Take every “rejection” as incentive to plan to serve those foods again!

    • Combine foods. Oatmeal doesn’t have to be served plain once your child can handle varied textures. You can add all sorts of goodies to it: cut up fruit, yogurt, milk, ground nuts (assuming no history of allergies). A sweet spinach salad with sliced strawberries or apple might encourage experimentation. Your child might pick out each strawberry slice and eat only that, but it is exposure. Grating carrots and apples together creates a yummy sweet treat.
    • Change the presentation. Veggies can be served raw or cooked and in various shapes. Smothered with cheese, roasted, or steamed—there are a myriad of ways to show off veggies. This is well illustrated in Adina’s article on ways to serve carrots: Change it Up with Carrots. http://healthylittleeaters.com/change-it-up-with-carrots/
    • Yogurt makes a great bridge! If your kids like yogurt (as many kids do), instead of buying Gogurt squeeze tubes and fruit-flavored varieties, teach them to like plain yogurt. We don’t guarantee that this will work for everyone, but it is worth trying. Plain (Greek or regular, full fat or not) yogurt can be sweetened by you very easily with fruit and honey or maple syrup. Even fruit preserves. You can control exactly how sweet you make it and vary it from time to time. What’s perfect about yogurt that you sweeten yourself is that it is never uniformly sweet. There will be bites that are sweeter and bites that are sour. It’s a great little training tool. As you reduce the sweetness a bit, your kids will get more accustomed to the natural sour flavor. The goal isn’t really to wean to completely plain yogurt, but to develop an acceptance and appreciation for that flavor. Because, then, you can add other ingredients to yogurt to help your child accept other foods. Adina’s son took to cucumber raita really easily, her daughter hasn’t become a fan, yet. But they are both able to enjoy quite a bit of that natural yogurt flavor with only minimal sweetening.

    Despite all the suggestions above, your job really hasn’t changed - keep doing what you have been learning: maintain structured meals and snacks, letting your child have control over her job of how much to eat from the foods you have prepared. Expect meal skipping and do not short order cook.

  • Catering - how is it different from taking your child’s preferences into account?

    Some years ago on the reality TV show “Wife Swap” there was a telling moment for me (Adina) as a dietitian. If you’re not familiar with the show, basically two households agree to swap their wife/mom for a couple of weeks. The women, in their new homes, have to follow the rules and household lifestyle of their new family. Then a week later they get to turn the tables and institute their rules. Well one of the households had a grade school boy that was picky and only ate certain foods and his parents just catered to that and always let him eat a different meal. The new mom deemed his diet unhealthy. When it came time for the rule change the new mom decided to try to revamp the family’s diet and get the picky boy eating other foods. Well picky boy threw a fit when he was faced with food he didn’t want to eat and whined “But I’m the picky one!”

    That statement struck me and has stayed with me since I saw it. This child had not only been catered to with special meals but he had been told he was picky. So how could he believe that he was capable of eating any different when through words and actions he was only given one message? Catering clearly doesn’t work in helping children learn to appreciate a wide selection of foods . But the traditional “tough-love” advice of “they won’t starve” so just give them their plate until they give in (or make them sit at the table until they give in) is pretty aversive and doesn’t create healthy long term eating habits. But these aren’t the only options. Taking your child’s preferences into account is more about being considerate. If you know your child has a hard time with a certain entree, don’t quit serving it. But use some of the tips we provided earlier in this section: Addressing Toddlers’ Fickle Food Preferences

  • Why You Should Never Ask “What do you want for dinner?”

    [image: OfferingFood]

    We began discussing this conversation in our discussion section on Wednesday. Perhaps you’ve had a chance to look it over. We asked what was wrong with this convo between parent and child. Our class member, RachL, nailed it with the following response:

    In essence, the mom is turning herself into a short-order cook. If this is lunch, what is the mom eating, and why is the daughter not eating it as well? The daughter is asking for a specific choice, and the mother is telling her she better eat it. This goes against the adult saying ‘what’ and the child saying ‘how much’.

    Kids Don’t Know What they Want in Advance

    Toddlers (and even older kids) don’t really know what they want until it’s on the table and even then they still have time to change their minds. A few weeks ago Adina made beet borscht. When her 4 y.o. daughter got to the table she immediately let her parents know that she did NOT like what was on the table. To top it off she declared she doesn’t like ANY kind of soup and will never eat any. 10 seconds later she added “except lentil soup.” Parents remained nonchalant and reassured her she didn’t have to try any and reminded her what else was on the table (bread, cottage cheese). By the end of the meal, she took several sips. The next day at lunch (when leftovers were served) there was no negativity and a few more sips were tried—all of her own accord! It is not unusual for kids to tip toe or ‘sneak up’ on new or not-previously-loved foods. And it’s extremely satisfying to see our kids try foods because they want to rather than because they are being forced to.

    Food Jags

    Even if a child asks for something that they will eat, at this age it is normal for kids to go on food jags: think all PB&J all the time! Consider the repertoire of foods you serve, are you getting stuck in a jag for the sake of ensuring everyone will eat? Natalia is positive that if she was asking her kids what they wanted for dinner, they would pick ravioli with cheese 80% of the time. So by NOT asking but including their favorite ravioli from time to time she tries to strike a balance between their favorite and other foods the family is enjoying.

    Its Not Their Responsibility

    The task of coming up with the meal plan should rest squarely on our shoulders. It is a lot of work—there’s no denying it. But if it is hard for us, it’s definitely a tough job for a 2 1/2 year old. She really needs to be able to rely on us to get the job done. We are the adults who can plan balanced meals and lead the way. And of course, when we cross one line of the Division of Responsibility it is easy for us to cross another line and try to get them to eat.

  • Hiding Veggies - Brilliant Idea or Just Plain Wrong?

    There are lots of ways to sneak or hide fruits and veggies into favorite entrees. Ways that could get some extra nutrients into your child when he wants nothing to do with fruits or veggies. But is it a good idea? Our answer: It depends on the answers to these questions:

    • What are your motives?
    • How likely would it offend?
    • Are you still serving it in visible form?

    We don’t see a problem with putting nutritious ingredients inside of loved dishes to improve their nutritional profile:

    • adding spinach to smoothies
    • adding grated zucchini to a marinara sauce or muffins.
    • adding sweet potatoes to pancakes or carrots into a red sauce.

    It is all in the approach. We are not fans of doing it in a sneaky or dishonest way—while knowing your child would be upset to know they’ve been “fooled.” A child with a strong aversion toward carrots would be rather put off if he found out you sneak them into juices, sauces or entrees.

    We also don’t think that it’s a good long term strategy on its own. Yes, hiding spinach in a smoothie will get spinach into your child. But how will your child learn to appreciate the look, taste, texture and flavor of spinach in its many raw and cooked forms? The only way is to actually serve it regularly. Same with any other food.

    Natalia had a client who started making “super burgers” for her 2 year old in an effort to get him to eat beans and vegetables alongside the more typical burger ingredient - meat. Eventually, a couple of years later, the boy figured out what his mom was hiding in his food and, although he did not react to it negatively, it did not move him an inch towards eating these foods in a visible form. He knows his mom puts carrots in his special burgers but he would never bite into a carrot stick because it is a foreign food for him. The mom focused on the short term goal of getting nutrients into her child because she was worried by his pretty typical picky eating stage but overlooked the long term effects of this approach.

  • Rotate! Rotate! Rotate!

    As we prepared for this class we considered teaching the following rule:

    Never serve the same food two days in a row!

    But we weren’t sure that was truly realistic. The principle is good, but as a rule it was too rigid. However, to achieve some level of variety you must aim for a cycle of change. This is where the concept of “rotation” comes from. How can we teach our kids that difference is not too scary? One way is to avoid repeating the same foods in the same ways over and over and over.

    For your family it might mean addressing breakfast so that it’s not the same food or combo of foods every day. For another family it might mean serving something other than broccoli or carrots 5 nights of the week.

    Even if Monday nights are always pasta night, it doesn’t have to be the same pasta dish every time. Chicken noodle soup can vary in its noodle shape. Tortillas can be corn, white, wheat, “spinach” and turned into burritos, taquitoes, tacos and more.

    This is true for snacks too.

    When you think of the number of eating opportunities you offer a toddler, trying to juggle balance and variety can seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we don’t want to present this as a rule. We do not want a single one of you to feel guilt over serving bananas two days in a row, or for giving your child string cheese at morning and afternoon snack in one day. The most critical thing is maintaining that division of responsibility. Then on top of that you can layer on variety where you find open doors to do so. It’s a good thing to occasionally examine the food you serve to see if there is room for improvement (either in quality or enjoyment or ease of prep or whatever). If you strive to serve different foods at different meals and different days, you can help your children broaden their expectations and experiences and that’s helpful.

  • Think outside the box for breakfast

    Think outside the box for breakfast—not just outside the cereal box, but really challenge yourself to think outside of typical breakfasts. Most breakfast foods tend to be either sweet (cereal, waffles, french toast, pancakes, muffins, etc) or be egg related. Nothing wrong with those. We mean it!

    In Adina’s family breakfast tends to be somewhat repetitive: cooked oats & other grains with dried fruit, PB, applesauce, milk and possibly another fruit. It’s what her husband loves.

    [image: oatmeal_delicacy]

    This is one of Adina’s husband’s concoctions: Oats + 9 grain cooked cereal + blueberry craisins + PB + applesauce + milk + drizzling of vanilla yogurt. Minus the special craisins and yogurt this is how her kids learned to eat oatmeal.

    Since Adina is in charge of lunch and supper, an oatmeal breakfast, most days of the week, is their compromise. Other days it’s common things like scrambled eggs with a side of sliced bell peppers, toast, and fruit. A recently discovered favorite (for the kids too) is baked oatmeal — with fruit on the bottom (blueberries or peaches usually).

    [image: bakedoats]

    But since this section is about variety and some families find it easier to eat breakfast together than other meals, its worth looking at ways to break the mold. Adina fondly remembers a popular Romanian breakfast she grew up eating: fresh crusty white bread topped with eggplant spread (similar to baba ganoush), feta cheese and tomatoes.

    Below are some photos of less common breakfasts from Natalia’s home. Her Russian heritage probably influenced these less traditional dishes. There are many countries that prefer savory breakfasts to sweet ones.

    [image: avacadorolls]

    Avocado rolls on bread.

    [image: poached_egg]
    (Egg poached in tomato sauce)

    [image: Sandwiches_for_breakfast]
    (Toast with various toppings including avocado, salmon&cream cheese and butter & jam)

    [image: Grilled_cheese_sandiwch]
    (Grilled cheese sandwich, fruit)

    [image: granola_parfait]
    (Yogurt, fruit, granola parfait)

    Notice how some of these breakfasts could also double as snacks. And a couple could double for lunch or dinner. In other words, leftovers could work too. Of course, it may take some convincing to sway the rest of your family toward some of these types of breakfast. Perhaps it’s just not your style. That’s okay too. We are here to explore possibilities.

  • Fun with Food

    The primary purpose of food may be nourishment, but that doesn’t mean that kids can’t learn a lot even without eating it. Beyond flavor, food has color, aroma, weight, feel, and provides learning opportunities outside of eating times.

    Gardening

    Neither of us (Adina and Natalia) have kept a garden as adults. Natalia lives in NYC and Adina believes she is missing the green thumb gene. However, Adina’s husband recently planted tomatoes and she is hopeful some of them will someday grow into edible things. The kids were super excited about helping with the starter seeds and are eagerly anticipating their first home grown tomato.

    In general, children benefit greatly from experiencing food in the growing and harvesting phase. Being a part of a food’s beginning may change their perspective on it.

    Summer Fruit Picking
    [image: BlueberryPicking]

    The first time Adina’s daughter went blueberry picking it didn’t dawn on her toddler self that she could eat them right off the bush, until she saw another woman, sampling as she picked. That was the end of any help Adina got that day because her daughter spent her time munching away. Now blueberries were not a ‘new’ or challenging food for her, but it was a very memorable experience. Finding a you-pick fruit farm to visit is a great way to get in touch with a food’s roots without growing your own.

    [image: strawberryboys]

    Grocery Store

    • Kids can learn to help spot foods on your grocery list or help put items in bags
    • Kids can learn the names and looks of produce they aren’t used to

    Cooking together

    • Kids can get their hands dirty and “play” with food without pressure to eat any of it.
    • Though we don’t guarantee it, it is not unusual for the little kitchen “helper” to venture out and try bites of things they’d never eat at the table. Watch this darling almost-2-year old sneak up on some kale while helping her dietitian mommy in the kitchen. She looks like she’s getting away with something, doesn’t she?

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKFkZ-_FgjA]

    It is not unusual for children, out of pride in their work, to sample the food they helped make when it is finally served. We don’t guarantee that they will eat it, but cooking a food does lend some familiarity. Ultimately, cooking is about doing something together, passing on a useful skill (over time), and giving children a variety of experiences with food.

    “Science” and “Art”

    Try stamping or painting with celery.
    Slice open an apple and talk about the seeds inside.
    Between Google and Pinterest there are countless fun ideas for using food in no-pressure, nothing-to-do-with-eating, fun ways!

  • Taste Testing

    In an effort to keep meal times pressure free and associated with happy feelings, taste testing is best done outside of regular meal times. In fact, we debated including this topic because taste testing risks the same consequences as the “Thank you bite” or “One bite rule,” particularly with the youngest toddlers.

    For this reason we recommend you hold off on taste testing until the DOR is firmly established, your meals are pressure-free and your child is at least 3 or 4 years old. Now if you have older kids who seem interested and your 2 year old is curious, there’s no reason to exclude him. We are just suggesting you not set up a special taste test just for your 2 year old.

    Natalia has done some taste testing with her daughters

    Natalie’s taste tests with her daughters have had good results in that they were willing participants and seemed to enjoy giving their input on the foods tested.

    [image: dips_dressings]
    Sampling different dips/dressings

    [image: Tomato_sauce]
    Trying different pasta sauces

    [image: Cheese_taste_test]
    Cheese sampling

    [image: taste_test_chart]
    The family’s taste test results

    It’s Okay to Spit!

    When a child is old enough to learn a “polite spit” it may be a useful little trick to teach them. Instead of saying “yuck!” or feeling panicked if they take a bite of something and regret it, they can discreetly tuck the bite into a napkin without making a scene. Takes the pressure off of trying new foods because there’s a back-up plan.

  • With very picky eaters - start small

    Introducing lots of variety if all your child is eating right now is a handful of foods* can be a challenge. We suggest you start slowly and focus on pleasant stress free meals first. As your progress with the Division of Responsibility at mealtimes you may see your child’s level of anxiety around new foods go down and his interest in new foods increase slowly.

    But even if your child keeps choosing the same pasta and chicken nuggets from the variety of foods you are offering, it does not mean that you cannot vary things within what he likes already.

    Here are some of the examples of what you can do:

    • Cut the food like chicken nuggets, pizza or bread in different shapes

    • Buy a different brand of prepared foods like chicken nuggets and crackers

    • Cook rigatoni pasta instead of elbow

    • Serve a different sauce with his favorite dish (aside, not mixed in)

    • Try food chaining. Brainstorm foods that are similar in texture or flavor to your child’s favorites and chain them with the foods your child already likes. For example, if she likes apple sauce, try apple/blueberry sauce. Once she accepts this commercial variety, prepare it at home and next, try serving fresh apples and berries. Or if she likes gold fish crackers, try introducing cheddar squares, then wheat thins, next - toasted white bread and finally - whole wheat bread.

    The food chaining approach is a lot of work, of course, but it seems to be effective with kids who are eating extremely limited diets. If you are curious to learn more about it, we recommend the book “Food Chaining” by Cheryl Fraker.

    Of course, none of these strategies will be effective and many may backfire and interpreted by your child as pressure if you are not following the Division of Responsibility in feeding, where your job is to choose what to serve to your child and his job is to decide how much or whether to eat.

    *If you suspect your child is more than just “picky” please revisit our section titled Signs of a Bigger Problem.

  • Summary & Homework

    Some of you will be inspired to try the techniques we’ve discussed in section 3 because you enjoy trying new foods or old foods in new ways—or just because you really want to see your child’s food acceptance increase. Some of you will feel like it is a lot of extra work, like you’re catering in a ‘new’ way.

    If this seems fun and you like to do things with food…go for it. If this seems like a burden, you may be okay to skip all of this and just stick to planning basic balanced meals that you and your spouse enjoy with safe foods always available. Neither way is wrong or better.

    A child who feels good about eating, trusts you to do your feeding job, and feels able to do her eating job without pressure, will naturally grow to seek variety. She will grow to expand her liked foods. But first, that trust has to be established. We have presented you with some ways to look at variety and how to increase variety, but ultimately, these won’t be tremendously helpful until a healthy feeding relationship is established first. If any of these attempts to increase variety in your child’s (family’s) diet happen before pressure has been removed and DOR firmly established, they could feel like pressure to your child. So check your agenda and aim to have fun with it without expectations.

    For your homework, look over your food record and analyze what you served for variety.

  • Basics of a balanced diet for toddlers

    Here is a picture by Natalia’s 5 year old that represents her ideal meal. Translation: pizza, mushrooms, octopus and lollipop. Pretty balanced, don’t you think?

    [image: Sofias_balanced_plate]

    But jokes aside, kids need to be served a balanced diet in order to learn to eat a balanced diet. Even if all they choose to eat is just one food.

    Here are the food groups and amounts an average toddler needs to be served daily:

    • 2-4 oz meat or beans

    • 1-1.5 cup vegetables

    • 1-1.5 cup of fruit

    • 3-5 oz of grains

    • 2-3 servings of dairy (including all milk products and formula)

    [image: chicken_family_dinner]

    Does it mean that you should pressure your child to eat these exact amounts? Not really - your job stays the same - serve the food and allow your child decide how much to eat. Will your child eat a balanced diet if you let him pick and choose from what you serve? Most likely, yes. If you are in doubt, try recording everything he eats over a few days, or even better, a week. Most toddlers will manage to eat in a very sensible way if we look at a longer period of time, not just 1 day.

    For a sample meal plan with “starter” portion sizes, check the materials section of the class.

    As far as serving sizes are concerned, you toddler will need only about a tablespoon of food from each food group at a meal. But it does not mean that he will not want more of something and will not touch other foods. See the Before and After Meal Photos and What the Kids Ate (in the subsections below) of what Adina’s kids eat - it is a pretty typical toddler eating behavior. They eat a lot of something one day, do not touch it another day, pile lots of things on the plate and do not touch them, eat their mini dessert first etc. While it is frustrating, it is hard to expect them to eat 3 square balanced meals a day plus snacks. Meal skipping and one-ingredient meals are pretty common at this age.

    What is a balanced meal?

    To serve a balanced meal, you will need 3-5 foods from at least 3 food groups. Include some kind of protein, one or two starches, a vegetable, fruit or milk.

    Kids learn best by serving food on their own plates. Of course your 18 months old may need your help or even pre-plating but kids 2 and older enjoy being more independent at mealtimes. You do not need elaborate dinnerware to serve a meal family style. To make her job easier, Adina may serve food family style in pots and pans. Natalia often does this too or she transfer the food into small serving bowls after cooking and uses them as storage containers by covering the leftovers with foil or plates before putting away in refrigerator.

    [image: Grilled_salmon_dinner]

    Include high fat and low fat food in each meal. Kids need lots of energy and fat is a great source. By adding a good source of fat on the table you will allow kids easily adjust the amount of calories they need on a particular day. Besides, fat makes food taste good! So make sure to combine foods with different fat content or simply put a fat like butter or olive oil on the table. For more on fats, see the section below.

    When choosing starches, serve whole grain about 50% of the time. While fiber is very beneficial for both kids and adults, as you will see in the following sections, it is easy to go overboard if your child eats lots of whole grains plus fruits and vegetables. Too much fiber may interfere with nutrient absorption and make kids feel full without eating a sufficient number of calories.

    Do not worry if your child skips vegetables. Vegetables are harder for kids to learn to like. By seasoning them well and using different cooking methods you will help your child find his favorites sooner.

    Your can also try serving vegetables to your child when he is at his hungriest - right before a meal. Natalia puts a tray of veggies with a simple dip for the kids and her husband to nibble on while she is finishing preparing dinner.

    Review our Session 2: “Increasing Variety” for more ideas on how to serve new foods, including vegetables, to your child.

    But above all, do not stress if your toddler consistently refuses veggies. If he likes fruit, serve them more often and enjoy vegetables yourself often, while putting no pressure on your child and you will see positive results sooner!

    We have many parents coming to our practices because they are concerned that their child is not getting enough protein. But as we proceed through the counseling session, it often becomes obvious that while the child’s diet may not be optimal, protein is often not an issue.

    Just 2 cups of milk or other servings of dairy provide most of protein needs for an average 2 year old which are only 19 grams per day. So if your child drinks a cup of milk in the morning and eats some cheese at lunch he will meet his protein needs without any problems even if he ignores the chicken you serve for dinner. In fact, most of us in the US eat 2 to 3 times more protein than we need.

    When brainstorming protein option for a meal, do not forget that beans and lentils also pack a good amount of protein. Beans and lentils are very nutritious and easy to like for little kids because of their mild flavor. Need ideas on how to prepare them? Check this lentil and white bean soup recipes from Natalia’s blog.

    And it is not a big deal if you don’t include protein rich foods in every meal. Even common carbohydrate rich foods like grains provide 2 to 4 grams of protein per serving. So you do not have to worry if your child does not eat meat, fish or beans at each meal.

    Important foods and nutrients

    Some of the food and nutrients are more important than others for toddlers because of toddler’s unique needs and also because they are more likely to fall short on them. In the Materials section on the left you will find a printout with 6 most important nutrients and their sources. It may be a useful resource for you if your feel like you need to serve more of food providing certain nutrient/s. Below we will cover some of these nutrients and their food sources in more details.

  • Dairy basics - too much or too little

    Milk and other dairy products provide a great source of calcium, vitamin D, protein, magnesium and other important nutrients in your child’s diet. Many toddlers love their dairy and have no problem eating and drinking the required amount. But some toddlers eat too much dairy while others refuse it completely.

    General guidelines:

    Children under 1 year of age should not be served cow’s milk. Breast milk or iron-fortified formula are more appropriate for them.

    Children from 1 to 2 years of age can be breastfed or served full fat cow’s milk or formula.

    Children older than 2 can be transitioned to 2% or skim milk if this is what your family drinks.

    Toddlers need around 700mg of calcium per day.This goal is easily reached by serving dairy twice a day. In our Western diet, dairy is the main source of calcium, with each serving providing between 250 and 400mg of this important nutrient. However, there are many non-dairy foods providing a good amount of calcium, such as:

    • fortified ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, 1oz – between 300 and 1000mg
    • leafy greens, 1/2 cup cooked – around 150mg
    • beans and peas, 1/2 cup, cooked – around 100mg
    • canned sardines with bones, 3oz – 325mg
    • fortified tofu, 1/2 cup – 253mg
    • fortified orange juice – around 350mg
    • fortified soy milk and other milk substitutes – around 350mg.
    • For other non-dairy sources of calcium, check this article.
      Recommended daily amount of ALL dairy products for children 2-8 years old – only 2-3 servings a day.

    1 serving of dairy foods = 8 oz milk, 8 oz yogurt, 2 oz cheese, ½ cup ice cream.

    It is easy for toddlers to drink too much milk. Too much dairy can displace other important foods from the diet and even lead to iron deficiency if consumed in excess.

    If your child eats too much dairy. Children who eat too much dairy tend to eat less of other foods and be finicky about their food choices. They may fill up on milk between meals, request yogurt for snack and refuse meat of veggies at dinner time. If this is your case, try to gradually “wean” your child off snacking on dairy foods all the time. Milk is not a snack, it is very filling and may prevent your child from eating good meals.

    If your child refuses milk but eats other dairy foods. If your child eats foods like yogurt, cheese and ice cream, she should be getting all the required nutrients from them.

    If your child does not eat dairy. If your child is not allergic to dairy foods, try fortifying meals with evaporated milk or powdered milk. They can be added to recipes for baked goods, pureed soups or desserts. If your child is vegan or is allergic to dairy, include other calcium and vitamin D-rich foods such as fortified soy milk or orange juice and include more of the non-dairy sources of calcium listed above. If your child is lactose-intolerant she may be able to tolerate lactose-free milk and fermented dairy products such as aged cheeses and yogurt.

  • How much fiber does your child need?

    Many of the toddlers we see in our practices do not get enough fiber. It is hardly surprising if we take into account their small appetites and erratic eating habits. There are some simple ways to add a little more of this important nutrient in their diets! Fiber prevents constipation, aids digestion and supports health of the digestive system. Oh, and they also help them stay full longer, so you are less likely to hear “I am hungry” 30 minutes before dinner!

    Toddlers need about 19 grams of fiber per day.

    Here are some of the good sources of fiber:

    • Oatmeal (½ cup cooked, 2 grams)
    • Berries (½ cup, 4 grams)
    • Whole grain cookies or crackers (at least 3 grams per serving)
    • Sweet potatoes with peel (½ of medium, 3.8 grams)
    • Sliced apple (1 small, 3.6 grams)
    • Almonds/Almond Butter (1 tablespoon, 1 gram)
    • Whole Grain Bread (1 slice, 4.4 grams)
    • Legumes (½ cup cooked, 6.2-9.6 grams)

    One of Natalia’s kids was constipated as a toddler because of drinking too much milk and not eating a lot of fiber rich foods. Having learnt her lesson, she is now more mindful about fiber and its good sources. Here are some of the ways Natalia adds fiber to her kids’ diet:

    1. Including vegetables and/or fruit in every meal and snack.

    2. Enjoying whole wheat pasta with olive oil, milk and fruit for breakfast, her kids’ favorite.

    3. Making smoothies for dessert or breakfast with frozen berries and yogurt or kefir.

    4. Using 100% whole wheat flour for baking muffins and pancakes. For pastries and cakes, she uses 100% whole wheat pastry flour which has less gluten and yields more tender products.

    5. Her family does not eat a lot of breakfast cereal but if she happens to buy one, she makes sure it has at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

    6. She makes this lentil soup (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/03/lentil-soup/), Moroccan chicken and chickpea stew (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/02/moroccan-chicken-with-chickpeas-and-vegetables/) and white bean soup (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/11/white-bean-and-sausage-soup/) that are chock full of fiber from vegetables and pulses.

    7. She bakes potato wedges with skin, to preserve the fiber which otherwise gets discarded. To bake a nice batch of crispy potato wedges, scrub potatoes well under running water, cut into wedges about 1 inch thick at the bottom, season with salt, pepper and olive oil and bake in a preheated to 350F oven for about 35-40 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce or your favorite dip.

    8. She uses unpeeled potatoes and fiber-rich kale in this easy one-pot recipe (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/01/kale-potato-and-bacon-dinner/).

    9. She adds a few tablespoons of wheat or oat bran to muffin and pancake mixture.

    10. She adds pureed vegetables like carrots, spinach and canned beans to meat sauce (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/07/15-minute-vegetable-meat-sauce/) she serves with pasta and lasagna.

    11. She mixes in vegetables like mushrooms into meatballs (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/05/turkey-mushroom-meatballs/) and meat loaves.

    12. She uses whole wheat tortillas to make quesadillas (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/chicken-spinach-quesadillas/).

    13. She makes whole wheat pita chips (http://tribecanutrition.com/2014/01/pita-chips-and-hummus/) to go with homemade hummus.

    14. She often starts a family meal with a pureed vegetable soup (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/05/pureed-vegetable-soups/).

    15. She makes no-cook fiber-rich chia seed pudding (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/chia-seeds/) for breakfast, snack or dessert.

    16. She packs whole grain salads (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/lunch-special-secret-grain-salads/) in kids’ lunch boxes.

    17. She makes pizza (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/06/mushroom-pizza/) at home with whole wheat dough and mushrooms as a topping.

    18. She serves fresh fruit instead of fruit juice. An unpeeled apple has about 3.6 grams of fiber but a cup of apple juice (with sugar equivalent of 3 apples) has none!

    19. She serves popcorn for snack. Here is how we make ours on the stove (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/07/popcorn-on-the-stove/).

    What to do it your picky toddler is constipated and needs to get the things moving before he is ready for adding all these fiber rich options to his diet?

    Of course, as an expert in the Division of Responsibility by now, you know that pressuring kids to eat these foods is out of the question. Besides, if your child has been constipated for a while, just adding fiber from grains, fruit an vegetables is not going to make a dramatic difference quickly. But your child may need help fast. Not only constipation is terribly uncomfortable, it also may lower your child’s appetite - not a good thing for someone who needs to grow and develop!

    That is why, if this is your case, we would recommend speaking to your doctor about an appropriate laxative to help relieve the existing constipation while working to improve his eating by implementing Division of Responsibility in feeding.

    Safe laxative could be a quick solution that will give you time and a level of comfort to continue working on improving your child’s diet through non-pressure mealtimes, structure in meals and snacks and providing balanced and nutritious meals.

  • The fat issue - are they getting enough?

    Although this has begun changing in the last few years, for a long time health conscious people tended to think that “healthy” was synonymous with “low fat.” However, low fat diets are not appropriate for kids under 2 years of age. Besides, there is no limit on how much saturated fat they can eat, giving them a free pass on butter, whole fat milk and yogurt. In fact, saturated fat is an important constituent of brain cell membranes, so limiting it in small kids is not recommended.

    Kids 2 and older may start eating low fat dairy if this is what your family is eating. However if your family prefers whole fat dairy products, you can keep using them. Just keep things in balance and make sure whole milk and butter do not turn every food item/meal into a high fat item/meal.

    But how do these recommendations translate in family meal context?

    Serve foods with a variety of fat content for each meal. By combining some high fat foods with low fat foods you will give your child the opportunity to pick and choose depending on the amount of energy he needs on that particular day. Remember that kids are wonderful at self-regulating?

    Fat is a wonderful flavor and aroma carrier making foods extra tasty. Fat content also tends to make a meal stick a bit longer. Thus using fat to enhance the flavor of otherwise bland vegetables can be helpful in making them more palatable for some children. But not everything on the table has be dripping in oil, smothered with cheese or slathered with butter. In the short chart below, notice the difference between the all high fat meal and the two medium fat meals.

    High fat meal Whole milk, buttered broccoli, breaded fried chicken cutlets, heavily buttered potatoes,
    Medium fat meal Whole milk, steamed broccoli, baked/roasted chicken, buttery potatoes, grapes
    Medium fat meal 1% milk, cheesy broccoli, baked/roasted chicken, lightly buttered potatoes and toast with butter, grapes
    Low fat meal 1% milk, steamed broccoli, baked/roasted chicken, light buttered potatoes, grapes

    You can see above that by including or preparing some foods with little to no fat, you can keep the fat level in balance without sacrificing flavor. Of course the occasional high fat meal won’t hurt anyone, but in general it is good to aim for a moderate fat intake rather than either a very low or very high extreme.

    While we are still waiting on conclusive research on the effects of saturated fat on health, surveys show that kids are not getting enough of known healthful types of fat like plant and fish oils. Some examples of foods rich in these fats include olive oil, avocados, nut butters and wheat germ. The same foods are also rich in Vitamin E, another nutrient of concern in toddlers. An easy way to boost healthful fats is by cooking with olive oil, serving peanut butter sandwiches, avocados and avocado dips and adding wheat germ to home baked muffins and pancakes.

    DHA

    One of the polyunsaturated fats, called DHA, seems to be particularly beneficial for kids, especially under 2 years of age. DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid that is crucial for retinal and brain development in the first two years of life.

    Two weekly servings of cold water fish is all we need to get enough DHA. But if your child is still learning to like fish, supplementation may be required to help him bridge this gap. We will discuss supplementation in the section below.

    Safe ways to boost DHA in your toddler’s diet:

    1. Choose better fish. Some types of fish may contain more mercury than others. Mercury is an environmental toxin that can cause learning problems in children so it makes sense to limit fish high in mercury for everyone and especially for pregnant and breast-feeding women and small children. Consult this brochure by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/edp/mercury_brochure.pdf) to chose the fish which is lower in mercury and other environmental contaminants.

    2. Start early. According to the current recommendations by American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAI) (http://www.jaci-inpractice.org/article/S2213-2198(12)00014-1/fulltext), delaying introduction of potentially allergenic foods like eggs, fish, nuts, peanuts and wheat, after 6 months of age, may increase risk for food allergies later in life and definitely does not help to prevent them. Keep serving fish 2 times a week even if it is rejected initially. Kids need a lot of repeated exposures to learn to like a new food.

    3. Get creative. For older children who do not like fish, try different presentation and cooking methods. Some kids will eat fish if it is covered in breadcrumbs, grilled on skewers or made into fishcakes. Here is a recipe for home made fish fingers (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/06/homemade-fish-fingers/) that take only 15 minutes to prepare, nori-salmon sticks (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/03/795/) made with wild salmon rich in Omega 3′s and grain and pasta salads with canned tuna (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/lunch-special-secret-grain-salads/) that has a milder flavor than fresh fish.

    4. Read the labels. If milk and juice are fortified with DHA, the amount is usually specified on the label. Although it is not likely that your child gets a lot of DHA from these beverages, it may be just the extra step that is needed to meet the recommendations. The labels on fortified eggs, on the other hand, typically specify the total amount of Omega3′s the eggs contain so it is harder to figure out how much DHA and EPA you are getting.

    5. Go plants. Explore plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as the oils of flax, canola, hemp and soy, as well as walnuts, chia, hemp, flax seeds (ground), and green leafy vegetables. However, since the plant form of omega-3s (ALA) is not converted into DHA and EPA efficiently, these foods cannot be used as the only source of omega-3′s in diets of small children younger than 2 years of age. As a result, these children may need a supplement if they are not eating fish.

    A bonus of serving more DHA rich fish to your toddler is that you will also help him meet his vitamin D needs. But since food sources of vitamin D are so scarce and fish is rarely among kids’ favorites, most kids need a supplementation to meet their needs, especially in the winter months.

    For more information of good food sources of DHA an vitamin D check out the Important Nutrients for Toddlers handout in the materials section of the class.

  • Iron - “these meatballs are too chewy!”

    Most toddlers have trouble eating meat because of its challenging texture. Besides, they are likely to overdo in the dairy department making them uniquely susceptible to developing iron deficiency - the most common nutrient deficiency in kids. Not enough iron may affect the developing brain so it is good to have a strategy to include more iron rich foods in your child’s diet.

    It is all about the right combination

    Iron from animal sources or “heme” iron (meat, poultry, fish) is absorbed easier than iron from plant sources or “non-heme” iron (lentils, spinach, tofu). When non-heme iron is served with heme iron ( spinach +chicken), the iron from spinach is absorbed better than if spinach is served alone. Vitamin C rich foods (most fruit and vegetables) have the same effect on both heme and non-heme iron absorption. So even a couple of bites of meat of chicken at dinner will help your child absorb more iron from plants. And if you are a vegetarian family or your child does not like meat yet, make sure to serve the plant food rich in iron (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.php) together with vitamin C rich foods.

    For more information on good sources of iron, see our printout Important Nutrients for Toddlers in the Materials section of the class.

    How to help your child eat more iron rich foods

    As with everything else, the Division of Responsibility comes to the rescue! Sticking to mealtime structure, scheduling snacks and offering a variety of nutritious foods at meals and snacks will help your child learn to like iron rich meat and greens sooner.

    You may also try making iron rich meat easier to handle for the little ones by making it moist and tender. Beef stew and chicken soup are some of Natalia’s kids’ favorites.

    Also, adding fat and seasoning to plant dishes rich in iron like beans and greens will make them much more palatable for kids.

  • Sugar and desserts

    The American Heart Association (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Sugar-101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp) recommends limiting added sugar for toddlers to only 4-5 teaspoons per day.

    One teaspoon of added sugar = 4 grams.

    This does not seem like a lot of sugar especially since one average tub 6 oz tub of flavored yogurt contains around 2-3 teaspoons and breakfast cereals anywhere from 1 to 4 teaspoons of sugar per serving.

    Of course, it may be not a realistic goal if most of the foods your child eats right now are sweet. But the good news is that with the Division of Responsibility in place and serving more variety, you will notice more balance in your child’s diet over time.

    And while you do not need to count grams of sugar every day, by providing regular meals and snacks and serving mini meals instead of “kid” snacks more often, you will help your child eat less added sugar while still enjoying treats from time to time.

    A rule of thumb some parents use is serving healthier, less processed foods 80% of the time, while leaving the other 20% to sweets and treats.

    Here are a few more ways to cut on added sugar in your child’s diet and help her feel in control around sweets.

    Serve unlimited sweet treats from time to time. This may seem like counterproductive advice, but research (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/2/215.full) and more research (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/69/6/1264.abstract?ijkey=628b3982a1b1e0021f26c152d988357490bd01b1&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha) shows that when kids feel deprived they overindulge once given access to “forbidden” food. The key is to serve sweets on a schedule, ideally for a snack so that they do not interfere with eating other foods. And if you serve something special for dessert, it is best to not make it contingent on eating dinner.

    Here is a great piece from Ellyn Satter explaining why and how to include treats in your child’s diet. (http://ellynsatterinstitute.org/htf/usingforbiddenfood.php)

    Serve dessert with the meal. Many families enjoy eating a small dessert after a meal. Whether it is a cup of flavored yogurt or a small cookie (a small serving size is the key here), we recommend serving it alongside the meal, so that your child could choose when he wants to eat it, right at the start of the meal, in the middle or at the end. We have seen a lot of success with this strategy, especially in kids who seem to be preoccupied with dessert.

    Do not rely on “healthier” sugars or artificial sweeteners. Natural sugars like honey and maple syrup are essentially added sugars with a negligible sprinkle of nutrition. They do not necessarily make the product better for you or less caloric. Another natural sugar, agave, is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar and can save calories because you would need less of it to sweeten food but nutritionally it is very similar to other common added sugars like high fructose corn syrup.

    Zero calorie sweeteners, like aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, sucralose and saccharine, do not add calories to diet or contribute to cavities. But these sweeteners are often used to sweeten foods with low nutritional value like ice-cream, cookies and soda, and using them instead of regular sugar does not make these foods healthier. Your little one still needs a good balance of sweet/not-so-sweet foods in the diet.

    Do it yourself. Some parents buy plain, unsweetened versions of milk, yogurt and cereal and sweeten them at home ourselves if we need to. You will be surprised how much sugar you will avoid using this simple strategy. We also mash up some sweet fruit like mango or ripe pear, sprinkle some berries or use a little honey or real sugar to add a little sweetness without going overboard with sugar.

    In general, the more you cook from scratch, the more you are able to control the amount of sugar that goes into food.

    Here are a few more low sugar nutritious and delicious treats that Natalia’s family likes:

    Easy chia seed pudding http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/chia-seeds/

    5 minute chocolate soy mousse http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/02/chocolate-soy-mousse/

    Blueberry muffins http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/blueberry-muffins/

    Healthier desserts http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/01/25-healthier-dessert-ideas-your-kids-will-love/

  • Snack Guide

    Little kids need snacks. Very few of us would argue with this. Their tummies are small and it may be challenging for them to get enough nutrients and calories in just 3 meals a day.

    Of course, constant snacking on chips and cookies may send your toddler’s nutrition downhill. But random snacking on healthier foods may result in unhealthy eating habits by disrupting the natural hunger-satiety mechanism that allows us to stay attuned to our bodies and maintain a healthy weight.

    Let’s brainstorm solutions for a few common snacking problems we see in families.

    [img stoplight_snacks]

    Celery sticks filled with cream chess and topped with colorful bell pepper “circles”

    Problem: “My son loves crackers for a snack and he never seems to get enough. He is asking for more food in just 30 minutes”

    To help you child stay full between meals, make sure that each snack includes a good source of fat, protein, fiber or all of these in addition to some carbohydrates. Fat, protein and fiber will increase the satiety factor of the snack while carbohydrates will provide the quick energy your little one needs.

    After a satisfying snack your little one will be able to wait till dinner instead of grazing on snacks non-stop.

    [img yogurt_parfait]

    Yogurt, granola and strawberries

    Formula for a satisfying snack:

    At least 2 food groups
    Carbohydrate + Fat or Protein or Fiber (or all of them)

    Examples:
    Muffins or bread (carbohydrate) + cheese (fat) and fruit (fiber)
    Granola (carbohydrate) + yogurt (protein and fat) + berries (fiber)
    Vegetable crudités (fiber) + hummus (protein and fat) + pita chips (carbohydrates)

    For more snack ideas and recipes, check out the snack ideas and recipes in the Materials section.

    [img Strawberry_and_banana_snack_resized]
    Snack idea: Crackers with cream cheese and strawberries. Bananas with dark chocolate chips.

    Problem: “I can not leave the house with my kids without stuffing my purse with snacks. I try to choose healthier options like fruit, cheese sticks and granola bars, but I am concerned whether it is ok to allow kids graze all day.”

    Grazing all day, even on healthier foods, is not ok. A structure in meals and snacks will help your child graze less.

    Mealtime structure helps plan meals and snacks at the same time every day. After a while, this rhythm will help your kids build hunger for mealtimes, eat enough to “last” until the next eating opportunity and stay attuned to their hunger-satiety mechanisms both during and in between meals and snacks.

    Structure in meals and snacks can help kids eat well at meals and get important nutrition from less processed foods. For more on mealtime structure, check the Snack section in session 2: “How to get your child to eat …but not too much”

    [img Hummus_and_pita_chips_resized]
    Snack idea: hummus with pita chips

    Problem: “I cannot reduce the snack appeal! All my kids are asking for at mealtimes is their favorite snack. In the meanwhile, all the nutritious foods I prepare goes uneaten”.

    To help kids eat better at mealtimes, it helps to serve mini-meals for snacks most of the time instead of relying on super palatable kids snacks. You can also make meals more attractive for your toddler. This can be done by including her favorite foods from time to time, making food delicious by adding fat and seasoning and serving at least one food she typically eats at each meal.

    Even when fortified with additional nutrition, kids’ snacks are not nutritionally superior to real food. Besides, they do not taste like the foods you want your child to learn to enjoy, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains or fish. Instead, they taste more like cookies, jam or chips, the food your child is probably in love with already. Another reason to serve mini-meals for snacks most of the time, offering your child his favorite snacks from time to time!

    [img February_28_400_resized]
    Snack idea: whole wheat bread, cantaloupe, ham and cheese.

    For more snack ideas and recipes, check out the snack ideas and recipes in the Materials section.

  • Supplementation

    Most toddlers, even the pickier ones, do not need a supplement. What seems like an erratic diet, with a sketchy intake from each food group, may actually still provide all the nutrition your child needs.

    But in some cases, like when a child eats no fruit or vegetables at all or takes time to warm up to fish, a supplementation may help to close the potential nutritional gaps.

    There are a few things every parents should know before choosing a supplement:

    1. Supplements are not tested by FDA for safety and efficacy.

    2. Instead of choosing individual vitamins and minerals, it is better to choose a multivitamin formula with minerals. Supplementing just one nutrient without your doctor’s approval may impair absorption of other nutrients and affect your child’s health.

    3. Choose the supplement that provides <100% of Daily Value (DV) of vitamins and minerals. Too much may not be a good a thing.

    4. If your child eats a very restricted diet, choose a more comprehensive supplement with trace elements from a reputable brand instead of cute gummy bears that often have only a handful of nutrients. If you need specific recommendations, leave us a comment in the discussion section or send an email.

    5. Do not give your child supplementation with iron unless recommended by your doctor.

    6. You child may need vitamin D supplementation, especially if you live in the Northern hemisphere. Kids under 2 need 400IU and older children need 600IU daily.

    7. If your child is under 2 and he does not eat fish, he may need a DHA supplement. It is very important to choose a reputable brand when buying DHA supplements. One of the best we can recommend is Nordic Naturals.

    8. Probiotics have been featured in many research articles lately. While we still need to learn more about what types of strands are more beneficial for certain conditions, it is clear that probiotics are very safe. The best ways to obtain beneficial gut bacteria is though eating fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. But if your child does not or cannot eat these foods, adding a probiotic with a variety of strands providing about 1 billion of CFU (colony forming units) will help in the meanwhile.

    9. Finally, for more information on supplements, you can check FDA’s website http://ods.od.nih.gov (Office of Dietary Supplements). Or choose a subscription service by an independent supplement testing organization like Consumer Labs (http://www.consumerlab.com/) to see quality ratings and comparisons of different supplements.

  • Summary and homework

    We hope you enjoyed this session. It is pretty dense information wise and if you are left with questions, please feel free to post on the discussion board or email us privately.

    If you feel you need more help nutritionally fine-tuning your child’s diet, we encourage you to get in touch with a dietitian who will be able to assess your child’s current eating habits and make suggestions based on this. Although we do our best to cover the most common nutritional issues, your problems may be more specific than what this class can encompass. If you need help finding a dietitian in your area or someone who consults online, please send us an email at feeding bytes@gmail.com.

    At a risk of sounding like a broken record, we encourage you to not get too worried about the exact amounts of nutrients you child should be eating. We build this session to give you an estimate of what you should be serving and we are confident that with the Division of Responsibility in place you child will start eating better with time.

    This session’s assignment is to analyze your child’s food record using the Nutritional Checklist that can be found in the Materials section of the class and identify at least one nutritional goal that will help improve your child’s diet.

    In the Discussion section, we are talking about changes that this session inspired you to make in your toddler’s diet.

    See you in the Discussion section and have a great day!

  • Food Preoccupied Preschooler

    Natalia once had a 5 year old client whose parents were told to “watch her weight” based on her growth chart measurements when she was 1 year old. This resulted in her hoarding food in the bedroom, eating food off other kids plates at birthday parties and waking up before parents to sneak in the kitchen to eat. After a few months (!) of working with Natalia the happy parents announced that she, for the first time (!), left a piece of a birthday cake unfinished at a party and went off to play with kids. The mom was crying when telling Natalia the news. Natalia had taught mom the Division of Responsibility, value of structure and the importance of not being restrictive with portions.

  • “You don’t want to feed me!”

    “You don’t want to feed me!” — from Jenny, a chubby grade-schooler, to her mom when she noticed her thin older sister was allowed to have snacks and she wasn’t. Jenny had a hearty appetite for many years and was consequently restricted from eating as much as she wanted. This was a patient of Adina’s. 2 weeks after Mom was instructed in The Division of Responsibility and the importance of allowing Jenny to feel like she can get her fill, she’d calmed down measurably around food and wasn’t taking the usual extra portions. Mom will need continued support to ensure she doesn’t fall back on old ways, but Jenny is off to a good start. name has been changed to protect privacy.

  • “You need to get your baby to eat less”

    One of Natalia’s clients was told by the doctor to limit her 9 month old formula intake way under the recommended amount for this age because she was “gaining too much”. At the same time, parents did a wonderful job of introducing a lot of new foods into the baby’s diet and were confident they were feeding her in an attuned way, allowing her to eat as much as she needed. Natalia knew that babies are wonderful self-regulators and they would eat the amount of food that is right for them, if the feeding approach is correct. She recommended to continue with the Division of Responsibility and avoid limiting any foods. In a couple of weeks the parents reported that the baby started drinking a little less formula all by herself (but not going as low as doctor’s recommendation) and she started crawling which required a lot of energy! From the last conversation with the parents, they reported that the growth stabilized and weight gain slowed down.

  • Concern about dip on growth chart

    Natalia had a 2.4 year old patient whose parents kept a food record of everything he was eating for almost two years prior to seeing her, including calorie count.

    The reason - extreme concern about a “dip” on a growth chart from 70th to 45th percentile soon after solids were introduced. Although the growth remained consistent after the growth curve reestablished at this lower percentile, the parents remained very concerned about his eating. The boy never seemed to like purees very much and mother reflected that she has been trying to distract him with games, videos and books to get more baby food into him.

    Once he started self-feeding, he started further reducing his repertoire of accepted foods. The parents kept catering by offering him food different from what the rest of the family was eating and pressured him to eat them. Most of the 10-12 foods he enjoyed were of the typical “toddler snack” variety: crackers, cereal, waffles and flavored yogurts, accompanied by twice the amount of milk he needed for his age. The foods had to be of certain brands. The speech therapy evaluation did not identify any delays. The boy had trouble eliminating and needed help with constipation.

    After DOR was established, the boy kept eating only his acceptable foods that were served as meal components. But he touched and put on his plate new foods without eating them. In the meanwhile, the constipation issue was kept under control with the help of Miralax, with his doctor’s approval and cutting down dairy to the equivalent of 16 oz of milk or two servings. After 2 months of DOR he tried and added to his diet two new foods. At a yearly physical (4 months after starting DOR) the doctor confirmed consistent growth at the same percentile (45th). Reassured parents continued with DOR. In 3 more months (at the last follow up appointment) he remained on the same curve but added 7 more acceptable foods including 1 vegetable.

    This boy’s parents’ worry over his dip on the growth chart led them to apply pressure in feeding and cater for the sake of getting their child to eat something. But of course their feeding behavior only made his eating behavior worse. Once they backed off and implemented the DOR, things gradually but steadily improved with his eating.

  • The benefits of an authoritative feeding style

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Authoritative%20vs%20authoriatarian%20feedig%20styles_1.pdf

    You may be familiar with the four parenting styles and the associated pros/cons of each: Authoritative - Set limits and demands or expectations, but are responsive and warm. Authoritarian - Set limits and demands or expectations, but are not responsive or warm Permissive - Few limits or demands, but are responsive and warm Neglectful - Few limits and are not responsive or warm. In general research finds that an authoritative parenting style tends to be associated with better outcomes for children. This article provides a nice summary: http://www.parentingscience.com/parenting-styles.html What we want to draw your attention to is research that shows a connection between parental feeding style and better eating among kids. The authoritarian (high demand/low responsiveness) feeding style included behaviors such as restricting the child from eating certain foods and forcing the child to eat other foods. Thus, authoritarian feeding was characterized by attempts to control the child’s eating (high demand) with little regard for the child’s choices and preferences (low responsiveness). Some examples included: ‘Physically struggle with the child to get him/her to eat’ or ‘Show disapproval of the child for not eating’ Overall children ate best when they were fed in a more responsive, authoritative feeding style. Although DOR was not mentioned, it fits an authoritative feeding style because it is structured and responsive and allows children a measure of autonomy.

  • Associations of parenting styles, parental feeding practices and child characteristics…

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Children%20centered%20feeding%20vs%20parent%20centered%20feeding_1.pdf

    From the abstract: — The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of parent and child characteristics in explaining children’s fruit and vegetable intakes. — Child-centered feeding practices were positively related to children’s fruit and vegetable intakes, while parent-centered feeding practices were negatively related to children’s vegetable intakes. In order to try to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption, parents should be guided to improve their own diet and to use child-centered parenting practices and strategies known to decrease negative reactions to food.

  • The variability of young chlidren’s energy intake

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/The%20variability%20of%20young%20children's%20energy%20intake.pdf

    Although kids vary in the calories they may eat meal to meal, the day to day variability is much lower and tends to be consistent because kids adjust their calorie intake from meal to meal to get what they need over the course of a day.

  • Reluctant trying of an unfamiliar food induces negative affection for the food

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/reluctant%20trying%20of%20a%20new%20food%20may%20create%20aversion%20.pdf

    When kids are made to eat something they are reluctant to eat, it can negatively influence their enjoyment of that food in the future.

  • Relationship between portion size and energy intake among infants and toddlers…

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Self-Regulation_1.pdf

    Conclusions of this study confirm that infants and young toddlers have the innate ability to self-regulate their calorie intake. However, environmental cues can diminish this self-regulation even in toddlers. This includes coercive feeding practices to “clean your plate” and being overly restrictive when motivated by concerns a child may be overeating.

  • The feeding relationship

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/The%20feeding%20relationship.pdf

    The feeding relationship = complex interactions between parent and child as they engage in food selection, ingestion, and regulation behaviors. This feeding relationship can influence a child’s eating and nutritional status.

  • Just Three More Bites

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Just%20Three%20more%20bites.pdf

    Out of 142 families observed, eighty-five percent of parents tried to get children to eat more, 83% of children ate more than they might otherwise have, with 38% eating moderately to substantially more. Boys were prompted to eat as often as girls and children were prompted to eat as many times in single- as in two-parent households. Children were very rarely restricted in their mealtime intake. High-SES parents used reasoning, praise, and food rewards significantly more often than low-SES families. Mothers used different strategies than fathers: fathers used pressure tactics with boys and mothers praised girls for eating. These data reinforce current recommendations that parents should provide nutritious foods and children, not parents, should decide what and how much of these foods they eat.

  • Parental influence on eating behavior

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Development%20of%20eatign%20behaviors%20among%20children%20and%20adolescents.pdf

    Development of eating behaviors among children and adolescents
    From the abstract: An enormous amount of learning about food and eating occurs during the transition from the exclusive milk diet of infancy to the omnivore’s diet consumed by early childhood. This early learning is constrained by children’s genetic predispositions, which include the unlearned preference for sweet tastes, salty tastes, and the rejection of sour and bitter tastes. Children also are pre- disposed to reject new foods and to learn associations between foods’ flavors and the postingestive consequences of eating. Evidence suggests that children can respond to the energy density of the diet and that although intake at individual meals is erratic, 24-hour energy intake is relatively well regulated. There are individual differences in the regulation of energy intake as early as the preschool period. These individual differences in self-regulation are associated with differences in child-feeding practices and with children’s adiposity. This suggests that child-feeding practices have the potential to affect children’s energy balance via altering patterns of intake. Initial evidence indicates that imposition of stringent parental controls can potentiate preferences for high-fat, energy-dense foods, limit children’s acceptance of a variety of foods, and disrupt children’s regulation of energy intake by altering children’s responsiveness to internal cues of hunger and satiety. This can occur when well-intended but concerned parents assume that children need help in determining what, when, and how much to eat and when parents impose child-feeding practices that provide children with few opportunities for self-control. Implications of these findings for preventive interventions are discussed.

  • Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition Guidance for Healthy Children Ages 2 to 11

    https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/NutritionGuidanceChildren_ADA_position%20paper.pdf

  • How to plan family friendly meals

    If you have not been using the Division of Responsibility in feeding before, chances are your eating habits and food preferences are different from your child. And maybe greatly so! Your child may subsist on a handful of child-friendly foods that you have no interest in eating. You, on the other hand, may enjoy fresh salads and spicy ethnic food your child has no desire to even try.

    Meet your child halfway

    So where to start? Will you ever find recipes that work for all of you? Well, first of all, let’s keep in mind that family meals are about the family time together, more than eating. From this perspective, it is easier to give up certain food preferences and start looking for a compromise. Second, your child had only few years to learn about food and eating. You are a much more experienced diner than him. In a math class, no one would expect him to dive into multiplications before learning what 1+1 makes. So in order to help him learn to like what you serve, it makes sense to meet him halfway and gradually build up the complexity of flavors and textures in meals.

    This may translate in serving meals that are not 100% to your highest standards but are great at making your child feel successful at mealtimes. So let’s say if you like a salad for lunch and your children have always been served mac&cheese and pb&j sandwiches, you may want to start serving both your salad and their mac&cheese. Below is just such a meal Adina served for lunch one day: boxed mac&cheese with smoked salmon and peas, plus a salad. If you happen to have the ingredients on hand, from-scratch mac&cheese doesn’t take a second longer than the boxed variety. It does require more post-meal clean-up because of an extra pot, etc., but the total time from start to eating is the same.

    Or you can serve pb&j and maybe add another type of sandwich you like better yourself, like tuna or ham and cheese.

    This sandwich plate, above, is something Adina has done before with her kids. She made both cheese-lettuce-tomato and pb&j. But so that she and the kids could share a meal of the same choices, she cut both sandwiches into quarters. The kids ate as expected: mostly PBJ, but the other option was there and they tried it without anyone cajoling them to have a bite. Also available were pear slices and milk.

    A scrumptious salad that you can make to go with take out, a frozen entree, or other meal that you might consider a ‘compromise’ is this kale-apple salad. If Kale isn’t your favorite, spinach would work well too.

    Add on, don’t take away

    Instead of banning your child’s favorites that make you cringe, add more foods to them to create a balanced meal. For example, if your little one is fond of chicken nuggets, serve them with a more elaborate grain like quinoa and nice vegetables like grilled asparagus, elevating the meal above the typical kids’ fare but still keeping it family friendly. In other words, supplement a less than ideal food with something more nutritious. For each meal, plan to serve one item from at least 3 of the following food groups/choices: one protein choice, one-two starch choices, fruit and/or vegetable, some kind of fat, milk or other dairy and dessert (optional).

    Offer spices on the side

    Since kids’ palates are more sensitive, it may be challenging for them to handle a lot of spice especially if they have not gotten a lot of exposure to it before. To solve the issue, add just a little spice to the dish and serve more on the side, to add on your plate. This way, your little ones will still be able to enjoy the flavor of the dish you share with them without being overwhelmed by the heat.

    Make food taste great

    Although some kids love steamed veggies, many prefer some fat and seasoning with them. And although steamed fish sounds very healthy it may not look or smell appealing to your child. Small children are typically not impressed by the nutritional characteristics of food but will eat it if it tastes good to them on that particular day (remember how finicky toddlers are?). So instead if telling them that carrots help them see in the dark, roast or pan fry them with a touch of honey and butter to make them even more delicious and sprinkle some Parmesan on broccoli to help mask the slight bitterness.

  • If you do not cook

    Even if you do not cook, you will still be able to put together a meal for your family. Here is how - keep a well stocked kitchen with a variety of fruits, vegetables, bread and dairy products to round up a take away meal you bring home. See the printout with grocery list in the Materials section of the class for inspiration.

    For example, you may order a chicken with rice and beans - add some carrot sticks and grapes with bread and milk to round up the meal.

    If you bought a pizza on the way home, serve it with a simple green salad (pre-washed greens in a plastic bag are a great help here), cherry tomatoes, apple slices and yogurt for dessert.

    If roasted rotisserie chicken in your local supermarket looks good, serve it with a side of boiled potatoes seasoned with butter, steamed in the microwave green beans and watermelon for a quick weeknight meal.

    A quick soup taco soup can be made almost entirely of canned items: saute an onion then add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 can black beans, 1 can pinto beans, 1 can sliced olives, 1 can corn, more water so it is as thick or thin as you prefer, taco seasoning and salt if you prefer and voila—a meal that will be cooked in less than 20 minutes! Add a bag of corn tortilla chips, plus some fruit, raw veggies or a make a salad while the soup is heating. If you have extra time you can saute some ground beef or other meat with the onion early on.

    Extra or leftover vegetables can be stuffed inside of a quesadilla for a tasty meal in a jiffy. Add salsa, guacamole, canned beans, salad, fruit or whatever sounds good to round it out.

    As you see, the most important thing is to sit together to a meal. The complexity and nutritional value of it are less important.

    If at some point you find yourself inspired to start cooking, it is best to experiment with new recipes on a weekend or when you have more time before dinner. If you are coming home at 5.30 and your kids are expecting to be fed at 6.00pm, spending an hour in a kitchen preparing a new complicated recipe will only add stress to dinnertime and further discourage you from cooking. Instead, combine a take-out with fresh foods you have at home on that day and enjoy your time experimenting in the kitchen on Sunday.

  • Have a strategy

    Even if you are a seasoned cook, you may need some strategy to put a meal on a table most days of the week.

    For most of us, who combine child care and work, it may be as simple as putting together a list of 20 recipes that are easy for us to prepare and rotating them.

    Need inspiration? Check the selection of recipes from Natalia’s blog that are easy to prepare, yummy and pretty nutritious. They can be found in the Materials section of the session.

    How to store recipes

    Store your recipes within reach. Some people do it on their computers and phones, others prefer the old fashioned paper method. Check out the folder with recipes Natalia has put together over the years. It contains the recipes that she tried and liked. They also got at least partial approval by her family.

    [image: Recipe_folder]

    If you are looking for more high tech solutions, you may want to check out the websites and platforms like AllRecipes, SousChief that allow you to store all your recipes in your account and import them from other websites and BigOven.com that will also create a shopping list and nutritional analysis for you.

    How to plan meals

    Despite the proliferation of meal planning websites on the internet, we are not sure they are a solution for every family. A great idea for someone stuck in a cooking rut with some time on the hands and willingness to try a new recipe every day (!), it may be too much work for most of us.

    Many families tell us find that creating a weekly meal plan including tested and tried recipes was a life-saving solution for them. Again, you can do it on your computer using the websites we listed above and printing out the shopping lists or just jolt down the meals you have in mind before or after you go shopping on a piece of paper to display somewhere in your kitchen. See an example of how Natalia does it in a just couple of minutes.

    [image: Mealplan]

    If committing to a certain recipe each day of the week is not feasible for you, a more doable strategy could be putting together a loose plan for what you plan to cook every week and adjust it as needed as the week progresses. For example, your “meal plan” may look like this:

    Monday: Pasta dish

    Tuesday: Taco night

    Wednesday: Make your own salad night

    Thursday: Bean soup

    Friday: Fish dish

    Saturday: Leftovers night

    Sunday: Take out or restaurant

    This menu will provide tons of variety and enough flexibility to combine the main dish with the veggies you have on hand or cook with the protein available to you that day. For example, Natalia always tries to shop for the freshest fresh fish or discounted frozen and then prepares it that night using one of the simple recipes she stores in her binder. To make her job easier, she keeps a well stocked spices cabinet so she can switch from one recipe to another without having to do another shopping trip.

    Adina also prefers to buy what looks freshest and/or is on sale and then improvises with the ingredients she has at home. Although planning meals for a week is not her thing, she has a pretty good idea what she will be serving for the next two or three meals.

  • Surviving the “Witching” Hour

    The biggest problem some of the parents we know face is handling the “witching hour.” Most often between 5 and 6pm, this is the time when parents arrive home from work or bring kids home from preschool or activities and face the challenge of putting a meal on the table with a whining toddler on the kitchen floor or an older child who needs help with homework.

    If this is your challenge, preparing for it in advance is the key to overcoming it. Here are a few strategies to help you both connect to your children and prepare a meal:

    • If your kids are starving, give them a very small snack (a few slices of fruit or vegetable will work great)

    • If you are cooking on that night, plan in advance by chopping the ingredients the night before or even starting the meal in your slow cooker in the morning.

    • If cooking is too much work on nights like that, plan to stock your kitchen on the weekend with fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products and bread that you can use to supplement take out meals.

    • If your children missed you and want to play with you when you get home, plan to cook something that is easy to get started and leave to finish cooking while you play with your kids. Examples are vegetable soup or roasted chicken thighs with vegetables.

    • Consider cooking big batches of food when you have time and freeze them for future easy meals. Make sure to divide the food in shallow containers to allow to cool quickly, cover with lids and store in a freezer for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. All you have to do when you get home in the evening is to reheat the meal until piping hot and slice some bread to go with it.

    • If your kids like cooking with you, engage them in the kitchen while preparing dinner. This way, you will spend some time together and get the meal ready! See the list of age appropriate kitchen tasks in the Materials section of the session. https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Kitchen%20tasks%20for%20different%20ages.pdf

  • Grocery shopping

    Whether you enjoy grocery shopping and are looking forward to your weekly trips to the farmers market or hate even thinking about it, spending a few minutes to make a plan before shopping can save you a lot of time in the week.

    Of course, if you are using one of the online tools we described in the “Have a strategy” section, you may end up having to just print out your shopping list. For the rest of us, an old fashioned pen and paper or quick list you put together on your iPhone may work just fine.

    Money-saving strategies

    • When in a store, check the price per unite (eg. oz of pound) which is a better reflection of the value of the product you are buying.
    • Look on the bottom and top shelves that often feature better deals than the “prime real estate” - the shelves at eye level.
    • Buy staples that can be kept at room temperature such as grains, flour, condiments, cereals, oils, canned goods etc, in bulk.
    • Shop for fresh produce and milk weekly
      *Make small trips to grocery store to refill your milk, bread and fruit supply. Keeping a supply of frozen and canned fruits and vegetables helps tremendously for those days when you can’t make it to the grocery store but you run out of fresh produce.

    Use a shopping list when grocery shopping.

    With these strategies, you will also have a well stocked pantry that will provide a foundation for many family meals that can be put together very quickly. You will also have plenty of fresh produce on hands to add nutritional value to your meals.

    Puzzled by nutritional labels?

    In the Materials section of the class you will find a printout that will help you decode nutritional labels and make your grocery shopping easier.

  • Your New Responsibilities

    Up until now, you may have been going through major feeding struggles with your toddler. Or perhaps everything is great and you simply don’t want to mess things up. Either way, we want to introduce you to the underlying philosophy of this class: The Division of Responsibility in Feeding.

    The Division of Responsibility in Feeding (DOR) was originally created by renowned dietitian and feeding expert, Ellyn Satter, who has done major research in the area of child feeding. On the surface, the Division of Responsibility in Feeding (DOR) looks quite simple, and in many ways, it is. But it has many nuances and has, at times, been misused and misapplied by well-meaning health professionals. Here are the basic tenets of the Division of Responsibility in Feeding:

    The parent’s job is to decide the when, what, and where of their child’s eating:

    • Set the eating times (when)
    • Select the food to be served (what)
    • Choose the location for eating (where)

    The child’s job is to decide whether to eat and how much to eat. As hinted earlier, this is a model based in trust, rather than control. A PDF of the DOR is [linked here].

    Kids must be able to trust that parents will meet their needs

    • They will be fed reliably

    • They will feel safe rather than anxious at the table

    • They will find appealing food to eat

    Parents must be able to trust that kids will eat appropriately

    • Kids know how much to eat

    • Kids will learn to eat what the family eats

    • Kids will grow to get the bodies that are right for them

    We have to trust our kids to do their job as well as be trustworthy by doing our job. As simple as this sounds, mistakes stemming from a job mix-up happen all the time in families. We see them in our practice regularly. Conversely, setting things right with the Division of Responsibility (DOR) can work wonders for a child’s eating. In the next section we will look at the 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors we discussed in our first session through the DOR lens, describing simple changes that can improve your family’s mealtimes.

    The healthiest feeding option for today involves implementing the Division of Responsibility in Feeding. Parents set structured meal and snack times that prevent grazing (structure), but allow a child to eat as much or as little (freedom) as they need within those eating times. Parents also choose the food (responsibility in terms of nutrition) but aren’t dogmatic and restrictive (freedom) because they choose to include kids’ favorites (making wise use of our abundant food supply) in a way that pleases parents and kids. There’s no bribery needed because kids are capable of learning to eat what the family eats — just like kids in Japan learn to like their family’s Japanese food, Adina learned to like the Romanian food of her youth, and Natalia learned to like her family’s Russian fare.

    Research

    One interesting study showed that out of an observation of 142 families, 85% of parents encourage a child to eat more than they want (Orell-Valente, Appetite 48 [2007]). Based on our observations and clinical experience, this percentage would probably hold true even with a much larger sample size. Parents feel very invested in getting their child to eat. Toddlers are excellent, however, at eating what they need, provided there isn’t any interference. What is eye-opening, is that as kids get older, whether due to learned ignoring of fullness or a desire to please adults, they are more likely to eat larger portions if they are served larger portions. One study showed that 3.5 year olds ate about the same amount of a given food no matter how much they were served. But 5 year olds ate more as the serving size increased (Rolls, Engell, Birch, JADA 2000). We will share more research with you as the program progresses.

    DOR helps self-regulation

    However, when the Division of Responsibility in Feeding (DOR) is followed, the volume the child eats is right for him/her. Children can be healthy at all sizes. Some are naturally smaller, and others are naturally larger. Parental restriction and lack of structure tends to make children fatter by virtue of making them feel food insecurity which leads to food preoccupation and overeating when the opportunity presents. On the other hand, kids who are pressured to eat more, tend to push back and want to eat less. There are thin kids with big appetites, thin kids with tiny appetites as well as large kids with large appetites and large kids with small appetites. It’s our job as parents to help our children maintain their amazing self-regulatory skills and let them grow into the bodies nature intended for them and feel good about it.

    For these reasons, and more, we believe following the DOR is the most effective way to feed children to accomplish the best long term results.

  • Before & After Meal Photos

    Adina has kept track of her kids’ eating here and there for the sake of sharing on her FB page to help other parents see variants of normal. Here are a few photos for your perusal. Keep in mind her 4.5 y.o. daughter is the “pickier” one and her 2.5 y.o. son has a heartier appetite and has generally been more adventurous with eating.

    [img: beforeafter1_resized]
    Before/After 3.5 y.o.’s plate. Fried tofu, etc.

    [img: beforeAfter2_resized]
    Before/After 3.5 y.o.’s plate

    [img: beforeAfter3_resized]
    Dinner was a Romanian meal Adina grew up with: cornmeal polenta, garlicky spinach and fried egg. Plus a little chocolate “orange” slice for a treat.
    — 3 y.o. ate her chocolate first. Then she ate one egg and asked for a second and ate that too. The polenta you see was actually her second serving which I spread out thinly because it is very hot. She maybe had a bite of spinach.
    — 21 mo old ate his chocolate first. Then he ate his egg and asked for about 4ths of the polenta and 3rds of the spinach. This kid LOVES his polenta, but although I’ve served this meal many times, this is the first time he gobbled up the spinach, let alone asked for more! He is now 2.5 and has only recently tried it again.

    [img: beforeAfter4_resized]
    Vegetarian ‘chicken’ patty, mashed potatoes, a Romanian baked cabbage dish, grape juice, water.
    3 y.o.: tasted everything. Finished her first half patty, had a second ‘chicken’ patty half and ate at least half of it.
    21 m.o.: tasted everything. Finished nothing but his juice.

    [img: beforeAfter5_resized]
    [img: beforeAfter7_resized]
    [img: beforeAfter6_resized_2]
    [img: BeforeAfter9_resized_1]

    Green beans, cottage-cheese-based vegetarian “meatloaf,” acorn squash w/butter & honey, carrot salad, apple chunks. 3.5 y.o. had seconds only of the “meatloaf” and the “after” photo shows what was left.

    [img BeforeAfter10_resized]
    [img BeforeAfter12_resized]

    This was the 2 y.o.’s plate. It was a very interesting but delicious vegan “meatloaf,” coconut curry scalloped potatoes, broccoli and buttered bread.
    Everything is as you see it but the After photo is after seconds of potatoes.

    [img BeforeAfter8_resized]

    This is the 4 y.o.’s plate with leftovers served for lunch with the addition of asparagus. Notice how she piled on the asparagus but didn’t eat any but she did eat tofu (which she hadn’t touched the night before). A new day, a new appetite. Meanwhile 2 y.o. ate GIGANTIC portion of baked sweet potatoes & yams followed by some beans and rice. No tofu. No asparagus.

  • Typical Toddler Behaviors - Addressed

    In the subsections below, each of the 5 typical toddler eating behaviors will be addressed, through the lens of the Division of Responsibility.

  • Realistic Portion Expectations

    How much does your toddler need to eat?

    Probably less than you think. What we call a “starter portion” for a toddler would be a tablespoon of food per each year of life. See sample meal plan in the Materials section to the right of the screen.

    For example, a dinner for a 2 year old could be:

    2 tablespoons of mashed potato + 2 tablespoons of vegetable + 2 tablespoons of chicken.

    That said, it is not very common to see a toddler eating such a balanced meal on a regular basis. What you will see more frequently will look like this:

    4 tablespoons of mashed potato+ a bite of chicken

    OR

    3 tablespoons of chicken and nothing else

    OR

    1 tablespoon of vegetable and 2 tablespoons of mashed potato.

    Here is a video of 1 toddler and 1 preschooler eating in a typical toddler way - a lot of something, a little or nothing of other things.

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJig2H166WE]

    Does it mean your toddler is not getting enough nutrition? Not necessarily. From our experience, most toddlers get the nutrition they need if they are provided with balanced and varied meals. But we need to look at a week or even 2 week period to be able to assess the quality of their diet. What they ate at one meal or even over a couple days is often not enough data to be indicative of much.

    Toddlers can meet their calorie needs through grazing

    Grazing is the enemy of balanced eating. Here is an example of a typical 2 year old is allowed to graze on “healthier” snacks throughout the day and, as a result, is not eating any of the healthy meals his parents served. At first, it looks like the child ate barely anything, but when we do the calculations, we see that he is getting so many calories from small snacks throughout the day that it is enough even without eating lunch or dinner! Keep in mind that most 2 year olds need around 1000 calories per day.

    6.30am 8 oz whole milk 160 calories
    8.30 1/2 cup strawberries 1/2 croissant
    140 calories
    10am 1/2 cup apple sauce in a pouch on a way to swimming class 50 calories
    11.30am 1oz small pack of fruit snacks in a grocery store to distract when mom was shopping 105 calories
    12.30 Not interested in lunch
    12.45 A fruit and vegetable pouch since lunch left untouched 80 calories
    1 pm 8 oz of milk before nap 160 calories
    3pm 1 oz of cheerios and 1/3 apple for snack 140 calories
    5pm Starving on the way from the park, mom gives another apple sauce pouch 50 calories
    6pm Not interested in dinner
    7pm 8oz bottle of whole milk before bed 160 calories
    Total calories: 1045 calories
    As you can see, the child who does not “seem” to eat anything, in fact eats enough to meet his calorie needs. Of course, this diet is far from perfect and the structure is replaced by constant grazing. A sample set of goals for the parents of this toddler can be the following:

    • establishing firm structure in meals and snacks

    • serving more “mini meals” instead of “kid snacks” like puree pouches and Cheerios.

    • cutting down on milk (2 servings of dairy is enough to meet a toddler’s calcium needs)

    • serving more iron-rich foods (this could be fixed when toddler becomes naturally more interested in meals once grazing is down)

    • serving more vegetables (can also be fixed by serving more mini meals instead of typical toddler snacks and increased interest in meals

    But despite the imperfections of this toddler’s diet, he is getting the calories he needs. And pressuring him to eat at mealtimes will lead to stressful meals and less interest in eating.

    In the course of this program, you will learn how to fine tune your child’s diet and meal structure to help him eat better.

  • A Healthy Relationship with Food

    Helping their child develop a healthy relationship with food is typically not a top worry for most parents unless they have struggled with their own food relationship. But it is one of the long term goals of feeding the DOR way. Since food is an inanimate object, how does one develop any type of relationship to it? Here are some examples:

    • Coping with difficult emotions by using food. This is a habit that can easily start in toddler-hood. It might be because parents offer treats to distract an upset child. It might happen because of major family stress and easily accessible food. If there is little structure and food is always available to eat at any time, there’s little stopping a young child from grabbing food from boredom or sadness or any number of emotion-based reasons. Once that habit of soothing with food gets started, it’s a tough one to break.
    • Grazing in order to get the foods you really want (candy, chocolate, chips, popcorn, etc) because they are considered bad or forbidden so it’s easier to do it on the fly because you’d never plan to eat such things on purpose…you’d feel too guilty!
    • Learned inability to stop eating when full. This can result from learning that you have to eat to please another and ignore your stomach’s signals of fullness. Adina remembers one senior citizen client who said she can still hear her deceased mother’s voice urging her to clean her plate. Eating past fullness can also result from feeling food insecurity and consequently overeating when the opportunity to have plenty arises.
    • Lack of trust in ones ability to manage food. When parents don’t trust their child’s eating, it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy where that child learns that he is untrustworthy around food. This is common when parents are concerned about a child’s large size and may take cautionary measures to restrict the child’s calories: pushing low calorie, less palatable food and controlling portions of higher calorie foods or banishing them altogether. It sends the message that hunger and fullness are not reliable, that the child cannot determine when to start or stop eating, and that the child is incapable of self-control in the face of certain foods—either that or that certain foods will automatically overwhelm her self-control.
    • Mindless Eating. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to relegate the task of eating to the sidelines and afterthought and necessary evil. Something only worth doing while multitasking: using the computer, working, watching TV, commuting to work. For a child this could include (though none of these are always inherently bad or worth feeling guilty about when they are occasional occurrences): being handed a snack cup for every stroller ride, car ride or to keep quiet in the grocery store. It could mean offering a daily meal in front of the TV in hopes of distracting him into a few more bites. When eating regularly happens in a disconnected and distracted way, habits are formed.

    We believe that implementing the Division of Responsibility in Feeding sets the stage for a healthy relationship with food by providing structure and leadership while giving stage-appropriate autonomy for children to learn to trust themselves around food and feel good about eating. It all starts with positive attitudes toward this eating business because you’re able to hold down the fort with structure and trust.

    Natalia has a great article about trusting a child’s appetite: Can we trust our children’s appetites?

    [link???]

  • Meal & Snack Structure to Help Your Child Eat Better

    If your child didn’t eat much at one meal, it’s tempting to chase him around all day offering a bite of this or a bite of that. Or perhaps you’ve left “healthy food” out within reach or created a special snack box/drawer your child can rummage through when the munching mood hits. While all these are well meaning ways to accomplish feeding your child, they each get in the way of your goals because in one way or another they twist your DOR responsibilities, blunt appetite at meals, create resistance to eating, and turn food into a constant issue.

    Implementing an appropriate meal and snack time structure, on the other hand, can set things right again. What often happens with typical “snacks” is that snack time becomes “time for ‘kid-food.’” We find that a lot of kids complain about family meals and request a “snack” because “snacks” tend to always be really easy, highly palatable foods. So while to you, “snack” means the eating times between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to your child “snack” easily turns into a category of food. Now we’re definitely not against typical snack foods, in and of themselves. But it can be helpful to not have such a major difference between foods served for meals and foods served for snacks. So with this end in mind, let’s blur the lines between a meal and a snack for this lesson. Let’s call them all meals or “eating opportunities” because that is what they are.

    If your child is under 3, we suggest planning eating opportunities (including milk, formula and juice) every two to three hours. Any closer than that and you’ll run into the problem of a blunted appetite for the subsequent eating opportunity. Between eating opportunities - only water. So for example:

    Meal #1 - 7:30 AM

    Meal #2 - 10:00 AM

    Meal #3 - 12:30 PM

    Meal #4 - 3:30 PM

    Meal #5 - 6:00 PM

    Meal #6 - 7:30 PM

    Bedtime - 8:00 PM

    We realize every family is different and not all schedules fit into the example above. For example, time might be tight enough between supper and bedtime that it makes no sense to offer a bedtime snack. However, for some of you, that bedtime snack might be a lifesaver, allowing you to relax during dinner and not stress about every bite—insurance so you can sleep at night. Maybe your breakfast is later and thus meal #2 is unnecessary. You will have to carefully consider your child’s eating and the time between meals as it is now, and find that sweet spot that works for you and your family.

    Chaotic feeding schedules, feeding on demand (of the child) gets in the way of that reliable feeding rhythm kids thrive in. In some children it creates food preoccupation, learning to eat to cope with emotions, stress from worrying about food, and blunted appetites when it’s time for the family meal. On the other hand, structure in feeding provides security and supports the social aspect of eating together. It allows kids to eat as much or as little as they need at meal times then forget about food until the next eating opportunity. It prevents seeking food from boredom and maintains that wonderful pattern of stopping to sit and eat at regular intervals—the meal habit that is often traded in today’s busy world for grazing.

    And just as the DOR allows the child to eat as much or as little from what is provided at family meals, this same principle applies to all eating opportunities.

    Toddlers who Continue to Nurse or Take Bottles
    Toddlers benefit from this structure even when it comes to milk feedings (breast or bottle). There are a lot of opinions about breast-feeding schedules vs. nursing on demand. We don’t want anyone to feel urged to wean because that is not what this program is about. We support mothers in maintaining their nursing relationship as long as mutually satisfactory. However, while nursing provides more than just nutrition, it does, indeed provide nutrition. Any food or drink with calories will influence a child’s eating of solid food. So for this reason, if you are concerned about your toddler’s eating of solids, we recommend that you begin to move nursing sessions to a similar schedule as discussed above. And if your toddler is taking a bottle, we recommend those bottles become scheduled feeds and turned into sippy cups first and eventually open cups.

    We have a whole session on mealtime structure complete with sample mealtimes coming in a few days. Stay tuned!

  • Making Meals Toddler Friendly

    What is a toddler-friendly meal?

    When you think of a “toddler-friendly” meal, what comes to mind? Most people think of a “toddler-friendly” meal as a meal containing typical snack or “kid-food” like Macaroni & cheese, chicken nuggets and applesauce. Perhaps string cheese, cantaloupe chunks and cut-up toast? Maybe you think of foods that you’d be forced to exclude like salmon, brussels sprouts, spinach salad, spicy enchiladas or most things you and your partner enjoy.

    [image: Quesadillas]

    We want you to know that any meal can become “toddler-friendly” with some minor adjustments. Whether you are a foodie who enjoys spending hours in the kitchen preparing gourmet vegan delicacies from local, organic ingredients or you are a stove-a-phobe who prefers preparing food from boxes—or somewhere in between—you don’t have to double your kitchen time to make simple family meals work. You can enjoy your favorite entrees and sides without alienating your toddler or having a food fight.

    Safe Foods

    Think of a meal you love, that your toddler hasn’t yet touched. You can plan to include that meal soon and with confidence by providing a safety net that includes 1-2 foods that you know your toddler readily accepts. Such a safe food might include, but is not limited to: bread & butter, a large bowl of a preferred fruit, a stack of tortillas, a bowl of chips or crackers. For some kids it may be a favorite vegetable, chicken or meatballs. If the meal calls for it and your child enjoys it, plain rice or pasta works well for many children.

    [image: fruit_veggies_protein]

    It might mean keeping some of the meat or chicken unsauced and also offering some sauce on the side. Few of these foods require much additional kitchen time, but give your child something simple and non-scary to eat when they are wary of the rest of the offerings. This isn’t food you give just to your child, but food that is served on the table for all—in enough quantity that everyone can get their fill—this isn’t always possible with meat/poultry as easily as it is with starches because starches are less expensive.

    Important - no catering!

    Our main caveat is that you don’t make an alternate entree for any one person. In other words, don’t set out a PB+J sandwich for your picky one when you’re having lasagna. Don’t bake chicken nuggets when everyone else is having chicken fettuccine alfredo. That amounts to short-order cooking and will hold your child back in her learning. Why branch out if she doesn’t have to?

    Additionally, don’t feel pressured to provide extensive variety with the safe food. If your daughter loves bread and will eat it readily when other things are less appetizing, keep putting bread out. An exception to the ‘alternate’ entree, would be when eating out at a restaurant—but that’s up to you. Also one thing Adina has done is combine two different foods in a way that still allows sharing and doesn’t hint to the child that his eating is ‘different.’ She did this for lunch one day by making both PB+J and cheese-tomato sandwiches, but cutting them all into fourths and putting them all one one serving platter. Then each person could try one or the other or both—there was no distinction between the “kid sandwiches” and “adult sandwiches.”

    Deconstruct Meals

    Thinking of serving tortilla soup tonight? Serve the soup, but also add tortilla chips, avocado, and other component parts on a platter separately. Your son will have the opportunity to taste the soup, if he is feeling curious, but can also eat individual parts without a lot of extra work on your part. You’ll all be sharing the same meal! See below an example of Make Your Own Quesadilla Night in Natalia’s house.

    [image: Make_your_own_quesadilla]

    This can be done with many other foods too:

    — Sandwich bar

    — Baked potato bar

    — Make your own pizza night

    — Salad bar

    — Taco night

    Don’t Make “Perfect” the Enemy of the Good Enough - (a.k.a. be willing to compromise)

    In the world of nutrition and health there are a lot of gray areas. Each of us in this class (teachers or students) would probably disagree on some specifics about what people should or should not eat. We have vegans, semi-vegetarians, and omnivores amongst us. When a way of eating represents a deeply held moral or ethical belief, we would be hard-pressed to try to sway you. We want to respect your food values. But sometimes ideals are just that…ideals. Sometimes food ideals can stand between you and a pleasant family meal and not just the pleasant family meal but the gradual progress in your child’s learning to accept new foods—including the foods of your ideals.

    When you don’t meet your ideals it’s easy to feel guilty or throw in the towel and think it’s completely black and white: either Kraft’s Mac & Cheese that your kids will eat or 90 minutes in the kitchen with fussy results. Very often when dietitians preach “family meals” what’s decoded by listeners (or readers) is an imperative to serve only foods according to a set of ideals (organic? low fat? Michael Pollan friendly? you name it). But what we really, truly mean is find a way to get food on the table that makes it worth the work and share that food—whatever it may be.

    Remember the family meal is not just about food. And if one of your goals is to increase your child’s food repertoire it is counterproductive to create such tall barriers to getting food on the table that you can’t get food on the table. It is unfair to expect a child to not eat differently than you if he is fed differently than you. It sends mixed messages. Having influence is extremely difficult if parents don’t eat together with their kids.

    Are there also foods that you avoid but are willing to feed to your child? Consider including these foods in the family menu—you can always add sides (if it is an entree) or use it as a side to your favorite entree. If you’re not allergic to it and doesn’t violate an ethical or moral dietary rule you follow, it’s worth including it, building on the influence of the other foods included on the table. It’s not catering if you aren’t cooking an alternate entree. Think of dinner rolls. They are really easy to like, but few kids will eat only that meal after meal after meal…ad infinitum.

    So instead of letting the barriers to a perfect meal stop you from eating together, consider your food values and beliefs and see if there isn’t a place to make a compromise for the sake of growing together in your enjoyment of good food and good company.

    Examples of Simple Family Meals:

    • pasta with a sauce (served separately if desired)+ steamed vegetables+fresh fruit

    • rice+black beans (can be from a can)+chopped up avocado

    • soup+dinner rolls+yogurt+fresh fruit

    • breaded chicken (aka chicken nuggets) + steamed broccoli+mashed potato

    • pizza+vegetable crudites+fresh fruit

    • canned tuna+pasta+chopped tomatoes

    Between deconstructed meals, offering safe foods at “regular” meals, and aiming to simplify, you can make the sharing of a meal together easy on both you and your child.

  • Fitting in Treats & Desserts

    [image: cookies2]

    In most households, dessert is served at the end of the meal. When everyone has gotten their fill of the main course and sides and is patting his full tummy in satisfaction, the hostess clears the table, vanishes into the kitchen, and then reappears flashing a proud smile as she presents…DESSERT: The decadent reward for getting full on nutrition! The hard work is done, you may now enjoy a moment of pleasure.

    Not teaching that lesson is one reason why we serve dessert with the meal in our houses. We don’t want to teach the unintended lesson that dessert is for full bellies. We want our children to stay tuned in to their signals of fullness and satisfaction. Sweets are desirable enough to children that they can learn to override their fullness if they have to do it to get cookies – especially if cookies are scarce.

    A small study in Appetite demonstrated that kids will eat more calories in order to squeeze in dessert if it was served at the end of the meal. The study authors interpreted the results as a way to help kids eat fewer calories.

    What we take from this is that the way we feed our kids can either support their natural self-regulation and ability to respect their fullness or it can teach them to overeat to get what they really want. That’s something else we don’t want to teach: that the meal should be considered ‘work’ while the dessert is elevated to a higher, more privileged status.

    When it comes to picky eaters it is all too easy to slip into the dessert-for-broccoli power struggle: Okay, darling, eat another bite of your chicken and two more bites of your broccoli and then you can have dessert. We see this happen in the families who come to us for nutrition counseling.

    We see it happen with picky eaters whose parents are worried because of their low weight and with picky eaters whose parents are concerned because of their higher weight. It’s not working for either group. Broccoli is wonderful! Chicken is wonderful! Dessert is wonderful! Yet we certainly make a big deal out of sweets. When dessert is a reward it takes on more power. Kids are already naturally drawn to strong sweet flavors, we don’t need to make those sweet flavors into a bigger deal. Plus bribery & coercion as well as other types of pressuring kids to eat typically makes them eat worse, not better.

    What If That’s All They Eat?

    You might now be wondering, what if that’s all they eat? How can it be okay for kids to survive off of cake and cookies until their tastes mature? Well, for one thing, dessert doesn’t have to be served at every meal or every day. How often you serve dessert is entirely up to you. And portion size matters because, it’s true, dessert may very well interfere with the nutrition of the meal if it is served ad libitum.

    It’s Okay to Limit Dessert Served with a Meal

    At meals we only serve one portion of dessert to each person at the table. And kids get a ‘child-size’ portion rather than a full adult portion (translate that to suit your preferences). It’s treated very much like a scarce food item (filet mignon, $9-a-pint raspberries, etc) and there are no seconds.

    Some examples of portions we’ve served: 1 square of chocolate, a lollipop, small slice of pie/cake, 1 coconut macaroon, small brownie, 2-3 tiny candy pieces, teacup full of pudding, teacup full of yogurt mixed with fruit, 1/2 to 1 cupcake (depending on size).

    If kids want to start with their cookie, fine. We know it’s not all they will eat. And even if your kids gobble up their small sweet treat and consequently decide they are done eating for the meal, they probably weren’t terribly hungry to begin with. If that is the case, without that dessert at the table, they would not have eaten much of anything anyway. The dessert didn’t ruin any appetites, it just masked their lack of appetite.

    With many kids, it seems the presence of dessert actually warms them up to the idea of coming to the table and relaxes them immediately, improving their attitude about the meal overall. This is not to say you should serve dessert to entice them, only that it won’t hurt matters when you do serve dessert. Occasionally, you may even find your child going back and forth between bites of dessert and bites of the main meal.

    Unlimited Portions as Snack

    Any food that is scarce, especially one as desirable as sweets, can create a strong preoccupation in a child. For some kids with a strong sweet tooth, that desire or preoccupation can lead them to overeat the desired food when they get the chance. Serving only a small child-size portion of dessert creates a kind of scarcity. To mitigate this scarcity and to allow children a chance to regulate their own portion size of a treat, we will, occasionally, serve an unlimited portion of sweets at snack time. If snack time is appropriately timed (so it’s not too close to the next meal) it won’t interfere with the next meal. Serve the sweet with a glass of milk (for example) and you’ve got a balanced snack!

    Remember, once you have firm structure in place, eating happens seated at the table, not running around. Eating happens at set meal and snack times, there’s no all-day grazing. And you get to choose how often you serve various foods. But within that structure, the freedom of the Division of Responsibility, teaches some important lessons that would be tough to teach if we managed every bite.

  • What did you just say? Phrases that help at mealtimes and phrases that don’t.

    A lot of things may affect your child’s eating at mealtimes. Some of them we have little control of, like growth velocity or tummy troubles. But others, like a pleasant mealtime environment and the way you communicate with your child may also affect his eating. See below a list of phrases that help and those that do the opposite.

    In this session’s assignment, you will have to watch/listen your mealtime video/audio and, using a template, identify the phrases that could have helped or hindered your child’s eating. This printout is also available for downloading in the Materials section on the left side of this page.

    [image: HelpAndHinderPhrases]

  • How Not to Offer Foods to Your Kids

    [image: how_not_to_offer_food] (todo: make this into text instead of image)

    Let’s discuss this Parent - Child conversation in our Discussion Forum — see the prompt with the same title as this post.

  • What the Kids Ate

    In addition to the Before/After meal photos Adina does for her FB page, she also shared these meal records to show how her kids eat from time to time. Notice the wide variation in amounts eaten, both between the two of them and from meal to meal.

    [img meals1_resized]

    This was less than one year ago and more recently (last week or so) the 4 y.o. ate 5-6 fish sticks in one sitting.

    [img meals2_resized]
    [img meals3_resized]
    [img meals4_resized]
    [img meals5_resized_1]

    Worth noting is that typically Adina’s daughter loves salmon. The above are two occasions when she ate very little of it.

    [img meals6_resized]
    [img meals7_resized]
    [img meals8_resized]

    Looking at the selections this was most likely a “get rid of leftovers” lunch or dinner, hence the combo of foods.

    This next food record comes from Adina’s blog and the topic is worth reading: Why it’s Okay to Relax About Your Child’s Eating http://healthylittleeaters.com/why-its-okay-to-relax-about-your-childs-eating/ — Note that in the record below the 4 y.o.’s intake is listed first.

    [img Breakfast1_resized_1]

  • Addressing Toddlers Who Can’t Sit at the Table for Long

    Distraction Free Meals & Transitions — let’s face it, toddlers are easily distracted. They want to go-go-go, explore, play, climb and go some more. Some little ones need a lot of help transitioning from play to the table because it may be difficult for a toddler to do it on his own. If they are sufficiently absorbed in their play, they may not even recognize they are hungry, let alone want to take a break to think about it. If the table represents anxiety or there is recent history of power struggles at meals, this move to the table may take a few meals to improve. The DOR tells us that it is the parent’s responsibility to choose the eating location — this has to do both with making mealtimes pleasant and reducing distraction. Here are some things that might help with both:

    • Reading together for a few minutes and then accompanying them to wash hands.
    • Giving a 5-min “warning” that meal time has almost arrived (many kids do well with a timer)
    • Giving them a coloring assignment or other quiet activity while the table gets set to get them into a quieter mood.
    • Involving them in setting the table or food prep.
    • Make sure that their seat is comfortable, preferably with foot support.
    • Keep the TV off until everyone at the table is finished eating.
    • Keep Toys Out of Sight/Reach if possible — sometimes eyeing the Legos they were just playing with is enough to remind a little builder of the tower that needs finishing.
      Teach siblings to play quietly when they are done, away from the table if possible, so as not to inadvertently entice your toddler back to play land.

    Now, realistically, sometimes it is not possible to control all of these factors, but we’ve put one in bold because we believe it is probably the most important. TV is a very strong distraction and really interferes with the eating atmosphere. It is best kept off during meals.

    5 Powerful Words

    If your child is used to being pressured to eat, take bites, or finish his food, it makes sense that he’d be resistant to coming to the table and eager to leave the table. Perhaps, you’re used to chasing your little one around the house with food…hoping to get a few more calories and nutrients into him—thus he may just be turned off about eating. Looking at things with the DOR in mind, there are 5 very powerful words you can say to your child that can easily melt his resistance: “You don’t have to eat”

    Let your toddler know he does not have to eat anything (because whether to eat and how much to eat is his job), but that he does need to come sit down because it’s family time. After all, it is your child’s responsibility to decide whether he actually eats and how much he eats. Once your toddler knows and believes that eating is no longer going to be an issue to fight over, you’ve won half the battle. You can then require he sit at the table for 5 minutes (after which you don’t force him to sit there forever if he really doesn’t want to eat) because family meals are not just about eating, but about being together—family time. Sometimes that busy little toddler brain, just needs to have that mental break from playing, be seated, and see everyone eating before he will realize that he too, is hungry.

    Adjust mealtime to help your toddler arrive to the table hungry If you’ve addressed all of the above by getting rid of distractions, making mealtimes pleasant and pressure-free and your toddler still doesn’t last long at the table, chances are she’s not that hungry. You want your toddler to come to the table hungry, but not famished or too tired. Dinner is often the most challenging meal for tired toddlers to handle. If this is the case with your little one, either make it a bit earlier or keep it quick and simple without expecting your toddler to eat a perfectly balanced meal. This is part of the when of the DOR. Snacks fit in here too. Snacking too close to dinner (or lunch) can easily blunt little appetites. Ideally, snack time should be spaced no closer than 2 hours from the next meal. You may have to play with the scheduling a bit to see what works best for your family.

    Now if you address this too and your child still does not want to sit at the table for very long, that’s really okay. She’s probably just not hungry. Trust her appetite. Provided growth is not on the decline, she’s probably getting enough calories at her other meals and snacks.

    Bad Behavior

    Bad behavior like food throwing, tantrums, etc sometimes are solved simply by implementing the DOR and removing that power struggle over food. Sometimes throwing food is just another sign that your child is simply not hungry or finished eating. Teaching your child to say or sign “all done” can help him communicate his desire to leave the table.

    But sometimes toddlers love the attention they get from unwanted behaviors at the table. Could the behavior be attention seeking? Is it worth ignoring or is it too distracting (ruining the meal for you or others)? Perhaps some undivided attention added elsewhere in the day might reduce the behavior.

    Another effective option is simply to remove your child from the table if the behavior is bothersome enough and matter-of-factly let her know that X behavior is not for the table. For a problem that doesn’t seem to go away using gentle redirection or reminders, this might be more effective. If you set him down from his high chair or booster, stay firm. Of course this is sometimes easier said than done, but you know your child best and whether she would understand such a consequence as well as how effective it would be.

  • Addressing Toddlers’ Erratic Appetites

    As you learned in the previous session, toddlers have erratic appetites and that’s normal for three main reasons:

    Slowed growth after the age of 1 — they simply don’t need to eat as much per body weight as they used to when they were infants.
    Still strongly responsive to their hunger/fullness signals — they are highly attuned to these signals and tend to respond appropriately regardless of what we adults seem to think they need at any particular meal.
    Busy bodies full of energy and curiosity that don’t want to stop to eat
    Considering these three causes of a toddler’s typically unpredictable appetite, can you envision how implementing the Division of Responsibility might help you and your child?

    Your responsibilities are:

    1. Setting sit-down, meal and snack times — providing structure, reliability and focus. Structure prevents constant grazing or frequent food handouts to cope with meltdowns, boredom, and distract from difficult feelings. It prevents the beginnings of eating to cope with emotions. Sometimes children are bored and may ask for food due to boredom or frustration. It’s no use asking “are you really hungry?” because children may say yes regardless of actual hunger. But having set meal and snack times allows children to value the sit-down meal as a special time to get nourished rather than as a way to cope. That reliability gives a child security and gives flexibility in the face of their erratic appetite. They are secure in being fed and not made to go hungry for extended periods of time. They learn that there is a rhythm to eating and meals come frequently enough so they don’t need to worry about or be preoccupied about food between times. And the fact that eating happens at set times, and seated (rather than something done while multi-tasking) helps kids stay attuned to their hunger and fullness because they are paying attention to eating. On the other hand, running around while munching, or running to and from the table, distracts a child from his stomach’s signals.

    The flexibility comes in this way: If Timmy only eats a bite at morning snack, it’s not a big deal because lunch is coming in 2-3 hours where he’ll get another chance. On days when Susie is ready to leave the dinner table in 5 minutes, it’s nothing to worry about because you always serve a snack before bed. Keep in mind that snacks should be consistently served, not merely in response to minimal eating at the previous meal.

    2. Choosing the food that is offered — Since you’re in charge of the food, you can serve nourishing food and fun foods as you see fit. Except for perhaps a few favorites, you’ll rarely be able to predict your child’s eating: both what they want to eat most and how much they eat of anything. By planning balanced meals, your child will have an opportunity at every meal and snack to get whatever was missed the time before. One interesting case worth sharing involves a parent worried about the fact that the only thing his child wanted to eat at breakfast was sugary cereal. Dad felt bad about serving it every morning, but was afraid of letting his child go hungry. So he kept serving it and worrying. This was a clear case of a swapping of responsibilities. It wouldn’t take long of serving a few different types of breakfasts, perhaps with occasional pop-in of the favored cereal, to change things around. If you’re worried about something similar, give yourself permission to take back control of the food on the table. Take back your job and give your child her jobs back.

    Your child’s jobs are:

    1. Decide whether to eat anything from the offered foods.

    2. Decide how much to eat from the offered foods.
    If you’ve struggled with your child’s eating for a long time, it probably started with some valid fears. It is scary to see your child turn away good food and nourishment. It feels like you’ve done something terribly wrong. You might believe that if you don’t help your child eat more, at best you’re not a very good parent and at worst your child will starve. But whether the feeding struggles stem from a medical issue or are simply the result of typical parent-child mealtime power struggles, things will not smooth over if you take over your child’s job of eating even though it is tempting to think so. It only makes kids fight harder to keep control over their eating.

    So for the toddler with the erratic appetite (most of them), your mission is to set those regular meal and snack times and stay firm on not allowing munching or drinks between (except for water). Then give your child(ren) the freedom to eat as much or as little as they want at eating times. You can’t force their appetites to be consistent. But you can choose to be the stable “rock.”

  • Addressing Toddlers’ Wariness of New Foods

    Each child is different so some toddlers may have a stronger aversion to “new” than others.

    Exposure, exposure, exposure! — Research shows that most kids need at least 10 exposures to a food before they will find it acceptable. The key word is “at least” because some kids need a lot more. Don’t set your expectations too high. Remember your job is the actual exposure, it is not getting him to love (insert food name here). Here is a video explaining why one bite rule may not work for your child.

    [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF-GG8uS8b0]

    Use liked foods in new and different ways. If your child generally accepts pasta, try different pasta & noodle shapes. If steamed broccoli is popular, try roasted broccoli or a broccoli casserole. Lot of ideas for expanding a little one’s vegetable exposure here using carrots as an example. Just recently week a mom with a very selective toddler tried one of the suggestions in the article and was thrilled to see her little one, who previously hadn’t shown much interest in carrots, eat carrots! Of course your mileage may vary or it may take much longer, but don’t give up or throw in the towel. This is a long term work you are doing.

    Serve familiar food alongside new foods. This could mean serving a plain or familiar version of the ‘new’ food or simply having scrumptious dinner rolls on the table each night for your toddler to fall back on.

    Deconstructed meals — a deconstructed meal is one in which the components of the meal are served separately. Take tacos, baked potato bar, pasta served separately from the sauce, make-your-own quesadillas, and so on. Deconstructed meals allows a young child to experiment with the ingredients in a meal without having the, sometimes, overwhelming challenge of eating them all mixed together. Natalia shared some fun ideas in a guest blog here.

    Family style service — Essentially this means starting with empty plates for everyone and letting each person serve themselves from the entree and sides that have been placed on the table. Of course this requires kid-friendly serving utensils and depending on your toddler’s age, some assistance. Serving “family stye” greatly reduces mealtime pressure and allows a child to ‘sneak-up’ on foods he’s not quite sure about. Read more about how family style meals can help raise healthy eaters here.

    Give opportunities to ‘sneak-up’ on foods — kids can’t do their job of eating and ‘sneaking-up’ on foods if we get in the way with reminders and encouragement to “just try it, you might like it!” For most kids, that kind of pressure feels pushy and intrusive and steals their curiosity. There have been a number of times that Adina’s daughter, now 4, has turned down a food only to ask to serve herself (or serve herself without saying a word) that very item 10 minutes into the meal. The first few times might mean your child only puts something on her plate, later tastes it, and many meals later it might mean enjoying a full serving. There isn’t a set timeline, and progress is not always linear. But ‘sneaking up’ on food is way more fun than eating because it is a ‘duty.’

  • Addressing Toddlers’ Desire for Autonomy

    How would it feel if someone else was completely in charge of how much you ate? Can you imagine? No matter what strange, unappetizing dish was on the table you were always pushed to eat it. No matter how your stomach felt, how tired you were, what your mood was like, or whether (or not) you were hungry, you were expected to put all the offerings on your plate and without a protest and be pleasant and remain at the table with these food pushers?

    To the right, in the materials section, click on “You’re Such a Picky Eater” to watch a very eye-opening video. Then continue reading below.

    In reality, we do a lot of appropriate things to/for kids that don’t make sense to do to/for adults. But there’s just something about making another person eat against their will that just seems a bit absurd — whether that other person is a child or an adult.

    Imagine you are the “picky eater” in the video. How would you feel? Annoyed? Ashamed? Perhaps even more determined to not eat? It’s very normal to dig in your heels when it feels like your sense of autonomy is being challenged. When someone is trying to control something as personal as your eating, the food you want to put in your mouth and enjoy. It would certainly ruin our appetites.

    It’s not any different for children. Especially a toddler for whom personal autonomy is a burgeoning new concept and doing things for themselves is more important than the completion of the task.

    The DOR addresses this directly by stating that it is the child’s job to determine whether and how much to eat. Kids want to eat, they want to grow, and they want to learn and develop competence when it comes to eating. But you already know what they want more, right? Autonomy! If, in the course of their young life, their eating autonomy has been challenged frequently some of the resulting feeding struggles will naturally dissipate when you begin following the DOR. For some of you, this will be a surprisingly quick breakthrough. For others, it may take a bit longer. The foundational key to finding your way out of the power struggle will be trust. Trust that your child wants to do well, trusting your child to do his eating job and being trustworthy by doing your feeding job.

    We’ve already discussed a few key strategies in the previous discussions addressing typical toddler behaviors. From those, two stand out as critical when it comes to giving your child age-appropriate autonomy:

    1. The 5 Magic Words: “You Don’t Have to Eat”
    2. Serving Meals Family Style. The following two articles from our respective blogs cover this information very well:

    Family Meals & The Picky Eater: http://healthylittleeaters.com/familymealspickyeater-2/

    Family Style Meals Help Raise Healthy Eaters: http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/06/family-style-mals-help-raise-healthy-eaters/

  • Addressing Toddlers’ Fickle Food Preferences

    Toddlers don’t truly know what they like and don’t like. They know what they are willing to try in any given moment, but their experience is limited and they’re still learning and sorting things out in this big world of food. A lesson most parents learn, eventually, is that planning meals around what you think your child will like or dislike is a recipe for frustration and disappointment. So don’t do it.

    Ultimately, your goal is to share a meal with your toddler with minimal adjustments, like maybe using less spice or cutting chicken in smaller pieces. While serving your child’s favorite chicken nuggets or pasta for dinner sometimes is absolutely fine, make sure that these foods are part of the meal for the whole family, not something special that you fixed for your toddler. Special meals, different from what the rest of the family is eating, send a message that you do not expect your child to learn to like the “grown up” food.

    Of course, it’s still important to be considerate because your toddler is an important and loved member of your family. But that line between being considerate and catering is sometimes thin. You can be considerate by:

    Always serving one or two “safe” foods at meals. This is not the same as cooking a separate or alternate entree for your child. A lot of toddlers do well with dinner rolls, toast & butter, crackers, rice, tortillas, plain pasta or fruit. These are simple sides that require no cooking or if they do are part of the meal anyway. Having a safe food at each meal keeps anxiety low for children who are particularly fickle or wary of new foods. They see that there is something edible on the table and can relax, knowing that no matter how strange the casserole is they aren’t going to starve. It helps you relax too.

    Having enough of the “safe” food on the table. Don’t skimp in hopes that it will entice her to try other dishes.
    Not setting expectations. Even if your child ate 5 spears of asparagus last week, he might not even look at them this week. Maybe last time you barbecued chicken, he cleaned his plate. This time he might only take a taste.

    This is all a learning experience.

    Not plating your child’s food. Offer from what’s on the table, and help him serve himself if he indicates he wants something. Your child’s age and development will take precedence here. If he can’t physically serve himself and he’s generally relaxed at the table, he may happily accept your placing small samples of foods right on his tray/plate.

    The biggest “no-no”: Don’t ask your child what he wants to eat before you’ve set the table. It’s not her responsibility to decide what a meal should be. Set the food out on the table and help her get seated and then let her choose from the selections at that point. A toddler’s fickle food preferences means she may say one thing, but then not want to eat that thing. That is a set up for putting pressure on her to eat because you went to the trouble of preparing exactly what she requested.

    Finally, if you feel that your toddler did not have enough food at a meal, rest assured that he will eat again at a scheduled snack time. This way, you will be less likely to pressure him to eat something or trying to entice him to eat by preparing special meals.

{"cards":[{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b1","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302613,"position":1,"parentId":null,"content":"# Welcome & Introduction"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b2","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302614,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b1","content":"# Welcome & Introduction\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLnQ64YzVcw]\n\nWelcome to Feed Your Toddler With Confidence! Once you have completed this course, you’ll know what to expect, how to cope with normal toddler mealtime behavior and learn strategies for helping your child eat well now as well as maintain and develop a healthy relationship with food for the future.\n\nHow the class works:\n\n* You can view materials in your own time\n* We will send updates whenever new material is posted\n* Material is organized in a way that will help you implement changes easily.\n* We will encourage you to complete assignments to get more out of the class.\n* We also encourage you to participate in discussion and post your questions.\n* If you prefer to remain anonymous, email us your questions directly.\n\nSince it is just the introductory day of our class that also happens to be Father's Day, we did not want to overwhelm you with new information and assignments. We also know that some of you may need an additional day to finish up the food record for your toddler.\n\nBut we included a very short survey in this session. It will help us to get to know you a little better and also adapt the class materials to make sure they are meeting your needs. You can find the link to the survey below or in the Forms on the left side vertical menu. \n\nStay tuned for tomorrow's session where we will talk about typical toddler's behaviors and red flags that may indicate presence of a bigger issue. \n\n**Need data collection assignment. What are they doing now?**\n\n"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b3","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302615,"position":2,"parentId":null,"content":"# Session 1: 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b4","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302616,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b3","content":"# 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors\n\n[intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osxm1kR2QGc]\n\n[image: cute_girl_at_table]\n\nWhen you're in the trenches, everything about feeding a toddler seems a little unsteady, wild, and crazy. We've found that being able to distinguish between normal and problem behavior helped us tremendously. If nothing else, knowing your child is not really turning into a food monster, and that pretty much every other toddler out there behaves similarly, is well...calming. In other words, you're not alone! \n\nOne of the things we love about being dietitian moms is that we know what to expect when it comes to feeding kids at various stages—so we are not surprised by some of the frustrating things toddlers do when it comes to eating and we know how to deal with them. But we didn’t always know! We each made our own share of mistakes with our first children. Luckily by the time babies #2 came along we had already learned everything we’re going to be teaching you and consequently feeding was no longer a source of worry and stress. It’s our hope that by understanding what normal toddler eating behavior looks like (and later how to deal with this normal) you’ll be able to relax about feeding, be prepared for changes in eating behavior and implement the tips and tools we’ll give you to transform your little ones' eating habits and enjoy eating together.\n\n[image: boy_fork_knife]\n\n\nHere are 5 very common, very normal, typical toddler eating behaviors:\n\n* Toddlers can't sit at the table very long.\n* Toddlers have very erratic appetites. \n* Toddlers are wary of new foods (food neophobia). \n* Toddlers have a very strong desire for increasing autonomy.\n* Toddlers have erratic food preferences. \n\nEach of the 5 points above are explained in more detail in the subsections below. Read them in the order of your preference.\n\nSome families need more support when it comes to dealing with their picky eater. We discuss such cases in the \"Signs of a bigger problem\" subsection below. \n\nIn session 2 we'll begin teaching you effective ways to address these normal toddler behaviors. As you learn new strategies for dealing with your toddler's normal (but confusing) eating behaviors, what we advise will always be based in a model of Trust and will include: \n-- Trusting your child to do his developmentally appropriate eating jobs\n-- Being trustworthy and doing your feeding jobs\nWe'll explain what we mean by this a bit more in session 2.\n"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b5","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302617,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b4","content":"# Toddlers Can't Sit at The Table for Long. \nDinner is ready!\n\nWhen we've worked hard to put together a delicious and balanced meal we're pretty tired by the time the table gets set, food set out, and we can plop down in our seats. We don’t really want to get up again for at least 20 minutes. But the average 18 month old doesn't feel the same. She might want to get up within 5 minutes and go play. You may have experienced this yourself. You may have bargained and reminded your child that dessert is coming, if she would just sit still. You may have tried to get a few more bites out of her to buy you time. Perhaps you've wrestled her back into her chair several times before giving up.\n\nThe fact is toddlers have a very short attention span, are easily distracted, have a fairly small stomach and have a lot of energy to burn. These factors combined create a strong incentive for him to get moving soon after he’s started his meal. If he’s not particularly hungry, this behavior will seem amplified.\n\nIf it’s a family meal you might be thinking “but this is family time, not just eating time, she needs to learn to sit quietly and participate in our conversation.” A very understandable desire. With time and maturity, your little one will grown in her ability to meet this expectation, but as a toddler, that ability is simply not there.\n\nPerhaps what you’re struggling with is not so much that he is quick to be ‘done’ eating and ready to leave 5 minutes into the meal, but that he wants to go back and forth between play and eating. Maybe he leaves only to return just as you’re finishing up and demand more food. Maybe he wants to take his food and run around the house to eat it. \n\nMaybe your toddler is going through a food tossing phase and constantly throwing food down off her high chair and it's driving you bananas.\n\nAll of the above is VERY normal and we’ll share with you several strategies for solving these frustrating dilemmas."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b6","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302618,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b4","content":"# Toddlers Have Very Erratic Appetites\n\nToddlers can be ravenous one meal and then seem to survive on air for the next two - or five! Meal skipping is the norm, rather than an exception. And this is normal. Normal. We can't stress this enough. It's particularly common for little ones to skip supper of all meals, but of course it varies from day to day. Eating barely a bite could happen at any meal or several meals in a row. Adina used to call her first child a breatharian...you know one who lives off of nothing but breathing air? \n\n* Your toddler's fickle appetite is not something that you have to change. It will happen on its own, naturally. One reason for this unpredictable appetite is because after the age of 1, a child's growth slows down considerably compared to what it was before. Toddlers simply don't require as many calories per pound of body weight as they did before. \n\n* Another reason is because kids at this age are so busy, busy, busy. They're still learning a lot and want so much to play and explore. \n\n* A third reason for their normal erratic appetite is that toddlers (just like infants) are still very much attuned to their hunger and satiety signals. We, adults, often eat regardless of hunger pangs and might even eat past that feeling of fullness just because the food is there. Toddlers are not this way. When they hit that moment of satisfaction or fullness they are immediately ready to move on to the next fun activity.\n\n* Finally, how we approach feeding sometimes can work for or against us. If meals involve a lot of conflict or parents are over-controlling, kids tend to respond by pushing back and resisting eating. We'll address how to respond appropriately as the course continues.\n\n* Lest you think that only finicky eaters are normal, rest assured that if your child has a hearty appetite, it does not mean he's abnormal. Some kids do have hearty appetites from the beginning and continue enjoying the task of eating even as toddlers. The key will be in doing a good job of feeding, rather than expecting a certain kind of eating as evidence of all being well. There's always a reason(s) that a child eats a lot or hardly anything and it's usually a good reason stemming from internal self-regulation. Unless there have been struggles over the matter. Then it might have to do with the feeding errors that those struggles sparked. If that is the case, have no fear because this class will help you iron it all out. If that's not the case, then this class will help you to keep up the good work and not create struggles where none exist."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b7","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302619,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b4","content":"# Toddler are Wary of New Foods\n\nBetween the ages of 2 and 6 years of age, most kids go through a period of “food neophobia” — essentially this simply means a fear of new foods. A child who previously would scarf down a bowl of broccoli may very well turn up her nose at most anything green. This is very normal and demonstrates a new developmental milestone. Kids at this age might not want certain foods to touch, or might prefer individual foods rather than mixed dishes like casseroles. Presenting some 3-year-olds with goulash or ratatouille or lasagna could be comparable to presenting the average American adult with a plate of fried grasshoppers—completely unappetizing! \n\nToddlers also have an innate predisposition to like sweet foods and dislike bitter foods. They also tend to look for predictable texture and flavor\n\nThis is no doubt very frustrating to you if you are an adventurous eater and enjoy trying new dishes often. But take heart, your enjoyment of these foods will work in your favor. We’ll explain why this is so and teach you how to cope with this food neophobia to maximize your child’s learning as we go along."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b8","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302620,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b4","content":"# Toddlers Have Fickle Food Preferences\n\nYour predictive powers about what your kids will eat will plummet drastically during the toddler years. The salad they loved on Wednesday, might not be touched the next several times you serve it. And then one day you'll serve very beety pancakes to your daughter who isn't a fan of beets and her enthusiastic eating will blow your mind. [https://www.therapyandlearningservices.com/-blog/guest-post-axe-the-agenda-a-lesson-in-expectations-for-your-picky-eaters]\n\nExpect any of the following:\n\n* Food jags -- wanting the same food over and over and over and ....\n* Loving something one day and not touching it again for weeks.\n* Will try veggies while helping with food prep but show no interest in them at the table.\n* Foods can’t touch\n* Liking components but not mixed meals.\n\nBecause of this common toddler finickiness, it is futile to plan menus around what you think your child will eat. Trying to do so will lead to a lot of frustration and disappointment. Most parents only offer a food a few times before giving up (prematurely) and crossing it off the family's food repertoire. We'll teach you how to help your child learn to like the foods you want to include."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b9","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302621,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b4","content":"# Toddlers Have a Strong Desire for Increasing Autonomy\n\nKids are born with a desire to learn and grow. Both physically, mentally, socially, emotionally…and with their eating. We all have a strong biological drive to survive and with this comes the desire to be fed and get enough to eat to meet our energy needs…and for kids, to GROW. But, when it comes to the developmental stage of toddlers, their growing desire for autonomy often trumps their biological need to eat. Typically not to the point of starvation (though kids with bigger feeding problems might risk it), but the need to make decisions about eating can over-power their hunger enough to drive a parents bonkers. This need for autonomy often manifests itself in picky eating, food refusal, power struggles at the table, or even skipping meals.\n\nThere is quite a bit of research that demonstrates that the more parents push a child to eat (or to eat more) the more kids dig in their heels about eating and want to eat less.\n\nIn this program you will learn how to make this normal desire for autonomy work for you (and them) at meals and snacks. You’ll learn simple ways to turn the family table from a battlefield into a harmonious place where everyone gets enough to eat and your kids grow in their eating skills. You will learn to take the right kind of leadership while giving appropriate autonomy."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ba","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302622,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b4","content":"# Signs of a Bigger Problem\n\nIf you suspect that your toddler's eating habits and struggles go beyond the \"5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors,\" your child may be what we call \"resistant\" eater. Here are some signs to look for:\n\n* Limited food selection. Resistant eaters often accept only 10-15 foods or fewer.\n* Limited food groups. Refusing one or more food groups is fairly common among resistant eaters.\n* Anxiety and/or tantrums when presented with new foods. * Resistant eaters often gag or vomit when presented with new foods.\n* Histories of food allergies/sensitivities\n* The onset of feeding problems started shortly after birth\n* Resistant eaters are sometimes diagnosed with a developmental delay such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorders- Not Otherwise Specified. Some of them may also have a diagnosis of mental retardation.\n\nIf your child exhibits one or more of these signs, working with a group of specialists to rule out any underlying disorder will be helpful. Many parents start by having a conversation with their pediatrician who may refer them to an allergist, GI specialist, speech therapist, or occupational therapist specializing in feeding. \n\nHere are some of the contributing factors compromising the child's ability to accept food:\n\n* Inadequate oral-motor skills, when the child may not have enough jaw/tongue control to chew foods.\n* Sensory processing skills, such as sensitivities to smell, taste or texture that can influence food choices.\n* Gastrointestinal factors can be a problem, when children refuse to eat the food that they associate with stomach discomfort or pain.\n* Environmental controls. These may include parenting around food, such as allowing the child to graze throughout the day, so that he is not hungry for meals or tolerating inappropriate mealtime behavior.\n* Medical issues such as food allergies or swollen tonsils/adenoid.\n\nIt is also recommended to see a dietitian to identify potential nutritional gaps in the diet and determine ways to boost your child’s nutritional status, often via supplements. A dietitian who understands \"feeding dynamics\" is ideal. We also recommend against feeding therapy that is control-based or puts a lot of pressure on a child.\n\nOnce the underlying issue has been diagnosed/ruled out and you have a strategy for improving his or her nutrition, following the feeding model we discuss in this class will help your child reach his or her eating potential at a comfortable speed. Some parents find it particularly helpful to connect with families struggling with similar issues. One such resources we recommend is the website and Facebook page of Mealtime Hostage, founded by a mother of a child with feeding problems. [http://mealtimehostage.com/about/]\n\n\nSome questions to ask your health professional:\n\n\n* Are they trained to identify signs of underlying issues such as GI disorders, food allergies, sensory sensitivities, oral-motor delays and refer to specialists as needed? \n* Are they familiar with the Division of Responsibility by Ellyn Satter? Using this principle has been shown to minimize counterproductive feeding strategies such as forcing/pressuring food which can make feeding problem worse.\n* Are they familiar with the Food Chaining approach? It is an individualized, nonthreatening, home-based feeding program designed to expand food repertoire by emphasizing similar features between accepted and targeted food items. Limited research suggests Food Chaining may be an effective treatment for selective eating disorders.\n\nWhat can you do at home in the meantime:\n\n* Sit down with the child and have a shared meal. \n* Let the child select a seat where they feel comfortable and will be least likely to gag, choke or vomit smelling or being too close to offending foods. \n* Have the child watch you eat a variety of foods. \n* Reassure the child that you are not going to make them eat and try to create a normal, mealtime atmosphere. \n* Focus on light, pleasant conversation and not on what is being eaten.\n* Refrain from making special foods for your child at these family meals. \n* Ensure that the child arrives at each meal hungry. Keep snacks to no less than two hours before a meal and have them at planned times. \n* Consider supplemental nutrition as the child continues to work through his or her underlying food anxieties. This will allow normal growth to be maintained without the daily battles and fights. If the child is able to drink, a high calorie, high protein formula with added vitamins and minerals can be offered."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bb","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302623,"position":3,"parentId":null,"content":"# Session 2: How to Get Your Child to Eat... But Not Too Much!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bc","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302624,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bb","content":"# Session 2: How to Get Your Child to Eat...But Not Too Much.\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WykFF1rMmrI]\n\nIf you’re like most of the parents we surveyed and the many we’ve heard vent about their kids’ eating, you have three main concerns:\n\n* You want your children to eat enough.\n* You want your children to eat primarily foods deemed \"healthy.\"\n* You don’t want your children to eat too much, particularly of foods deemed \"unhealthy\"\n\n... and you'd like them to do this now, tomorrow, through their teenage years and as adults. In this section we will be discussing how to work toward these ends in these early years and a feeding strategy to increase the likelihood that your children will have good eating habits as adults."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bd","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302625,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bc","content":"# Feeding Past & Present\n\n100+ years ago there wasn’t much choice with regard to food. Each culture tended to have their small selection of foods and nobody worried much about lack of variety. The concern for all but the wealthiest people was getting enough to survive. The recipe finding/swapping power of the internet was nonexistent and you made do with what was available. Your great-grandmothers surely did not think about being \"green\" with her food choices, she didn't worry about genetically engineered food, whether her kids were overdoing their sugar intake for the day, or if gluten was something to avoid or not.\n\nWe've come a long way, in both good and bad ways. While we have not eradicated food insecurity in the United States, for the most part most people have constant access to food. Instead of cooking and food prep taking most of our day, we can drive to get take-out, use a microwave, and buy pre-chopped, pre-grated anything — without having to grow it ourselves. Our great grandparents didn't worry about how much sweets their kids ate because sweets weren't available at every corner, at school, at church, and at every bank drive-through. Vegetables just were (or were not) part of meals and most of it was grown at home.\n\n[image: Vegetables]\n\nWe live in a very different food culture today than that of our parents' and grandparents' decades ago. Feeding & eating habits that may have seemed fine and \"harmless\" in times when getting enough food was difficult, just aren't a good match for today. So the feeding strategy we choose needs to take into account the world we live in and the constant availability of every kind of food imaginable. Barring a major disaster or drastic change in life circumstances, our kids are unlikely to ever experience chronic hunger.\n\n[image: donuts]\n\nSo how do you choose a feeding strategy in today’s food environment of abundance? We suggest that an effective feeding strategy meets the following criteria:\n\n1) Takes into account a child’s biological drive to eat.\n2) Takes into account a child’s drive to learn.\n3) Maintains/re-establishes natural self-regulatory skills.\n4) Maintains/creates a positive relationship with food and eating in the face societal messages that support the opposite.\n5) Does no harm.\n\nIn thinking about the ways we grew up and our nutrition counseling experience it seems most parents try to “correct” the food problems they grew up with. Those of who had food pushed on them as kids, may try to back off. But even parents who are sensitive to being overtly pushy might use bribery because they want to see their kid eating what they think is good...and they don't know another way to get the job done. Those who grew up with scarcity want their kids to experience the joy of abundance--thus they fear putting limits on their child’s eating. Perhaps limits feel too much like a reminder of times when there wasn't enough. \n\nBeing laissez-faire about food and letting children eat without limits or structure may feel refreshing to someone who grew up being forced to eat or who spent their life in scarcity, but our children are not living in that world. And there are options that don’t involve force, bribery, or permissiveness.\n\nThe strategy you'll be learning in this class comes down to an issue of Trust:\nA) Trusting your child will get the right amount to eat while you provide structure. \nB) Being trustworthy about food by providing structure, a pleasant eating atmosphere, and safe foods.\n\nCan it be that simple? Mostly, YES! But of course implementing something new is rarely easy. So we will walk you through it!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302626,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bd","content":"# Your New Responsibilities\n \nUp until now, you may have been going through major feeding struggles with your toddler. Or perhaps everything is great and you simply don't want to mess things up. Either way, we want to introduce you to the underlying philosophy of this class: The Division of Responsibility in Feeding.\n\nThe Division of Responsibility in Feeding (DOR) was originally created by renowned dietitian and feeding expert, Ellyn Satter, who has done major research in the area of child feeding. On the surface, the Division of Responsibility in Feeding (DOR) looks quite simple, and in many ways, it is. But it has many nuances and has, at times, been misused and misapplied by well-meaning health professionals. Here are the basic tenets of the Division of Responsibility in Feeding:\n\nThe parent's job is to decide the when, what, and where of their child's eating:\n\n* Set the eating times (when)\n* Select the food to be served (what) \n* Choose the location for eating (where) \n\nThe child's job is to decide whether to eat and how much to eat. As hinted earlier, this is a model based in trust, rather than control. A PDF of the DOR is [linked here].\n\n**Kids must be able to trust that parents will meet their needs**\n\n* They will be fed reliably\n\n* They will feel safe rather than anxious at the table\n\n* They will find appealing food to eat\n\n**Parents must be able to trust that kids will eat appropriately**\n\n* Kids know how much to eat\n\n* Kids will learn to eat what the family eats\n\n* Kids will grow to get the bodies that are right for them\n\nWe have to trust our kids to do their job as well as be trustworthy by doing our job. As simple as this sounds, mistakes stemming from a job mix-up happen all the time in families. We see them in our practice regularly. Conversely, setting things right with the Division of Responsibility (DOR) can work wonders for a child's eating. In the next section we will look at the 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors we discussed in our first session through the DOR lens, describing simple changes that can improve your family's mealtimes.\n\nThe healthiest feeding option for today involves implementing the Division of Responsibility in Feeding. Parents set structured meal and snack times that prevent grazing (structure), but allow a child to eat as much or as little (freedom) as they need within those eating times. Parents also choose the food (responsibility in terms of nutrition) but aren’t dogmatic and restrictive (freedom) because they choose to include kids’ favorites (making wise use of our abundant food supply) in a way that pleases parents and kids. There’s no bribery needed because kids are capable of learning to eat what the family eats — just like kids in Japan learn to like their family's Japanese food, Adina learned to like the Romanian food of her youth, and Natalia learned to like her family’s Russian fare.\n\n**Research**\n\nOne interesting study showed that out of an observation of 142 families, 85% of parents encourage a child to eat more than they want (Orell-Valente, Appetite 48 [2007]). Based on our observations and clinical experience, this percentage would probably hold true even with a much larger sample size. Parents feel very invested in getting their child to eat. Toddlers are excellent, however, at eating what they need, provided there isn't any interference. What is eye-opening, is that as kids get older, whether due to learned ignoring of fullness or a desire to please adults, they are more likely to eat larger portions if they are served larger portions. One study showed that 3.5 year olds ate about the same amount of a given food no matter how much they were served. But 5 year olds ate more as the serving size increased (Rolls, Engell, Birch, JADA 2000). We will share more research with you as the program progresses.\n\n**DOR helps self-regulation**\n\nHowever, when the Division of Responsibility in Feeding (DOR) is followed, the volume the child eats is right for him/her. Children can be healthy at all sizes. Some are naturally smaller, and others are naturally larger. Parental restriction and lack of structure tends to make children fatter by virtue of making them feel food insecurity which leads to food preoccupation and overeating when the opportunity presents. On the other hand, kids who are pressured to eat more, tend to push back and want to eat less. There are thin kids with big appetites, thin kids with tiny appetites as well as large kids with large appetites and large kids with small appetites. It's our job as parents to help our children maintain their amazing self-regulatory skills and let them grow into the bodies nature intended for them and feel good about it. \n\nFor these reasons, and more, we believe following the DOR is the most effective way to feed children to accomplish the best long term results. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bf","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302627,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# Typical Toddler Behaviors - Addressed\n\nIn the subsections below, each of the 5 typical toddler eating behaviors will be addressed, through the lens of the Division of Responsibility. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c0","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302628,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bf","content":"# Addressing Toddlers Who Can't Sit at the Table for Long\n\nDistraction Free Meals & Transitions -- let's face it, toddlers are easily distracted. They want to go-go-go, explore, play, climb and go some more. Some little ones need a lot of help transitioning from play to the table because it may be difficult for a toddler to do it on his own. If they are sufficiently absorbed in their play, they may not even recognize they are hungry, let alone want to take a break to think about it. If the table represents anxiety or there is recent history of power struggles at meals, this move to the table may take a few meals to improve. The DOR tells us that it is the parent's responsibility to choose the eating location -- this has to do both with making mealtimes pleasant and reducing distraction. Here are some things that might help with both:\n\n* Reading together for a few minutes and then accompanying them to wash hands.\n* Giving a 5-min \"warning\" that meal time has almost arrived (many kids do well with a timer) \n* Giving them a coloring assignment or other quiet activity while the table gets set to get them into a quieter mood.\n* Involving them in setting the table or food prep.\n* Make sure that their seat is comfortable, preferably with foot support.\n* **Keep the TV off until everyone at the table is finished eating.**\n* Keep Toys Out of Sight/Reach if possible -- sometimes eyeing the Legos they were just playing with is enough to remind a little builder of the tower that needs finishing. \nTeach siblings to play quietly when they are done, away from the table if possible, so as not to inadvertently entice your toddler back to play land.\n\nNow, realistically, sometimes it is not possible to control all of these factors, but we've put one in bold because we believe it is probably the most important. TV is a very strong distraction and really interferes with the eating atmosphere. It is best kept off during meals.\n\n**5 Powerful Words**\n\nIf your child is used to being pressured to eat, take bites, or finish his food, it makes sense that he'd be resistant to coming to the table and eager to leave the table. Perhaps, you're used to chasing your little one around the house with food...hoping to get a few more calories and nutrients into him--thus he may just be turned off about eating. Looking at things with the DOR in mind, there are 5 very powerful words you can say to your child that can easily melt his resistance: ***“You don’t have to eat” ***\n\nLet your toddler know he does not have to eat anything (because whether to eat and how much to eat is *his* job), but that he does need to come sit down because it's family time. After all, it is your child's responsibility to decide whether he actually eats and how much he eats. Once your toddler knows and believes that eating is no longer going to be an issue to fight over, you've won half the battle. You can then require he sit at the table for 5 minutes (after which you don’t force him to sit there forever if he really doesn’t want to eat) because family meals are not just about eating, but about being together--family time. Sometimes that busy little toddler brain, just needs to have that mental break from playing, be seated, and see everyone eating before he will realize that he too, is hungry. \n\nAdjust mealtime to help your toddler arrive to the table hungry If you've addressed all of the above by getting rid of distractions, making mealtimes pleasant and pressure-free and your toddler still doesn't last long at the table, chances are she's not that hungry. You want your toddler to come to the table hungry, but not famished or too tired. Dinner is often the most challenging meal for tired toddlers to handle. If this is the case with your little one, either make it a bit earlier or keep it quick and simple without expecting your toddler to eat a perfectly balanced meal. This is part of the when of the DOR. Snacks fit in here too. Snacking too close to dinner (or lunch) can easily blunt little appetites. Ideally, snack time should be spaced no closer than 2 hours from the next meal. You may have to play with the scheduling a bit to see what works best for your family. \n\nNow if you address this too and your child still does not want to sit at the table for very long, that's really okay. She's probably just not hungry. Trust her appetite. Provided growth is not on the decline, she's probably getting enough calories at her other meals and snacks.\n\nBad Behavior\n\nBad behavior like food throwing, tantrums, etc sometimes are solved simply by implementing the DOR and removing that power struggle over food. Sometimes throwing food is just another sign that your child is simply not hungry or finished eating. Teaching your child to say or sign \"all done\" can help him communicate his desire to leave the table. \n\nBut sometimes toddlers love the attention they get from unwanted behaviors at the table. Could the behavior be attention seeking? Is it worth ignoring or is it too distracting (ruining the meal for you or others)? Perhaps some undivided attention added elsewhere in the day might reduce the behavior. \n\nAnother effective option is simply to remove your child from the table if the behavior is bothersome enough and matter-of-factly let her know that X behavior is not for the table. For a problem that doesn't seem to go away using gentle redirection or reminders, this might be more effective. If you set him down from his high chair or booster, stay firm. Of course this is sometimes easier said than done, but you know your child best and whether she would understand such a consequence as well as how effective it would be."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c1","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302629,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bf","content":"# Addressing Toddlers' Erratic Appetites\n\nAs you learned in the previous session, toddlers have erratic appetites and that's normal for three main reasons:\n\nSlowed growth after the age of 1 -- they simply don't need to eat as much per body weight as they used to when they were infants. \nStill strongly responsive to their hunger/fullness signals -- they are highly attuned to these signals and tend to respond appropriately regardless of what we adults seem to think they need at any particular meal.\nBusy bodies full of energy and curiosity that don't want to stop to eat\nConsidering these three causes of a toddler's typically unpredictable appetite, can you envision how implementing the Division of Responsibility might help you and your child?\n\n**Your responsibilities are: **\n\n**1. Setting sit-down, meal and snack times -- providing structure, reliability and focus.** Structure prevents constant grazing or frequent food handouts to cope with meltdowns, boredom, and distract from difficult feelings. It prevents the beginnings of eating to cope with emotions. Sometimes children are bored and may ask for food due to boredom or frustration. It's no use asking \"are you really hungry?\" because children may say yes regardless of actual hunger. But having set meal and snack times allows children to value the sit-down meal as a special time to get nourished rather than as a way to cope. That reliability gives a child security and gives flexibility in the face of their erratic appetite. They are secure in being fed and not made to go hungry for extended periods of time. They learn that there is a rhythm to eating and meals come frequently enough so they don't need to worry about or be preoccupied about food between times. And the fact that eating happens at set times, and seated (rather than something done while multi-tasking) helps kids stay attuned to their hunger and fullness because they are paying attention to eating. On the other hand, running around while munching, or running to and from the table, distracts a child from his stomach's signals.\n\nThe flexibility comes in this way: If Timmy only eats a bite at morning snack, it's not a big deal because lunch is coming in 2-3 hours where he'll get another chance. On days when Susie is ready to leave the dinner table in 5 minutes, it's nothing to worry about because you always serve a snack before bed. Keep in mind that snacks should be consistently served, not merely in response to minimal eating at the previous meal.\n\n**2. Choosing the food that is offered** -- Since you're in charge of the food, you can serve nourishing food and fun foods as you see fit. Except for perhaps a few favorites, you'll rarely be able to predict your child's eating: both what they want to eat most and how much they eat of anything. By planning balanced meals, your child will have an opportunity at every meal and snack to get whatever was missed the time before. One interesting case worth sharing involves a parent worried about the fact that the only thing his child wanted to eat at breakfast was sugary cereal. Dad felt bad about serving it every morning, but was afraid of letting his child go hungry. So he kept serving it and worrying. This was a clear case of a swapping of responsibilities. It wouldn't take long of serving a few different types of breakfasts, perhaps with occasional pop-in of the favored cereal, to change things around. If you're worried about something similar, give yourself permission to take back control of the food on the table. Take back your job and give your child her jobs back.\n\n**Your child's jobs are:**\n\n**1. Decide whether to eat anything from the offered foods.**\n\n**2. Decide how much to eat from the offered foods.**\nIf you've struggled with your child's eating for a long time, it probably started with some valid fears. It is scary to see your child turn away good food and nourishment. It feels like you've done something terribly wrong. You might believe that if you don't help your child eat more, at best you're not a very good parent and at worst your child will starve. But whether the feeding struggles stem from a medical issue or are simply the result of typical parent-child mealtime power struggles, things will not smooth over if you take over your child's job of eating even though it is tempting to think so. It only makes kids fight harder to keep control over their eating. \n\nSo for the toddler with the erratic appetite (most of them), your mission is to set those regular meal and snack times and stay firm on not allowing munching or drinks between (except for water). Then give your child(ren) the freedom to eat as much or as little as they want at eating times. You can't force their appetites to be consistent. But you can choose to be the stable \"rock.\""},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c2","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302630,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bf","content":"# Addressing Toddlers' Wariness of New Foods\n\nEach child is different so some toddlers may have a stronger aversion to \"new\" than others. \n\nExposure, exposure, exposure! -- Research shows that most kids need at least 10 exposures to a food before they will find it acceptable. The key word is \"at least\" because some kids need a lot more. Don't set your expectations too high. Remember your job is the actual exposure, it is not getting him to love (insert food name here). Here is a video explaining why one bite rule may not work for your child.\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF-GG8uS8b0]\n\nUse liked foods in new and different ways. If your child generally accepts pasta, try different pasta & noodle shapes. If steamed broccoli is popular, try roasted broccoli or a broccoli casserole. Lot of ideas for expanding a little one's vegetable exposure here using carrots as an example. Just recently week a mom with a very selective toddler tried one of the suggestions in the article and was thrilled to see her little one, who previously hadn't shown much interest in carrots, eat carrots! Of course your mileage may vary or it may take much longer, but don't give up or throw in the towel. This is a long term work you are doing.\n\nServe familiar food alongside new foods. This could mean serving a plain or familiar version of the 'new' food or simply having scrumptious dinner rolls on the table each night for your toddler to fall back on. \n\nDeconstructed meals -- a deconstructed meal is one in which the components of the meal are served separately. Take tacos, baked potato bar, pasta served separately from the sauce, make-your-own quesadillas, and so on. Deconstructed meals allows a young child to experiment with the ingredients in a meal without having the, sometimes, overwhelming challenge of eating them all mixed together. Natalia shared some fun ideas in a guest blog here. \n\nFamily style service -- Essentially this means starting with empty plates for everyone and letting each person serve themselves from the entree and sides that have been placed on the table. Of course this requires kid-friendly serving utensils and depending on your toddler's age, some assistance. Serving \"family stye\" greatly reduces mealtime pressure and allows a child to 'sneak-up' on foods he's not quite sure about. Read more about how family style meals can help raise healthy eaters here. \n\nGive opportunities to 'sneak-up' on foods -- kids can't do their job of eating and 'sneaking-up' on foods if we get in the way with reminders and encouragement to \"just try it, you might like it!\" For most kids, that kind of pressure feels pushy and intrusive and steals their curiosity. There have been a number of times that Adina's daughter, now 4, has turned down a food only to ask to serve herself (or serve herself without saying a word) that very item 10 minutes into the meal. The first few times might mean your child only puts something on her plate, later tastes it, and many meals later it might mean enjoying a full serving. There isn't a set timeline, and progress is not always linear. But 'sneaking up' on food is way more fun than eating because it is a 'duty.'"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c3","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302631,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bf","content":"# Addressing Toddlers' Desire for Autonomy\n\nHow would it feel if someone else was completely in charge of how much you ate? Can you imagine? No matter what strange, unappetizing dish was on the table you were always pushed to eat it. No matter how your stomach felt, how tired you were, what your mood was like, or whether (or not) you were hungry, you were expected to put all the offerings on your plate and without a protest and be pleasant and remain at the table with these food pushers?\n\nTo the right, in the materials section, click on \"You're Such a Picky Eater\" to watch a very eye-opening video. Then continue reading below.\n\nIn reality, we do a lot of appropriate things to/for kids that don't make sense to do to/for adults. But there's just something about making another person eat against their will that just seems a bit absurd -- whether that other person is a child or an adult. \n\nImagine you are the \"picky eater\" in the video. How would you feel? Annoyed? Ashamed? Perhaps even more determined to not eat? It's very normal to dig in your heels when it feels like your sense of autonomy is being challenged. When someone is trying to control something as personal as your eating, the food you want to put in your mouth and enjoy. It would certainly ruin our appetites.\n\nIt's not any different for children. Especially a toddler for whom personal autonomy is a burgeoning new concept and doing things for themselves is more important than the completion of the task. \n\nThe DOR addresses this directly by stating that it is the child's job to determine whether and how much to eat. Kids want to eat, they want to grow, and they want to learn and develop competence when it comes to eating. But you already know what they want more, right? Autonomy! If, in the course of their young life, their eating autonomy has been challenged frequently some of the resulting feeding struggles will naturally dissipate when you begin following the DOR. For some of you, this will be a surprisingly quick breakthrough. For others, it may take a bit longer. The foundational key to finding your way out of the power struggle will be trust. Trust that your child wants to do well, trusting your child to do his eating job and being trustworthy by doing your feeding job.\n\nWe've already discussed a few key strategies in the previous discussions addressing typical toddler behaviors. From those, two stand out as critical when it comes to giving your child age-appropriate autonomy:\n1. The 5 Magic Words: \"You Don't Have to Eat\"\n2. Serving Meals Family Style. The following two articles from our respective blogs cover this information very well:\n\nFamily Meals & The Picky Eater: http://healthylittleeaters.com/familymealspickyeater-2/\n\nFamily Style Meals Help Raise Healthy Eaters: http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/06/family-style-mals-help-raise-healthy-eaters/"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c4","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302632,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bf","content":"# Addressing Toddlers' Fickle Food Preferences\n\nToddlers don't truly know what they like and don't like. They know what they are willing to try in any given moment, but their experience is limited and they're still learning and sorting things out in this big world of food. A lesson most parents learn, eventually, is that planning meals around what you think your child will like or dislike is a recipe for frustration and disappointment. So don't do it.\n\nUltimately, your goal is to share a meal with your toddler with minimal adjustments, like maybe using less spice or cutting chicken in smaller pieces. While serving your child's favorite chicken nuggets or pasta for dinner sometimes is absolutely fine, make sure that these foods are part of the meal for the whole family, not something special that you fixed for your toddler. Special meals, different from what the rest of the family is eating, send a message that you do not expect your child to learn to like the \"grown up\" food. \n\nOf course, it's still important to be considerate because your toddler is an important and loved member of your family. But that line between being considerate and catering is sometimes thin. You can be considerate by:\n\nAlways serving one or two \"safe\" foods at meals. This is not the same as cooking a separate or alternate entree for your child. A lot of toddlers do well with dinner rolls, toast & butter, crackers, rice, tortillas, plain pasta or fruit. These are simple sides that require no cooking or if they do are part of the meal anyway. Having a safe food at each meal keeps anxiety low for children who are particularly fickle or wary of new foods. They see that there is something edible on the table and can relax, knowing that no matter how strange the casserole is they aren't going to starve. It helps you relax too.\n\nHaving enough of the \"safe\" food on the table. Don't skimp in hopes that it will entice her to try other dishes. \nNot setting expectations. Even if your child ate 5 spears of asparagus last week, he might not even look at them this week. Maybe last time you barbecued chicken, he cleaned his plate. This time he might only take a taste. \n\nThis is all a learning experience.\n\nNot plating your child's food. Offer from what's on the table, and help him serve himself if he indicates he wants something. Your child's age and development will take precedence here. If he can't physically serve himself and he's generally relaxed at the table, he may happily accept your placing small samples of foods right on his tray/plate.\n\nThe biggest \"no-no\": Don't ask your child what he wants to eat before you've set the table. It's not her responsibility to decide what a meal should be. Set the food out on the table and help her get seated and then let her choose from the selections at that point. A toddler's fickle food preferences means she may say one thing, but then not want to eat that thing. That is a set up for putting pressure on her to eat because you went to the trouble of preparing exactly what she requested.\n\nFinally, if you feel that your toddler did not have enough food at a meal, rest assured that he will eat again at a scheduled snack time. This way, you will be less likely to pressure him to eat something or trying to entice him to eat by preparing special meals. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c5","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302633,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# Realistic Portion Expectations\nHow much does your toddler need to eat?\n\nProbably less than you think. What we call a \"starter portion\" for a toddler would be a tablespoon of food per each year of life. See sample meal plan in the Materials section to the right of the screen. \n\nFor example, a dinner for a 2 year old could be: \n\n2 tablespoons of mashed potato + 2 tablespoons of vegetable + 2 tablespoons of chicken.\n\nThat said, it is not very common to see a toddler eating such a balanced meal on a regular basis. What you will see more frequently will look like this:\n\n4 tablespoons of mashed potato+ a bite of chicken \n\nOR\n\n3 tablespoons of chicken and nothing else\n\nOR\n\n1 tablespoon of vegetable and 2 tablespoons of mashed potato. \n\nHere is a video of 1 toddler and 1 preschooler eating in a typical toddler way - a lot of something, a little or nothing of other things. \n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJig2H166WE]\n\nDoes it mean your toddler is not getting enough nutrition? Not necessarily. From our experience, most toddlers get the nutrition they need if they are provided with balanced and varied meals. But we need to look at a week or even 2 week period to be able to assess the quality of their diet. What they ate at one meal or even over a couple days is often not enough data to be indicative of much. \n\nToddlers can meet their calorie needs through grazing\n\nGrazing is the enemy of balanced eating. Here is an example of a typical 2 year old is allowed to graze on \"healthier\" snacks throughout the day and, as a result, is not eating any of the healthy meals his parents served. At first, it looks like the child ate barely anything, but when we do the calculations, we see that he is getting so many calories from small snacks throughout the day that it is enough even without eating lunch or dinner! Keep in mind that most 2 year olds need around 1000 calories per day.\n\n6.30am\t 8 oz whole milk\t160 calories\n8.30 \t 1/2 cup strawberries 1/2 croissant\t\n140 calories\n 10am \t 1/2 cup apple sauce in a pouch on a way to swimming class\t 50 calories\n 11.30am\t 1oz small pack of fruit snacks in a grocery store to distract when mom was shopping\t 105 calories\n 12.30\t Not interested in lunch\n 12.45\t A fruit and vegetable pouch since lunch left untouched\t 80 calories\n 1 pm\t 8 oz of milk before nap\t 160 calories\n 3pm\t 1 oz of cheerios and 1/3 apple for snack \t 140 calories\n 5pm\t Starving on the way from the park, mom gives another apple sauce pouch\t 50 calories\n 6pm\t Not interested in dinner\n 7pm\t 8oz bottle of whole milk before bed\t 160 calories\n Total calories:\t 1045 calories\nAs you can see, the child who does not \"seem\" to eat anything, in fact eats enough to meet his calorie needs. Of course, this diet is far from perfect and the structure is replaced by constant grazing. A sample set of goals for the parents of this toddler can be the following: \n\n- establishing firm structure in meals and snacks\n\n- serving more \"mini meals\" instead of \"kid snacks\" like puree pouches and Cheerios.\n\n- cutting down on milk (2 servings of dairy is enough to meet a toddler's calcium needs)\n\n- serving more iron-rich foods (this could be fixed when toddler becomes naturally more interested in meals once grazing is down)\n\n- serving more vegetables (can also be fixed by serving more mini meals instead of typical toddler snacks and increased interest in meals \n\nBut despite the imperfections of this toddler's diet, he is getting the calories he needs. And pressuring him to eat at mealtimes will lead to stressful meals and less interest in eating. \n\nIn the course of this program, you will learn how to fine tune your child's diet and meal structure to help him eat better. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c6","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302634,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# A Healthy Relationship with Food\n\nHelping their child develop a healthy relationship with food is typically not a top worry for most parents unless they have struggled with their own food relationship. But it is one of the long term goals of feeding the DOR way. Since food is an inanimate object, how does one develop any type of relationship to it? Here are some examples:\n\n* Coping with difficult emotions by using food. This is a habit that can easily start in toddler-hood. It might be because parents offer treats to distract an upset child. It might happen because of major family stress and easily accessible food. If there is little structure and food is always available to eat at any time, there's little stopping a young child from grabbing food from boredom or sadness or any number of emotion-based reasons. Once that habit of soothing with food gets started, it's a tough one to break.\n* Grazing in order to get the foods you really want (candy, chocolate, chips, popcorn, etc) because they are considered bad or forbidden so it's easier to do it on the fly because you'd never plan to eat such things on purpose...you'd feel too guilty! \n* Learned inability to stop eating when full. This can result from learning that you have to eat to please another and ignore your stomach's signals of fullness. Adina remembers one senior citizen client who said she can *still hear her deceased mother's voice* urging her to clean her plate. Eating past fullness can also result from feeling food insecurity and consequently overeating when the opportunity to have plenty arises. \n* Lack of trust in ones ability to manage food. When parents don't trust their child's eating, it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy where that child learns that he is untrustworthy around food. This is common when parents are concerned about a child's large size and may take cautionary measures to restrict the child's calories: pushing low calorie, less palatable food and controlling portions of higher calorie foods or banishing them altogether. It sends the message that hunger and fullness are not reliable, that the child cannot determine when to start or stop eating, and that the child is incapable of self-control in the face of certain foods--either that or that certain foods will automatically overwhelm her self-control. \n* Mindless Eating. In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to relegate the task of eating to the sidelines and afterthought and necessary evil. Something only worth doing while multitasking: using the computer, working, watching TV, commuting to work. For a child this could include (though none of these are always inherently bad or worth feeling guilty about when they are occasional occurrences): being handed a snack cup for every stroller ride, car ride or to keep quiet in the grocery store. It could mean offering a daily meal in front of the TV in hopes of distracting him into a few more bites. When eating regularly happens in a disconnected and distracted way, habits are formed.\n\nWe believe that implementing the Division of Responsibility in Feeding sets the stage for a healthy relationship with food by providing structure and leadership while giving stage-appropriate autonomy for children to learn to trust themselves around food and feel good about eating. It all starts with positive attitudes toward this eating business because you're able to hold down the fort with structure and trust.\n\nNatalia has a great article about trusting a child's appetite: Can we trust our children's appetites?\n\n[link???]"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c7","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302635,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# Meal & Snack Structure to Help Your Child Eat Better\n\nIf your child didn't eat much at one meal, it's tempting to chase him around all day offering a bite of this or a bite of that. Or perhaps you've left \"healthy food\" out within reach or created a special snack box/drawer your child can rummage through when the munching mood hits. While all these are well meaning ways to accomplish feeding your child, they each get in the way of your goals because in one way or another they twist your DOR responsibilities, blunt appetite at meals, create resistance to eating, and turn food into a constant issue. \n\nImplementing an appropriate meal and snack time structure, on the other hand, can set things right again. What often happens with typical \"snacks\" is that snack time becomes \"time for 'kid-food.'\" We find that a lot of kids complain about family meals and request a \"snack\" because \"snacks\" tend to always be really easy, highly palatable foods. So while to you, \"snack\" means the eating times between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to your child \"snack\" easily turns into a category of food. Now we're definitely not against typical snack foods, in and of themselves. But it can be helpful to not have such a major difference between foods served for meals and foods served for snacks. So with this end in mind, let's blur the lines between a meal and a snack for this lesson. Let's call them all meals or \"eating opportunities\" because that is what they are. \n\nIf your child is under 3, we suggest planning eating opportunities (including milk, formula and juice) every two to three hours. Any closer than that and you'll run into the problem of a blunted appetite for the subsequent eating opportunity. Between eating opportunities - only water. So for example:\n\nMeal #1 - 7:30 AM\n\nMeal #2 - 10:00 AM\n\nMeal #3 - 12:30 PM\n\nMeal #4 - 3:30 PM\n\nMeal #5 - 6:00 PM\n\nMeal #6 - 7:30 PM\n\nBedtime - 8:00 PM\n\nWe realize every family is different and not all schedules fit into the example above. For example, time might be tight enough between supper and bedtime that it makes no sense to offer a bedtime snack. However, for some of you, that bedtime snack might be a lifesaver, allowing you to relax during dinner and not stress about every bite--insurance so you can sleep at night. Maybe your breakfast is later and thus meal #2 is unnecessary. You will have to carefully consider your child's eating and the time between meals as it is now, and find that sweet spot that works for you and your family. \n\nChaotic feeding schedules, feeding on demand (of the child) gets in the way of that reliable feeding rhythm kids thrive in. In some children it creates food preoccupation, learning to eat to cope with emotions, stress from worrying about food, and blunted appetites when it's time for the family meal. On the other hand, structure in feeding provides security and supports the social aspect of eating together. It allows kids to eat as much or as little as they need at meal times then forget about food until the next eating opportunity. It prevents seeking food from boredom and maintains that wonderful pattern of stopping to sit and eat at regular intervals--the meal habit that is often traded in today's busy world for grazing. \n\nAnd just as the DOR allows the child to eat as much or as little from what is provided at family meals, this same principle applies to all eating opportunities. \n\nToddlers who Continue to Nurse or Take Bottles\nToddlers benefit from this structure even when it comes to milk feedings (breast or bottle). There are a lot of opinions about breast-feeding schedules vs. nursing on demand. We don't want anyone to feel urged to wean because that is not what this program is about. We support mothers in maintaining their nursing relationship as long as mutually satisfactory. However, while nursing provides more than just nutrition, it does, indeed provide nutrition. Any food or drink with calories will influence a child's eating of solid food. So for this reason, if you are concerned about your toddler's eating of solids, we recommend that you begin to move nursing sessions to a similar schedule as discussed above. And if your toddler is taking a bottle, we recommend those bottles become scheduled feeds and turned into sippy cups first and eventually open cups. \n\nWe have a whole session on mealtime structure complete with sample mealtimes coming in a few days. Stay tuned!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c8","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302636,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# Making Meals Toddler Friendly\n\nWhat is a toddler-friendly meal?\n\nWhen you think of a “toddler-friendly” meal, what comes to mind? Most people think of a “toddler-friendly” meal as a meal containing typical snack or “kid-food” like Macaroni & cheese, chicken nuggets and applesauce. Perhaps string cheese, cantaloupe chunks and cut-up toast? Maybe you think of foods that you’d be forced to exclude like salmon, brussels sprouts, spinach salad, spicy enchiladas or most things you and your partner enjoy. \n\n[image: Quesadillas]\n\nWe want you to know that any meal can become “toddler-friendly” with some minor adjustments. Whether you are a foodie who enjoys spending hours in the kitchen preparing gourmet vegan delicacies from local, organic ingredients or you are a stove-a-phobe who prefers preparing food from boxes--or somewhere in between--you don’t have to double your kitchen time to make simple family meals work. You can enjoy your favorite entrees and sides without alienating your toddler or having a food fight.\n\n**Safe Foods**\n\nThink of a meal you love, that your toddler hasn’t yet touched. You can plan to include that meal soon and with confidence by providing a safety net that includes 1-2 foods that you know your toddler readily accepts. Such a safe food might include, but is not limited to: bread & butter, a large bowl of a preferred fruit, a stack of tortillas, a bowl of chips or crackers. For some kids it may be a favorite vegetable, chicken or meatballs. If the meal calls for it and your child enjoys it, plain rice or pasta works well for many children. \n\n[image: fruit_veggies_protein]\n\nIt might mean keeping some of the meat or chicken unsauced and also offering some sauce on the side. Few of these foods require much additional kitchen time, but give your child something simple and non-scary to eat when they are wary of the rest of the offerings. This isn’t food you give just to your child, but food that is served on the table for all--in enough quantity that everyone can get their fill--this isn’t always possible with meat/poultry as easily as it is with starches because starches are less expensive.\n\n**Important - no catering!**\n\nOur main caveat is that you don’t make an alternate entree for any one person. In other words, don’t set out a PB+J sandwich for your picky one when you’re having lasagna. Don’t bake chicken nuggets when everyone else is having chicken fettuccine alfredo. That amounts to short-order cooking and will hold your child back in her learning. Why branch out if she doesn’t have to? \n\nAdditionally, don’t feel pressured to provide extensive variety with the safe food. If your daughter loves bread and will eat it readily when other things are less appetizing, keep putting bread out. An exception to the ‘alternate’ entree, would be when eating out at a restaurant--but that’s up to you. Also one thing Adina has done is combine two different foods in a way that still allows sharing and doesn’t hint to the child that his eating is ‘different.’ She did this for lunch one day by making both PB+J and cheese-tomato sandwiches, but cutting them all into fourths and putting them all one one serving platter. Then each person could try one or the other or both--there was no distinction between the “kid sandwiches” and “adult sandwiches.”\n\n**Deconstruct Meals**\n\nThinking of serving tortilla soup tonight? Serve the soup, but also add tortilla chips, avocado, and other component parts on a platter separately. Your son will have the opportunity to taste the soup, if he is feeling curious, but can also eat individual parts without a lot of extra work on your part. You’ll all be sharing the same meal! See below an example of Make Your Own Quesadilla Night in Natalia's house.\n\n[image: Make_your_own_quesadilla]\n\nThis can be done with many other foods too:\n\n-- Sandwich bar\n\n-- Baked potato bar\n\n-- Make your own pizza night\n\n-- Salad bar\n\n-- Taco night\n\n**Don't Make \"Perfect\" the Enemy of the Good Enough - (a.k.a. be willing to compromise)**\n\nIn the world of nutrition and health there are a lot of gray areas. Each of us in this class (teachers or students) would probably disagree on some specifics about what people should or should not eat. We have vegans, semi-vegetarians, and omnivores amongst us. When a way of eating represents a deeply held moral or ethical belief, we would be hard-pressed to try to sway you. We want to respect your food values. But sometimes ideals are just that...ideals. Sometimes food ideals can stand between you and a pleasant family meal and not just the pleasant family meal but the gradual progress in your child's learning to accept new foods--including the foods of your ideals. \n\nWhen you don't meet your ideals it's easy to feel guilty or throw in the towel and think it's completely black and white: either Kraft's Mac & Cheese that your kids will eat or 90 minutes in the kitchen with fussy results. Very often when dietitians preach \"family meals\" what's decoded by listeners (or readers) is an imperative to serve only foods according to a set of ideals (organic? low fat? Michael Pollan friendly? you name it). But what we really, truly mean is find a way to get food on the table that makes it worth the work and share that food--whatever it may be. \n\nRemember the family meal is not just about food. And if one of your goals is to increase your child's food repertoire it is counterproductive to create such tall barriers to getting food on the table that you can't get food on the table. It is unfair to expect a child to not eat differently than you if he is fed differently than you. It sends mixed messages. Having influence is extremely difficult if parents don't eat together with their kids.\n\nAre there also foods that you avoid but are willing to feed to your child? Consider including these foods in the family menu--you can always add sides (if it is an entree) or use it as a side to your favorite entree. If you're not allergic to it and doesn't violate an ethical or moral dietary rule you follow, it's worth including it, building on the influence of the other foods included on the table. It's not catering if you aren't cooking an alternate entree. Think of dinner rolls. They are really easy to like, but few kids will eat only that meal after meal after meal...ad infinitum.\n\nSo instead of letting the barriers to a perfect meal stop you from eating together, consider your food values and beliefs and see if there isn’t a place to make a compromise for the sake of growing together in your enjoyment of good food and good company.\n\n\nExamples of Simple Family Meals:\n\n- pasta with a sauce (served separately if desired)+ steamed vegetables+fresh fruit\n\n- rice+black beans (can be from a can)+chopped up avocado\n\n- soup+dinner rolls+yogurt+fresh fruit\n\n- breaded chicken (aka chicken nuggets) + steamed broccoli+mashed potato\n\n- pizza+vegetable crudites+fresh fruit\n\n- canned tuna+pasta+chopped tomatoes\n\nBetween deconstructed meals, offering safe foods at “regular” meals, and aiming to simplify, you can make the sharing of a meal together easy on both you and your child."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5c9","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302637,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# Fitting in Treats & Desserts\n\n[image: cookies2]\n\nIn most households, dessert is served at the end of the meal. When everyone has gotten their fill of the main course and sides and is patting his full tummy in satisfaction, the hostess clears the table, vanishes into the kitchen, and then reappears flashing a proud smile as she presents…DESSERT: The decadent reward for getting full on nutrition! The hard work is done, you may now enjoy a moment of pleasure. \n\nNot teaching that lesson is one reason why we serve dessert with the meal in our houses. We don’t want to teach the unintended lesson that dessert is for full bellies. We want our children to stay tuned in to their signals of fullness and satisfaction. Sweets are desirable enough to children that they can learn to override their fullness if they have to do it to get cookies – especially if cookies are scarce. \n\nA small study in Appetite demonstrated that kids will eat more calories in order to squeeze in dessert if it was served at the end of the meal. The study authors interpreted the results as a way to help kids eat fewer calories. \n\nWhat we take from this is that the way we feed our kids can either support their natural self-regulation and ability to respect their fullness or it can teach them to overeat to get what they really want. That’s something else we don’t want to teach: that the meal should be considered ‘work’ while the dessert is elevated to a higher, more privileged status. \n\nWhen it comes to picky eaters it is all too easy to slip into the dessert-for-broccoli power struggle: Okay, darling, eat another bite of your chicken and two more bites of your broccoli and then you can have dessert. We see this happen in the families who come to us for nutrition counseling. \n\nWe see it happen with picky eaters whose parents are worried because of their low weight and with picky eaters whose parents are concerned because of their higher weight. It’s not working for either group. Broccoli is wonderful! Chicken is wonderful! Dessert is wonderful! Yet we certainly make a big deal out of sweets. When dessert is a reward it takes on more power. Kids are already naturally drawn to strong sweet flavors, we don’t need to make those sweet flavors into a bigger deal. Plus bribery & coercion as well as other types of pressuring kids to eat typically makes them eat worse, not better.\n\n**What If That’s All They Eat?**\n\nYou might now be wondering, what if that’s all they eat? How can it be okay for kids to survive off of cake and cookies until their tastes mature? Well, for one thing, dessert doesn’t have to be served at every meal or every day. How often you serve dessert is entirely up to you. And portion size matters because, it’s true, dessert may very well interfere with the nutrition of the meal if it is served ad libitum.\n\n**It’s Okay to Limit Dessert Served with a Meal**\n\nAt meals we only serve one portion of dessert to each person at the table. And kids get a ‘child-size’ portion rather than a full adult portion (translate that to suit your preferences). It’s treated very much like a scarce food item (filet mignon, $9-a-pint raspberries, etc) and there are no seconds.\n\nSome examples of portions we’ve served: 1 square of chocolate, a lollipop, small slice of pie/cake, 1 coconut macaroon, small brownie, 2-3 tiny candy pieces, teacup full of pudding, teacup full of yogurt mixed with fruit, 1/2 to 1 cupcake (depending on size).\n\nIf kids want to start with their cookie, fine. We know it’s not all they will eat. And even if your kids gobble up their small sweet treat and consequently decide they are done eating for the meal, they probably weren’t terribly hungry to begin with. If that is the case, without that dessert at the table, they would not have eaten much of anything anyway. The dessert didn’t ruin any appetites, it just masked their lack of appetite.\n\nWith many kids, it seems the presence of dessert actually warms them up to the idea of coming to the table and relaxes them immediately, improving their attitude about the meal overall. This is not to say you should serve dessert to entice them, only that it won’t hurt matters when you do serve dessert. Occasionally, you may even find your child going back and forth between bites of dessert and bites of the main meal.\n\n**Unlimited Portions as Snack**\n\nAny food that is scarce, especially one as desirable as sweets, can create a strong preoccupation in a child. For some kids with a strong sweet tooth, that desire or preoccupation can lead them to overeat the desired food when they get the chance. Serving only a small child-size portion of dessert creates a kind of scarcity. To mitigate this scarcity and to allow children a chance to regulate their own portion size of a treat, we will, occasionally, serve an unlimited portion of sweets at snack time. If snack time is appropriately timed (so it’s not too close to the next meal) it won’t interfere with the next meal. Serve the sweet with a glass of milk (for example) and you’ve got a balanced snack! \n\nRemember, once you have firm structure in place, eating happens seated at the table, not running around. Eating happens at set meal and snack times, there’s no all-day grazing. And you get to choose how often you serve various foods. But within that structure, the freedom of the Division of Responsibility, teaches some important lessons that would be tough to teach if we managed every bite."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ca","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302638,"position":7,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# What did you just say? Phrases that help at mealtimes and phrases that don’t.\n\nA lot of things may affect your child's eating at mealtimes. Some of them we have little control of, like growth velocity or tummy troubles. But others, like a pleasant mealtime environment and the way you communicate with your child may also affect his eating. See below a list of phrases that help and those that do the opposite. \n\nIn this session's assignment, you will have to watch/listen your mealtime video/audio and, using a template, identify the phrases that could have helped or hindered your child's eating. This printout is also available for downloading in the Materials section on the left side of this page. \n\n[image: HelpAndHinderPhrases]"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5cb","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302639,"position":8,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5be","content":"# How Not to Offer Foods to Your Kids\n\n[image: how_not_to_offer_food] (todo: make this into text instead of image)\n\nLet's discuss this Parent - Child conversation in our Discussion Forum -- see the prompt with the same title as this post."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5cc","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302640,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5bc","content":"# Summary & Homework\n\nRegardless of which normal toddler behavior you are struggling with most, following a Division of Responsibility in Feeding will make mealtimes more pleasant for both of you. Stick to your feeding job so your child can do his eating job. Don't trade jobs.\n\nThe pleasant and relaxed family meal is foundational. When you've achieved that, you've achieved a lot and can begin to build long term healthy eating habits.\n\n**Your Homework is:**\n\n1. Watch/listen to your mealtime video/audio and write down the phrases that were helping your child and those that were hindering his eating. The template and the sample list of phrases can be downloaded from the Materials section on the left side of the page. \n\n2. Use the food record you kept prior to the beginning of the class and analyze it for mealtime structure using the template that can be downloaded from the Materials section on the left side of the page. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5cd","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302641,"position":4,"parentId":null,"content":"# Video Case Studies"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ce","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302642,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5cd","content":"# Video Case Studies\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUNIXksQ_RA]\n\nBelow have shared some common mealtime scenarios that will help you observe the feeding strategies that work and those that do not. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5cf","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302643,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ce","content":"**I want only bread for dinner!**\n\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwobQIlhcbI\n"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d0","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302644,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ce","content":"**Too much fuss!**\n\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbVswReau0"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d1","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302645,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ce","content":"**Eating alone is not fun**\n\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRmg5ox6k5c"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d2","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302646,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ce","content":"**Compliant eater**\n\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqlOLdNApAw"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d3","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302647,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ce","content":"**Three bites of green beans**\n\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqlOLdNApAw"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d4","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302648,"position":5,"parentId":null,"content":"# Session 3: Increasing Variety"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302649,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d4","content":"# Session 3: Increasing Variety\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmlrQ7DNJTM]\n\nAre you stuck in the pizza/chicken nugget trap? Perhaps it's PB&J at your house? The pizza/chicken nugget trap is essentially what can happen when typically picky toddlers refuse most family foods and parents, out of worry their kids won't eat anything, start giving kids a limited repertoire of foods they know their kids will eat. If this has happened in your house it, no doubt, arose from good intentions.\n\nNow you are ready to get out of this rut and to expand your child's limited palate, but aren't sure how to accomplish this. We will give you lots of ideas in the subsections below."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d6","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302650,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Avoid the Kid Food Trap\n\nThere’s nothing inherently wrong with “kid food” -- serving it from time to time won’t harm your child and is nothing to feel guilty about. The problem comes when you become dependent on it and your kids start to refuse other foods. Most “kid food” is highly palatable: extra crispy, extra sweet, extra salty or some combo of awesomeness that is tough to replicate with grown-up food, fruits, vegetables and things you might cook at home. For example, fruit chews taste nothing like real fruit and have nothing texturally in common with fruit. Same with baby \"puffs\" and other special foods marketed for toddlers.\n\nNow, we don’t want anyone to think “oh no I can’t give my kids goldfish anymore!\" or \"puffs are bad!\" Because it’s really not about that. It is about keeping your food offerings well rounded. Many parents fall into the “kid food trap” because they desperately want something their child will actually eat when the normal phase of food rejection and picky eating begins. That fear that your child isn't eating enough is the issue, not what they are actually eating. So you might start serving chicken nuggets for your kids’ sake every time the rest of the family eats baked chicken. Maybe you served them initially because they were fast and easy. Nothing wrong with that. But then the preference stuck and it was easier than the worry that accompanied dinner when they didn't eat much. \n\nPreventing the Kid Food Rut\n\n* Progress through textures as soon as baby is ready. Don’t get stuck in purees. When your child is ready for thicker or lumpier food, share grown up food by mashing, chopping and dicing it for baby. \n* Don’t take the spitting out of food the wrong way. It is part of the many ways babies learn about food. They may taste it and take it out. They might spit it out and then pick it up again and try again. The path to accepting different flavors and textures is messy :-)\n* Combine flavors. Let’s say baby Zoe loves sweet potato puree but isn’t a fan of pureed peas. You could mix a dab of peas together with her yams to give the beloved yams the slightest hint of peas. Over time you can add a little more. If you cook & puree your own veggies, you can add herbs and seasonings similarly to the way you’d season your grown up food. Skip salt and pepper, but even something like a mild curry could work.\n* Don’t sweat “rejection” or take it personally. Remind yourself that kids have to experience a food many, many times in order to learn to accept and eventually, possibly, like it. Many babies make \"eeew, yuck\" faces upon trying a new food, but are eager to try another bite anyway. Does he lean forward for more if he sees the spoon in front of him? Follow his lead, not just his funny faces. \n\nA 12 month old that shows no interest in chicken, might start to enjoy it 5 servings from now if you don't quit offering it. Take every “rejection” as incentive to plan to serve those foods again!\n* Combine foods. Oatmeal doesn’t have to be served plain once your child can handle varied textures. You can add all sorts of goodies to it: cut up fruit, yogurt, milk, ground nuts (assuming no history of allergies). A sweet spinach salad with sliced strawberries or apple might encourage experimentation. Your child might pick out each strawberry slice and eat only that, but it is exposure. Grating carrots and apples together creates a yummy sweet treat. \n* Change the presentation. Veggies can be served raw or cooked and in various shapes. Smothered with cheese, roasted, or steamed--there are a myriad of ways to show off veggies. This is well illustrated in Adina’s article on ways to serve carrots: Change it Up with Carrots. http://healthylittleeaters.com/change-it-up-with-carrots/\n* Yogurt makes a great bridge! If your kids like yogurt (as many kids do), instead of buying Gogurt squeeze tubes and fruit-flavored varieties, teach them to like plain yogurt. We don't guarantee that this will work for everyone, but it is worth trying. Plain (Greek or regular, full fat or not) yogurt can be sweetened by you very easily with fruit and honey or maple syrup. Even fruit preserves. You can control exactly how sweet you make it and vary it from time to time. What's perfect about yogurt that you sweeten yourself is that it is never uniformly sweet. There will be bites that are sweeter and bites that are sour. It's a great little training tool. As you reduce the sweetness a bit, your kids will get more accustomed to the natural sour flavor. The goal isn't really to wean to completely plain yogurt, but to develop an acceptance and appreciation for that flavor. Because, then, you can add other ingredients to yogurt to help your child accept other foods. Adina's son took to cucumber raita really easily, her daughter hasn't become a fan, yet. But they are both able to enjoy quite a bit of that natural yogurt flavor with only minimal sweetening. \n\nDespite all the suggestions above, your job really hasn’t changed - keep doing what you have been learning: maintain structured meals and snacks, letting your child have control over her job of how much to eat from the foods you have prepared. Expect meal skipping and do not short order cook. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d7","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302651,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Catering - how is it different from taking your child's preferences into account?\n\nSome years ago on the reality TV show “Wife Swap” there was a telling moment for me (Adina) as a dietitian. If you’re not familiar with the show, basically two households agree to swap their wife/mom for a couple of weeks. The women, in their new homes, have to follow the rules and household lifestyle of their new family. Then a week later they get to turn the tables and institute their rules. Well one of the households had a grade school boy that was picky and only ate certain foods and his parents just catered to that and always let him eat a different meal. The new mom deemed his diet unhealthy. When it came time for the rule change the new mom decided to try to revamp the family’s diet and get the picky boy eating other foods. Well picky boy threw a fit when he was faced with food he didn’t want to eat and whined *“But I’m the picky one!”*\n\nThat statement struck me and has stayed with me since I saw it. This child had not only been catered to with special meals but he had been told he was picky. So how could he believe that he was capable of eating any different when through words and actions he was only given one message? Catering clearly doesn’t work in helping children learn to appreciate a wide selection of foods . But the traditional “tough-love” advice of “they won’t starve” so just give them their plate until they give in (or make them sit at the table until they give in) is pretty aversive and doesn’t create healthy long term eating habits. But these aren’t the only options. Taking your child’s preferences into account is more about being considerate. If you know your child has a hard time with a certain entree, don’t quit serving it. But use some of the tips we provided earlier in this section: Addressing Toddlers' Fickle Food Preferences"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d8","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302652,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Why You Should Never Ask \"What do you want for dinner?\"\n\n[image: OfferingFood]\n\nWe began discussing this conversation in our discussion section on Wednesday. Perhaps you've had a chance to look it over. We asked what was wrong with this convo between parent and child. Our class member, RachL, nailed it with the following response:\n\n*In essence, the mom is turning herself into a short-order cook. If this is lunch, what is the mom eating, and why is the daughter not eating it as well? The daughter is asking for a specific choice, and the mother is telling her she better eat it. This goes against the adult saying 'what' and the child saying 'how much'.*\n\n**Kids Don't Know What they Want in Advance**\n\nToddlers (and even older kids) don't really know what they want until it's on the table and even then they still have time to change their minds. A few weeks ago Adina made beet borscht. When her 4 y.o. daughter got to the table she immediately let her parents know that she did NOT like what was on the table. To top it off she declared she doesn't like ANY kind of soup and will never eat any. 10 seconds later she added \"except lentil soup.\" Parents remained nonchalant and reassured her she didn't have to try any and reminded her what else was on the table (bread, cottage cheese). By the end of the meal, she took several sips. The next day at lunch (when leftovers were served) there was no negativity and a few more sips were tried--all of her own accord! It is not unusual for kids to tip toe or 'sneak up' on new or not-previously-loved foods. And it's extremely satisfying to see our kids try foods because they want to rather than because they are being forced to. \n\n**Food Jags**\n\nEven if a child asks for something that they will eat, at this age it is normal for kids to go on food jags: think all PB&J all the time! Consider the repertoire of foods you serve, are you getting stuck in a jag for the sake of ensuring everyone will eat? Natalia is positive that if she was asking her kids what they wanted for dinner, they would pick ravioli with cheese 80% of the time. So by NOT asking but including their favorite ravioli from time to time she tries to strike a balance between their favorite and other foods the family is enjoying. \n\n**Its Not Their Responsibility**\n\nThe task of coming up with the meal plan should rest squarely on our shoulders. It is a lot of work--there's no denying it. But if it is hard for us, it's definitely a tough job for a 2 1/2 year old. She really needs to be able to rely on us to get the job done. We are the adults who can plan balanced meals and lead the way. And of course, when we cross one line of the Division of Responsibility it is easy for us to cross another line and try to get them to eat."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d9","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302653,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Hiding Veggies - Brilliant Idea or Just Plain Wrong?\n\nThere are lots of ways to sneak or hide fruits and veggies into favorite entrees. Ways that could get some extra nutrients into your child when he wants nothing to do with fruits or veggies. But is it a good idea? Our answer: It depends on the answers to these questions:\n\n* What are your motives?\n* How likely would it offend?\n* Are you still serving it in visible form?\n\nWe don’t see a problem with putting nutritious ingredients inside of loved dishes to improve their nutritional profile:\n\n* adding spinach to smoothies\n* adding grated zucchini to a marinara sauce or muffins. \n* adding sweet potatoes to pancakes or carrots into a red sauce.\n\nIt is all in the approach. We are not fans of doing it in a sneaky or dishonest way--while knowing your child would be upset to know they've been “fooled.” A child with a strong aversion toward carrots would be rather put off if he found out you sneak them into juices, sauces or entrees.\n\nWe also don’t think that it’s a good long term strategy on its own. Yes, hiding spinach in a smoothie will get spinach into your child. But how will your child learn to appreciate the look, taste, texture and flavor of spinach in its many raw and cooked forms? The only way is to actually serve it regularly. Same with any other food.\n\nNatalia had a client who started making \"super burgers\" for her 2 year old in an effort to get him to eat beans and vegetables alongside the more typical burger ingredient - meat. Eventually, a couple of years later, the boy figured out what his mom was hiding in his food and, although he did not react to it negatively, it did not move him an inch towards eating these foods in a visible form. He knows his mom puts carrots in his special burgers but he would never bite into a carrot stick because it is a foreign food for him. The mom focused on the short term goal of getting nutrients into her child because she was worried by his pretty typical picky eating stage but overlooked the long term effects of this approach. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5da","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302654,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Rotate! Rotate! Rotate!\n\nAs we prepared for this class we considered teaching the following rule: \n\n*Never serve the same food two days in a row!*\n\nBut we weren't sure that was truly realistic. The principle is good, but as a rule it was too rigid. However, to achieve some level of variety you must aim for a cycle of change. This is where the concept of \"rotation\" comes from. How can we teach our kids that difference is not too scary? One way is to avoid repeating the same foods in the same ways over and over and over.\n\nFor your family it might mean addressing breakfast so that it's not the same food or combo of foods every day. For another family it might mean serving something other than broccoli or carrots 5 nights of the week.\n\nEven if Monday nights are always pasta night, it doesn't have to be the same pasta dish every time. Chicken noodle soup can vary in its noodle shape. Tortillas can be corn, white, wheat, \"spinach\" and turned into burritos, taquitoes, tacos and more. \n\nThis is true for snacks too. \n\nWhen you think of the number of eating opportunities you offer a toddler, trying to juggle balance and variety can seem a bit overwhelming. That's why we don't want to present this as a rule. We do not want a single one of you to feel guilt over serving bananas two days in a row, or for giving your child string cheese at morning and afternoon snack in one day. The most critical thing is maintaining that division of responsibility. Then on top of that you can layer on variety where you find open doors to do so. It's a good thing to occasionally examine the food you serve to see if there is room for improvement (either in quality or enjoyment or ease of prep or whatever). If you strive to serve different foods at different meals and different days, you can help your children broaden their expectations and experiences and that's helpful. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5db","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302655,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Think outside the box for breakfast\n\nThink outside the box for breakfast--not just outside the cereal box, but really challenge yourself to think outside of typical breakfasts. Most breakfast foods tend to be either sweet (cereal, waffles, french toast, pancakes, muffins, etc) or be egg related. Nothing wrong with those. We mean it! \n\nIn Adina's family breakfast tends to be somewhat repetitive: cooked oats & other grains with dried fruit, PB, applesauce, milk and possibly another fruit. It's what her husband loves. \n\n[image: oatmeal_delicacy]\n\nThis is one of Adina's husband's concoctions: Oats + 9 grain cooked cereal + blueberry craisins + PB + applesauce + milk + drizzling of vanilla yogurt. Minus the special craisins and yogurt this is how her kids learned to eat oatmeal.\n\nSince Adina is in charge of lunch and supper, an oatmeal breakfast, most days of the week, is their compromise. Other days it's common things like scrambled eggs with a side of sliced bell peppers, toast, and fruit. A recently discovered favorite (for the kids too) is baked oatmeal -- with fruit on the bottom (blueberries or peaches usually). \n\n[image: bakedoats]\n\nBut since this section is about variety and some families find it easier to eat breakfast together than other meals, its worth looking at ways to break the mold. Adina fondly remembers a popular Romanian breakfast she grew up eating: fresh crusty white bread topped with eggplant spread (similar to baba ganoush), feta cheese and tomatoes.\n\nBelow are some photos of less common breakfasts from Natalia's home. Her Russian heritage probably influenced these less traditional dishes. There are many countries that prefer savory breakfasts to sweet ones.\n\n[image: avacadorolls]\n \nAvocado rolls on bread.\n\n\n[image: poached_egg]\n(Egg poached in tomato sauce)\n\n\n[image: Sandwiches_for_breakfast]\n(Toast with various toppings including avocado, salmon&cream cheese and butter & jam)\n\n\n[image: Grilled_cheese_sandiwch]\n(Grilled cheese sandwich, fruit)\n\n\n[image: granola_parfait]\n(Yogurt, fruit, granola parfait)\n\nNotice how some of these breakfasts could also double as snacks. And a couple could double for lunch or dinner. In other words, leftovers could work too. Of course, it may take some convincing to sway the rest of your family toward some of these types of breakfast. Perhaps it's just not your style. That's okay too. We are here to explore possibilities. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5dc","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302656,"position":7,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Fun with Food\n\nThe primary purpose of food may be nourishment, but that doesn't mean that kids can't learn a lot even without eating it. Beyond flavor, food has color, aroma, weight, feel, and provides learning opportunities outside of eating times. \n\n**Gardening**\n\nNeither of us (Adina and Natalia) have kept a garden as adults. Natalia lives in NYC and Adina believes she is missing the green thumb gene. However, Adina's husband recently planted tomatoes and she is hopeful some of them will someday grow into edible things. The kids were super excited about helping with the starter seeds and are eagerly anticipating their first home grown tomato. \n\nIn general, children benefit greatly from experiencing food in the growing and harvesting phase. Being a part of a food's beginning may change their perspective on it. \n\n**Summer Fruit Picking**\n[image: BlueberryPicking]\n\nThe first time Adina's daughter went blueberry picking it didn't dawn on her toddler self that she could eat them right off the bush, until she saw another woman, sampling as she picked. That was the end of any help Adina got that day because her daughter spent her time munching away. Now blueberries were not a 'new' or challenging food for her, but it was a very memorable experience. Finding a you-pick fruit farm to visit is a great way to get in touch with a food's roots without growing your own. \n\n\n[image: strawberryboys]\n\n\n**Grocery Store**\n\n* Kids can learn to help spot foods on your grocery list or help put items in bags\n* Kids can learn the names and looks of produce they aren't used to\n\n**Cooking together**\n\n* Kids can get their hands dirty and \"play\" with food without pressure to eat any of it.\n* Though we don't guarantee it, it is not unusual for the little kitchen \"helper\" to venture out and try bites of things they'd never eat at the table. Watch this darling almost-2-year old sneak up on some kale while helping her dietitian mommy in the kitchen. She looks like she's getting away with something, doesn't she?\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKFkZ-_FgjA]\n\nIt is not unusual for children, out of pride in their work, to sample the food they helped make when it is finally served. We don't guarantee that they will eat it, but cooking a food does lend some familiarity. Ultimately, cooking is about doing something together, passing on a useful skill (over time), and giving children a variety of experiences with food. \n\n**\"Science\" and \"Art\"**\n\nTry stamping or painting with celery.\nSlice open an apple and talk about the seeds inside.\nBetween Google and Pinterest there are countless fun ideas for using food in no-pressure, nothing-to-do-with-eating, fun ways!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5dd","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302657,"position":8,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Taste Testing\n\nIn an effort to keep meal times pressure free and associated with happy feelings, taste testing is best done outside of regular meal times. In fact, we debated including this topic because taste testing risks the same consequences as the \"Thank you bite\" or \"One bite rule,\" particularly with the youngest toddlers. \n\nFor this reason we recommend you hold off on taste testing until the DOR is firmly established, your meals are pressure-free and your child is at least 3 or 4 years old. Now if you have older kids who seem interested and your 2 year old is curious, there's no reason to exclude him. We are just suggesting you not set up a special taste test just for your 2 year old. \n\n**Natalia has done some taste testing with her daughters**\n\nNatalie's taste tests with her daughters have had good results in that they were willing participants and seemed to enjoy giving their input on the foods tested.\n\n[image: dips_dressings]\nSampling different dips/dressings\n\n[image: Tomato_sauce]\nTrying different pasta sauces\n\n\n\n[image: Cheese_taste_test]\nCheese sampling\n\n[image: taste_test_chart]\nThe family's taste test results\n\n**It's Okay to Spit!**\n\nWhen a child is old enough to learn a \"polite spit\" it may be a useful little trick to teach them. Instead of saying \"yuck!\" or feeling panicked if they take a bite of something and regret it, they can discreetly tuck the bite into a napkin without making a scene. Takes the pressure off of trying new foods because there's a back-up plan."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5de","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302658,"position":9,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# With very picky eaters - start small\n\nIntroducing lots of variety if all your child is eating right now is a handful of foods* can be a challenge. We suggest you start slowly and focus on pleasant stress free meals first. As your progress with the Division of Responsibility at mealtimes you may see your child's level of anxiety around new foods go down and his interest in new foods increase slowly. \n\nBut even if your child keeps choosing the same pasta and chicken nuggets from the variety of foods you are offering, it does not mean that you cannot vary things within what he likes already. \n\nHere are some of the examples of what you can do:\n\n* Cut the food like chicken nuggets, pizza or bread in different shapes\n\n* Buy a different brand of prepared foods like chicken nuggets and crackers\n\n* Cook rigatoni pasta instead of elbow\n\n* Serve a different sauce with his favorite dish (aside, not mixed in)\n\n* Try food chaining. Brainstorm foods that are similar in texture or flavor to your child's favorites and chain them with the foods your child already likes. For example, if she likes apple sauce, try apple/blueberry sauce. Once she accepts this commercial variety, prepare it at home and next, try serving fresh apples and berries. Or if she likes gold fish crackers, try introducing cheddar squares, then wheat thins, next - toasted white bread and finally - whole wheat bread. \n\nThe food chaining approach is a lot of work, of course, but it seems to be effective with kids who are eating extremely limited diets. If you are curious to learn more about it, we recommend the book \"Food Chaining\" by Cheryl Fraker. \n\nOf course, none of these strategies will be effective and many may backfire and interpreted by your child as pressure if you are not following the Division of Responsibility in feeding, where your job is to choose what to serve to your child and his job is to decide how much or whether to eat. \n\n*If you suspect your child is more than just \"picky\" please revisit our section titled Signs of a Bigger Problem."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5df","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302659,"position":10,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5d5","content":"# Summary & Homework\n\nSome of you will be inspired to try the techniques we've discussed in section 3 because you enjoy trying new foods or old foods in new ways--or just because you really want to see your child's food acceptance increase. Some of you will feel like it is a lot of extra work, like you're catering in a 'new' way. \n\nIf this seems fun and you like to do things with food...go for it. If this seems like a burden, you may be okay to skip all of this and just stick to planning basic balanced meals that you and your spouse enjoy with safe foods always available. Neither way is wrong or better. \n\nA child who feels good about eating, trusts you to do your feeding job, and feels able to do her eating job without pressure, will naturally grow to seek variety. She will grow to expand her liked foods. But first, that trust has to be established. We have presented you with some ways to look at variety and how to increase variety, but ultimately, these won't be tremendously helpful until a healthy feeding relationship is established first. If any of these attempts to increase variety in your child's (family's) diet happen before pressure has been removed and DOR firmly established, they could feel like pressure to your child. So check your agenda and aim to have fun with it without expectations.\n\n**For your homework, look over your food record and analyze what you served for variety. **"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e0","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302660,"position":6,"parentId":null,"content":"# Session 4: Plan Balanced and Nutritious Meals"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302661,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e0","content":"# Session 4: Plan balanced and nutritious meals\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ht8kieWTa4]\n\nIn this session we are finally getting to the topic of nutrition. We felt it made the most sense to first talk to you about feeding strategies in the early sessions. Here is why: a positive feeding relationship between you and your child is more important than the most nutritious meals. Just because in the long term, your child's relationship with food will determine his or her food choices. And we as parents are responsible for helping them have positive experiences with food and eating from the first days of life so that later on they have the tools to make good choices and enjoy eating. The ultimate goal of the DOR is to raise competent eaters, defined here as healthy children who are a joy to feed. Such children:\n\n* Feel good about eating, enjoying food and joining in with family meals and snacks. \n* Enjoy meals and behave nicely at mealtime and uses manners.\n* Are able to pick and choose from food you make available, eventually learning to eat almost everything you do. \n* Eat as much or as little as they need. \n\n***\"When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers\"* - Ellyn Satter**\n\n\nOf course we believe that nutrition is important. We became Registered Dietitians for a reason :). But we also know that if we make nutrition a chore, it is not going to benefit anyone.\n\nAnd although counting grams may become necessary if your child is deficient in certain nutrients or you are switching to another diet like vegan or dairy free, we prefer to focus on food group balance and variety. \n\nAdina, as a semi-vegetarian, knows it is easy to rely heavily on cheese, so she makes an effort to make sure she varies protein sources. \n\nNatalia rarely serves fried food but she always serves an additional source of fat like olive oil, butter or sour cream on the table so every family member could add as much as they see fit. \n\nLet the following nutrition details guide you insofar as ideas hit you, ideas about where you might need to tweak this or that a bit. If any of these nutrients concern you then evaluating what you serve may help you make needed improvements. For example, if you realize that you aren't serving much in terms of high fiber foods or there's constipation or iron deficiency amongst your children, then focusing on those areas and what is served would be helpful. Otherwise, think of the big picture: balance and variety.\n\nThat is why, in this session, instead of strict rules you will find suggestions on nutritious foods you can serve to your child to help her meet nutrient needs, information on planning balanced and nutritious meals that are also satisfying and suggestions on how to choose supplements for your toddler. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e2","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302662,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# Basics of a balanced diet for toddlers\n\n\n\nHere is a picture by Natalia's 5 year old that represents her ideal meal. Translation: pizza, mushrooms, octopus and lollipop. Pretty balanced, don't you think?\n\n[image: Sofias_balanced_plate]\n\nBut jokes aside, kids need to be served a balanced diet in order to learn to eat a balanced diet. Even if all they choose to eat is just one food. \n\nHere are the food groups and amounts an average toddler needs to be served daily: \n\n- 2-4 oz meat or beans\n\n- 1-1.5 cup vegetables\n\n- 1-1.5 cup of fruit\n\n- 3-5 oz of grains\n\n- 2-3 servings of dairy (including all milk products and formula)\n\n[image: chicken_family_dinner]\n\nDoes it mean that you should pressure your child to eat these exact amounts? Not really - your job stays the same - serve the food and allow your child decide how much to eat. Will your child eat a balanced diet if you let him pick and choose from what you serve? Most likely, yes. If you are in doubt, try recording everything he eats over a few days, or even better, a week. Most toddlers will manage to eat in a very sensible way if we look at a longer period of time, not just 1 day. \n\nFor a sample meal plan with \"starter\" portion sizes, check the materials section of the class. \n\nAs far as serving sizes are concerned, you toddler will need only about a tablespoon of food from each food group at a meal. But it does not mean that he will not want more of something and will not touch other foods. See the Before and After Meal Photos and What the Kids Ate (in the subsections below) of what Adina's kids eat - it is a pretty typical toddler eating behavior. They eat a lot of something one day, do not touch it another day, pile lots of things on the plate and do not touch them, eat their mini dessert first etc. While it is frustrating, it is hard to expect them to eat 3 square balanced meals a day plus snacks. Meal skipping and one-ingredient meals are pretty common at this age. \n\n**What is a balanced meal?**\n\nTo **serve** a balanced meal, you will need 3-5 foods from at least 3 food groups. Include some kind of protein, one or two starches, a vegetable, fruit or milk. \n\nKids learn best by serving food on their own plates. Of course your 18 months old may need your help or even pre-plating but kids 2 and older enjoy being more independent at mealtimes. You do not need elaborate dinnerware to serve a meal family style. To make her job easier, Adina may serve food family style in pots and pans. Natalia often does this too or she transfer the food into small serving bowls after cooking and uses them as storage containers by covering the leftovers with foil or plates before putting away in refrigerator. \n\n[image: Grilled_salmon_dinner]\n\nInclude **high fat and low fat food** in each meal. Kids need lots of energy and fat is a great source. By adding a good source of fat on the table you will allow kids easily adjust the amount of calories they need on a particular day. Besides, fat makes food taste good! So make sure to combine foods with different fat content or simply put a fat like butter or olive oil on the table. For more on fats, see the section below. \n\nWhen choosing **starches**, serve whole grain about 50% of the time. While fiber is very beneficial for both kids and adults, as you will see in the following sections, it is easy to go overboard if your child eats lots of whole grains plus fruits and vegetables. Too much fiber may interfere with nutrient absorption and make kids feel full without eating a sufficient number of calories. \n\nDo not worry if your child skips **vegetables**. Vegetables are harder for kids to learn to like. By seasoning them well and using different cooking methods you will help your child find his favorites sooner. \n\nYour can also try serving vegetables to your child when he is at his hungriest - right before a meal. Natalia puts a tray of veggies with a simple dip for the kids and her husband to nibble on while she is finishing preparing dinner. \n\nReview our Session 2: \"Increasing Variety\" for more ideas on how to serve new foods, including vegetables, to your child. \n\nBut above all, do not stress if your toddler consistently refuses veggies. If he likes fruit, serve them more often and enjoy vegetables yourself often, while putting no pressure on your child and you will see positive results sooner!\n\nWe have many parents coming to our practices because they are concerned that their child is not getting enough **protein**. But as we proceed through the counseling session, it often becomes obvious that while the child’s diet may not be optimal, protein is often not an issue. \n\nJust 2 cups of milk or other servings of dairy provide most of protein needs for an average 2 year old which are only 19 grams per day. So if your child drinks a cup of milk in the morning and eats some cheese at lunch he will meet his protein needs without any problems even if he ignores the chicken you serve for dinner. In fact, most of us in the US eat 2 to 3 times more protein than we need. \n\nWhen brainstorming protein option for a meal, do not forget that beans and lentils also pack a good amount of protein. Beans and lentils are very nutritious and easy to like for little kids because of their mild flavor. Need ideas on how to prepare them? Check this lentil and white bean soup recipes from Natalia's blog. \n\nAnd it is not a big deal if you don't include protein rich foods in every meal. Even common carbohydrate rich foods like grains provide 2 to 4 grams of protein per serving. So you do not have to worry if your child does not eat meat, fish or beans at each meal. \n\n\n**Important foods and nutrients**\n\nSome of the food and nutrients are more important than others for toddlers because of toddler's unique needs and also because they are more likely to fall short on them. In the Materials section on the left you will find a printout with 6 most important nutrients and their sources. It may be a useful resource for you if your feel like you need to serve more of food providing certain nutrient/s. Below we will cover some of these nutrients and their food sources in more details."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e3","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302663,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e2","content":"# Before & After Meal Photos\n\nAdina has kept track of her kids' eating here and there for the sake of sharing on her FB page to help other parents see variants of normal. Here are a few photos for your perusal. Keep in mind her 4.5 y.o. daughter is the \"pickier\" one and her 2.5 y.o. son has a heartier appetite and has generally been more adventurous with eating.\n\n[img: beforeafter1_resized]\nBefore/After 3.5 y.o.'s plate. Fried tofu, etc.\n\n\n[img: beforeAfter2_resized]\nBefore/After 3.5 y.o.'s plate\n\n\n[img: beforeAfter3_resized]\nDinner was a Romanian meal Adina grew up with: cornmeal polenta, garlicky spinach and fried egg. Plus a little chocolate \"orange\" slice for a treat. \n-- 3 y.o. ate her chocolate first. Then she ate one egg and asked for a second and ate that too. The polenta you see was actually her second serving which I spread out thinly because it is very hot. She maybe had a bite of spinach.\n-- 21 mo old ate his chocolate first. Then he ate his egg and asked for about 4ths of the polenta and 3rds of the spinach. This kid LOVES his polenta, but although I've served this meal many times, this is the first time he gobbled up the spinach, let alone asked for more! He is now 2.5 and has only recently tried it again.\n\n\n[img: beforeAfter4_resized]\nVegetarian 'chicken' patty, mashed potatoes, a Romanian baked cabbage dish, grape juice, water.\n3 y.o.: tasted everything. Finished her first half patty, had a second 'chicken' patty half and ate at least half of it.\n21 m.o.: tasted everything. Finished nothing but his juice.\n\n[img: beforeAfter5_resized]\n[img: beforeAfter7_resized]\n[img: beforeAfter6_resized_2]\n[img: BeforeAfter9_resized_1]\n\nGreen beans, cottage-cheese-based vegetarian \"meatloaf,\" acorn squash w/butter & honey, carrot salad, apple chunks. 3.5 y.o. had seconds only of the \"meatloaf\" and the \"after\" photo shows what was left.\n\n[img BeforeAfter10_resized]\n[img BeforeAfter12_resized]\n\nThis was the 2 y.o.'s plate. It was a very interesting but delicious vegan \"meatloaf,\" coconut curry scalloped potatoes, broccoli and buttered bread.\nEverything is as you see it but the After photo is after seconds of potatoes.\n\n[img BeforeAfter8_resized]\n\nThis is the 4 y.o.'s plate with leftovers served for lunch with the addition of asparagus. Notice how she piled on the asparagus but didn't eat any but she did eat tofu (which she hadn't touched the night before). A new day, a new appetite. Meanwhile 2 y.o. ate GIGANTIC portion of baked sweet potatoes & yams followed by some beans and rice. No tofu. No asparagus."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e4","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302664,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e3","content":"# What the Kids Ate\n\nIn addition to the Before/After meal photos Adina does for her FB page, she also shared these meal records to show how her kids eat from time to time. Notice the wide variation in amounts eaten, both between the two of them and from meal to meal.\n\n[img meals1_resized]\n\nThis was less than one year ago and more recently (last week or so) the 4 y.o. ate 5-6 fish sticks in one sitting. \n\n[img meals2_resized]\n[img meals3_resized]\n[img meals4_resized]\n[img meals5_resized_1]\n\nWorth noting is that typically Adina's daughter loves salmon. The above are two occasions when she ate very little of it.\n\n[img meals6_resized]\n[img meals7_resized]\n[img meals8_resized]\n\nLooking at the selections this was most likely a \"get rid of leftovers\" lunch or dinner, hence the combo of foods.\n\nThis next food record comes from Adina's blog and the topic is worth reading: Why it's Okay to Relax About Your Child's Eating http://healthylittleeaters.com/why-its-okay-to-relax-about-your-childs-eating/ -- Note that in the record below the 4 y.o.'s intake is listed first.\n\n[img Breakfast1_resized_1]\n"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e5","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302665,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# Dairy basics - too much or too little\n\nMilk and other dairy products provide a great source of calcium, vitamin D, protein, magnesium and other important nutrients in your child’s diet. Many toddlers love their dairy and have no problem eating and drinking the required amount. But some toddlers eat too much dairy while others refuse it completely.\n\n**General guidelines:**\n\nChildren under 1 year of age should not be served cow’s milk. Breast milk or iron-fortified formula are more appropriate for them.\n\nChildren from 1 to 2 years of age can be breastfed or served **full fat** cow’s milk or formula.\n\nChildren older than 2 can be transitioned to **2% or skim** milk if this is what your family drinks.\n\nToddlers need around **700mg of calcium per day**.This goal is easily reached by serving dairy twice a day. In our Western diet, dairy is the main source of calcium, with each serving providing between 250 and 400mg of this important nutrient. However, there are many non-dairy foods providing a good amount of calcium, such as:\n\n* fortified ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, 1oz – between 300 and 1000mg\n* leafy greens, 1/2 cup cooked – around 150mg\n* beans and peas, 1/2 cup, cooked – around 100mg\n* canned sardines with bones, 3oz – 325mg\n* fortified tofu, 1/2 cup – 253mg\n* fortified orange juice – around 350mg\n* fortified soy milk and other milk substitutes – around 350mg.\n* For other non-dairy sources of calcium, check this article.\nRecommended daily amount of ALL dairy products for children 2-8 years old – **only 2-3 servings a day**.\n\n**1 serving of dairy foods** = 8 oz milk, 8 oz yogurt, 2 oz cheese, ½ cup ice cream.\n\nIt is easy for toddlers to drink too much milk. Too much dairy can displace other important foods from the diet and even lead to iron deficiency if consumed in excess.\n\n**If your child eats too much dairy.** Children who eat too much dairy tend to eat less of other foods and be finicky about their food choices. They may fill up on milk between meals, request yogurt for snack and refuse meat of veggies at dinner time. If this is your case, try to gradually “wean” your child off snacking on dairy foods all the time. Milk is not a snack, it is very filling and may prevent your child from eating good meals.\n\n**If your child refuses milk but eats other dairy foods.** If your child eats foods like yogurt, cheese and ice cream, she should be getting all the required nutrients from them. \n\n**If your child does not eat dairy.** If your child is not allergic to dairy foods, try fortifying meals with evaporated milk or powdered milk. They can be added to recipes for baked goods, pureed soups or desserts. If your child is vegan or is allergic to dairy, include other calcium and vitamin D-rich foods such as fortified soy milk or orange juice and include more of the non-dairy sources of calcium listed above. If your child is lactose-intolerant she may be able to tolerate lactose-free milk and fermented dairy products such as aged cheeses and yogurt."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e6","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302666,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# How much fiber does your child need?\n\nMany of the toddlers we see in our practices do not get enough fiber. It is hardly surprising if we take into account their small appetites and erratic eating habits. There are some simple ways to add a little more of this important nutrient in their diets! Fiber prevents constipation, aids digestion and supports health of the digestive system. Oh, and they also help them stay full longer, so you are less likely to hear \"I am hungry\" 30 minutes before dinner!\n\nToddlers need about 19 grams of fiber per day.\n\nHere are some of the good sources of fiber: \n\n* Oatmeal (½ cup cooked, 2 grams)\n* Berries (½ cup, 4 grams)\n* Whole grain cookies or crackers (at least 3 grams per serving)\n* Sweet potatoes with peel (½ of medium, 3.8 grams)\n* Sliced apple (1 small, 3.6 grams)\n* Almonds/Almond Butter (1 tablespoon, 1 gram)\n* Whole Grain Bread (1 slice, 4.4 grams)\n* Legumes (½ cup cooked, 6.2-9.6 grams)\n\nOne of Natalia's kids was constipated as a toddler because of drinking too much milk and not eating a lot of fiber rich foods. Having learnt her lesson, she is now more mindful about fiber and its good sources. Here are some of the ways Natalia adds fiber to her kids' diet:\n\n1. Including vegetables and/or fruit in every meal and snack.\n\n2. Enjoying whole wheat pasta with olive oil, milk and fruit for breakfast, her kids’ favorite.\n\n3. Making smoothies for dessert or breakfast with frozen berries and yogurt or kefir.\n\n4. Using 100% whole wheat flour for baking muffins and pancakes. For pastries and cakes, she uses 100% whole wheat pastry flour which has less gluten and yields more tender products.\n\n5. Her family does not eat a lot of breakfast cereal but if she happens to buy one, she makes sure it has at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.\n\n6. She makes this lentil soup (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/03/lentil-soup/), Moroccan chicken and chickpea stew (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/02/moroccan-chicken-with-chickpeas-and-vegetables/) and white bean soup (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/11/white-bean-and-sausage-soup/) that are chock full of fiber from vegetables and pulses.\n\n7. She bakes potato wedges with skin, to preserve the fiber which otherwise gets discarded. To bake a nice batch of crispy potato wedges, scrub potatoes well under running water, cut into wedges about 1 inch thick at the bottom, season with salt, pepper and olive oil and bake in a preheated to 350F oven for about 35-40 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce or your favorite dip.\n\n6. She uses unpeeled potatoes and fiber-rich kale in this easy one-pot recipe (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/01/kale-potato-and-bacon-dinner/).\n\n7. She adds a few tablespoons of wheat or oat bran to muffin and pancake mixture.\n\n8. She adds pureed vegetables like carrots, spinach and canned beans to meat sauce (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/07/15-minute-vegetable-meat-sauce/) she serves with pasta and lasagna.\n\n9. She mixes in vegetables like mushrooms into meatballs (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/05/turkey-mushroom-meatballs/) and meat loaves.\n\n10. She uses whole wheat tortillas to make quesadillas (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/chicken-spinach-quesadillas/).\n\n11. She makes whole wheat pita chips (http://tribecanutrition.com/2014/01/pita-chips-and-hummus/) to go with homemade hummus.\n\n12. She often starts a family meal with a pureed vegetable soup (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/05/pureed-vegetable-soups/).\n\n13. She makes no-cook fiber-rich chia seed pudding (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/chia-seeds/) for breakfast, snack or dessert.\n\n14. She packs whole grain salads (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/lunch-special-secret-grain-salads/) in kids' lunch boxes.\n\n15. She makes pizza (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/06/mushroom-pizza/) at home with whole wheat dough and mushrooms as a topping.\n\n16. She serves fresh fruit instead of fruit juice. An unpeeled apple has about 3.6 grams of fiber but a cup of apple juice (with sugar equivalent of 3 apples) has none!\n\n17. She serves popcorn for snack. Here is how we make ours on the stove (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/07/popcorn-on-the-stove/).\n\nWhat to do it your picky toddler is **constipated** and needs to get the things moving before he is ready for adding all these fiber rich options to his diet? \n\nOf course, as an expert in the Division of Responsibility by now, you know that pressuring kids to eat these foods is out of the question. Besides, if your child has been constipated for a while, just adding fiber from grains, fruit an vegetables is not going to make a dramatic difference quickly. But your child may need help fast. Not only constipation is terribly uncomfortable, it also may lower your child's appetite - not a good thing for someone who needs to grow and develop! \n\nThat is why, if this is your case, we would recommend speaking to your doctor about an appropriate laxative to help relieve the existing constipation while working to improve his eating by implementing Division of Responsibility in feeding. \n\nSafe laxative could be a quick solution that will give you time and a level of comfort to continue working on improving your child's diet through non-pressure mealtimes, structure in meals and snacks and providing balanced and nutritious meals. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e7","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302667,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# The fat issue - are they getting enough?\n\nAlthough this has begun changing in the last few years, for a long time health conscious people tended to think that \"healthy\" was synonymous with \"low fat.\" However, low fat diets are not appropriate for kids under 2 years of age. Besides, there is no limit on how much saturated fat they can eat, giving them a free pass on butter, whole fat milk and yogurt. In fact, saturated fat is an important constituent of brain cell membranes, so limiting it in small kids is not recommended. \n\nKids 2 and older may start eating low fat dairy if this is what your family is eating. However if your family prefers whole fat dairy products, you can keep using them. Just keep things in balance and make sure whole milk and butter do not turn every food item/meal into a high fat item/meal. \n\n**But how do these recommendations translate in family meal context?**\n\nServe foods with a variety of fat content for each meal. By combining some high fat foods with low fat foods you will give your child the opportunity to pick and choose depending on the amount of energy he needs on that particular day. Remember that kids are wonderful at self-regulating? \n\nFat is a wonderful flavor and aroma carrier making foods extra tasty. Fat content also tends to make a meal stick a bit longer. Thus using fat to enhance the flavor of otherwise bland vegetables can be helpful in making them more palatable for some children. But not everything on the table has be dripping in oil, smothered with cheese or slathered with butter. In the short chart below, notice the difference between the all high fat meal and the two medium fat meals. \n\nHigh fat meal\tWhole milk, buttered broccoli, breaded fried chicken cutlets, heavily buttered potatoes, \nMedium fat meal\tWhole milk, steamed broccoli, baked/roasted chicken, buttery potatoes, grapes\nMedium fat meal\t 1% milk, cheesy broccoli, baked/roasted chicken, lightly buttered potatoes and toast with butter, grapes\n Low fat meal\t 1% milk, steamed broccoli, baked/roasted chicken, light buttered potatoes, grapes\n\nYou can see above that by including or preparing some foods with little to no fat, you can keep the fat level in balance without sacrificing flavor. Of course the occasional high fat meal won't hurt anyone, but in general it is good to aim for a moderate fat intake rather than either a very low or very high extreme.\n\nWhile we are still waiting on conclusive research on the effects of saturated fat on health, surveys show that kids are not getting enough of known healthful types of fat like plant and fish oils. Some examples of foods rich in these fats include olive oil, avocados, nut butters and wheat germ. The same foods are also rich in Vitamin E, another nutrient of concern in toddlers. An easy way to boost healthful fats is by cooking with olive oil, serving peanut butter sandwiches, avocados and avocado dips and adding wheat germ to home baked muffins and pancakes. \n\n**DHA**\n\nOne of the polyunsaturated fats, called DHA, seems to be particularly beneficial for kids, especially under 2 years of age. DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid that is crucial for retinal and brain development in the first two years of life. \n\nTwo weekly servings of cold water fish is all we need to get enough DHA. But if your child is still learning to like fish, supplementation may be required to help him bridge this gap. We will discuss supplementation in the section below.\n\nSafe ways to boost DHA in your toddler's diet:\n\n**1. Choose better fish.** Some types of fish may contain more mercury than others. Mercury is an environmental toxin that can cause learning problems in children so it makes sense to limit fish high in mercury for everyone and especially for pregnant and breast-feeding women and small children. Consult this brochure by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/edp/mercury_brochure.pdf) to chose the fish which is lower in mercury and other environmental contaminants.\n\n**2. Start early.** According to the current recommendations by American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAI) (http://www.jaci-inpractice.org/article/S2213-2198(12)00014-1/fulltext), delaying introduction of potentially allergenic foods like eggs, fish, nuts, peanuts and wheat, after 6 months of age, may increase risk for food allergies later in life and definitely does not help to prevent them. Keep serving fish 2 times a week even if it is rejected initially. Kids need a lot of repeated exposures to learn to like a new food.\n\n**3. Get creative.** For older children who do not like fish, try different presentation and cooking methods. Some kids will eat fish if it is covered in breadcrumbs, grilled on skewers or made into fishcakes. Here is a recipe for home made fish fingers (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/06/homemade-fish-fingers/) that take only 15 minutes to prepare, nori-salmon sticks (http://tribecanutrition.com/2012/03/795/) made with wild salmon rich in Omega 3′s and grain and pasta salads with canned tuna (http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/lunch-special-secret-grain-salads/) that has a milder flavor than fresh fish.\n\n**4. Read the labels.** If milk and juice are fortified with DHA, the amount is usually specified on the label. Although it is not likely that your child gets a lot of DHA from these beverages, it may be just the extra step that is needed to meet the recommendations. The labels on fortified eggs, on the other hand, typically specify the total amount of Omega3′s the eggs contain so it is harder to figure out how much DHA and EPA you are getting.\n\n**5. Go plants.** Explore plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as the oils of flax, canola, hemp and soy, as well as walnuts, chia, hemp, flax seeds (ground), and green leafy vegetables. However, since the plant form of omega-3s (ALA) is not converted into DHA and EPA efficiently, these foods cannot be used as the only source of omega-3′s in diets of small children younger than 2 years of age. As a result, these children may need a supplement if they are not eating fish.\n\nA bonus of serving more DHA rich fish to your toddler is that you will also help him meet his vitamin D needs. But since food sources of vitamin D are so scarce and fish is rarely among kids' favorites, most kids need a supplementation to meet their needs, especially in the winter months. \n\nFor more information of good food sources of DHA an vitamin D check out the Important Nutrients for Toddlers handout in the materials section of the class. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e8","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302668,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# Iron - \"these meatballs are too chewy!\"\n\nMost toddlers have trouble eating meat because of its challenging texture. Besides, they are likely to overdo in the dairy department making them uniquely susceptible to developing iron deficiency - the most common nutrient deficiency in kids. Not enough iron may affect the developing brain so it is good to have a strategy to include more iron rich foods in your child's diet. \n\n**It is all about the right combination**\n\nIron from animal sources or \"heme\" iron (meat, poultry, fish) is absorbed easier than iron from plant sources or \"non-heme\" iron (lentils, spinach, tofu). When non-heme iron is served with heme iron ( spinach +chicken), the iron from spinach is absorbed better than if spinach is served alone. Vitamin C rich foods (most fruit and vegetables) have the same effect on both heme and non-heme iron absorption. So even a couple of bites of meat of chicken at dinner will help your child absorb more iron from plants. And if you are a vegetarian family or your child does not like meat yet, make sure to serve the plant food rich in iron (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.php) together with vitamin C rich foods. \n\nFor more information on good sources of iron, see our printout Important Nutrients for Toddlers in the Materials section of the class. \n\n**How to help your child eat more iron rich foods**\n\nAs with everything else, the Division of Responsibility comes to the rescue! Sticking to mealtime structure, scheduling snacks and offering a variety of nutritious foods at meals and snacks will help your child learn to like iron rich meat and greens sooner. \n\nYou may also try making iron rich meat easier to handle for the little ones by making it moist and tender. Beef stew and chicken soup are some of Natalia's kids' favorites. \n\nAlso, adding fat and seasoning to plant dishes rich in iron like beans and greens will make them much more palatable for kids. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e9","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302669,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":""},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ea","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302670,"position":7,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# Sugar and desserts\nThe American Heart Association (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Sugar-101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp) recommends limiting added sugar for toddlers to only 4-5 teaspoons per day. \n\nOne teaspoon of added sugar = 4 grams. \n\nThis does not seem like a lot of sugar especially since one average tub 6 oz tub of flavored yogurt contains around 2-3 teaspoons and breakfast cereals anywhere from 1 to 4 teaspoons of sugar per serving.\n\nOf course, it may be not a realistic goal if most of the foods your child eats right now are sweet. But the good news is that with the Division of Responsibility in place and serving more variety, you will notice more balance in your child's diet over time. \n\nAnd while you do not need to count grams of sugar every day, by providing regular meals and snacks and serving mini meals instead of \"kid\" snacks more often, you will help your child eat less added sugar while still enjoying treats from time to time. \n\nA rule of thumb some parents use is serving healthier, less processed foods 80% of the time, while leaving the other 20% to sweets and treats. \n\n**Here are a few more ways to cut on added sugar in your child's diet and help her feel in control around sweets.**\n\n**Serve unlimited sweet treats from time to time.** This may seem like counterproductive advice, but research (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/2/215.full) and more research (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/69/6/1264.abstract?ijkey=628b3982a1b1e0021f26c152d988357490bd01b1&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha) shows that when kids feel deprived they overindulge once given access to “forbidden” food. The key is to serve sweets on a schedule, ideally for a snack so that they do not interfere with eating other foods. And if you serve something special for dessert, it is best to not make it contingent on eating dinner.\n\nHere is a great piece from Ellyn Satter explaining why and how to include treats in your child’s diet. (http://ellynsatterinstitute.org/htf/usingforbiddenfood.php)\n\n**Serve dessert with the meal.** Many families enjoy eating a small dessert after a meal. Whether it is a cup of flavored yogurt or a small cookie (a small serving size is the key here), we recommend serving it alongside the meal, so that your child could choose when he wants to eat it, right at the start of the meal, in the middle or at the end. We have seen a lot of success with this strategy, especially in kids who seem to be preoccupied with dessert.\n\n**Do not rely on “healthier” sugars or artificial sweeteners.** Natural sugars like honey and maple syrup are essentially added sugars with a negligible sprinkle of nutrition. They do not necessarily make the product better for you or less caloric. Another natural sugar, agave, is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar and can save calories because you would need less of it to sweeten food but nutritionally it is very similar to other common added sugars like high fructose corn syrup.\n\nZero calorie sweeteners, like aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, sucralose and saccharine, do not add calories to diet or contribute to cavities. But these sweeteners are often used to sweeten foods with low nutritional value like ice-cream, cookies and soda, and using them instead of regular sugar does not make these foods healthier. Your little one still needs a good balance of sweet/not-so-sweet foods in the diet. \n\n**Do it yourself.** Some parents buy plain, unsweetened versions of milk, yogurt and cereal and sweeten them at home ourselves if we need to. You will be surprised how much sugar you will avoid using this simple strategy. We also mash up some sweet fruit like mango or ripe pear, sprinkle some berries or use a little honey or real sugar to add a little sweetness without going overboard with sugar.\n\nIn general, the more you cook from scratch, the more you are able to control the amount of sugar that goes into food.\n\nHere are a few more low sugar nutritious and delicious treats that Natalia's family likes:\n\nEasy chia seed pudding http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/chia-seeds/\n\n5 minute chocolate soy mousse http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/02/chocolate-soy-mousse/\n\nBlueberry muffins http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/04/blueberry-muffins/\n\nHealthier desserts http://tribecanutrition.com/2013/01/25-healthier-dessert-ideas-your-kids-will-love/"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5eb","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302671,"position":8,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# Snack Guide\n\nLittle kids need snacks. Very few of us would argue with this. Their tummies are small and it may be challenging for them to get enough nutrients and calories in just 3 meals a day. \n\nOf course, constant snacking on chips and cookies may send your toddler's nutrition downhill. But random snacking on healthier foods may result in unhealthy eating habits by disrupting the natural hunger-satiety mechanism that allows us to stay attuned to our bodies and maintain a healthy weight. \n\nLet's brainstorm solutions for a few common snacking problems we see in families. \n\n[img stoplight_snacks]\n\nCelery sticks filled with cream chess and topped with colorful bell pepper \"circles\"\n\n**Problem:** \"My son loves crackers for a snack and he never seems to get enough. He is asking for more food in just 30 minutes\"\n\nTo help you child stay full between meals, make sure that each snack includes a good source of fat, protein, fiber or all of these in addition to some carbohydrates. Fat, protein and fiber will increase the satiety factor of the snack while carbohydrates will provide the quick energy your little one needs.\n\nAfter a satisfying snack your little one will be able to wait till dinner instead of grazing on snacks non-stop. \n\n[img yogurt_parfait]\n\nYogurt, granola and strawberries\n\n**Formula for a satisfying snack:**\n\nAt least 2 food groups\nCarbohydrate + Fat or Protein or Fiber (or all of them)\n\n**Examples:**\nMuffins or bread (carbohydrate) + cheese (fat) and fruit (fiber)\nGranola (carbohydrate) + yogurt (protein and fat) + berries (fiber)\nVegetable crudités (fiber) + hummus (protein and fat) + pita chips (carbohydrates) \n\nFor more snack ideas and recipes, check out the snack ideas and recipes in the Materials section. \n\n[img Strawberry_and_banana_snack_resized]\nSnack idea: Crackers with cream cheese and strawberries. Bananas with dark chocolate chips. \n\n**Problem:** \"I can not leave the house with my kids without stuffing my purse with snacks. I try to choose healthier options like fruit, cheese sticks and granola bars, but I am concerned whether it is ok to allow kids graze all day.\"\n\nGrazing all day, even on healthier foods, is not ok. A structure in meals and snacks will help your child graze less. \n\nMealtime structure helps plan meals and snacks at the same time every day. After a while, this rhythm will help your kids build hunger for mealtimes, eat enough to “last” until the next eating opportunity and stay attuned to their hunger-satiety mechanisms both during and in between meals and snacks.\n\nStructure in meals and snacks can help kids eat well at meals and get important nutrition from less processed foods. For more on mealtime structure, check the Snack section in session 2: \"How to get your child to eat ...but not too much\"\n\n[img Hummus_and_pita_chips_resized]\nSnack idea: hummus with pita chips\n\n**Problem:** \"I cannot reduce the snack appeal! All my kids are asking for at mealtimes is their favorite snack. In the meanwhile, all the nutritious foods I prepare goes uneaten\". \n\nTo help kids eat better at mealtimes, it helps to serve mini-meals for snacks most of the time instead of relying on super palatable kids snacks. You can also make meals more attractive for your toddler. This can be done by including her favorite foods from time to time, making food delicious by adding fat and seasoning and serving at least one food she typically eats at each meal. \n\nEven when fortified with additional nutrition, kids’ snacks are not nutritionally superior to real food. Besides, they do not taste like the foods you want your child to learn to enjoy, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains or fish. Instead, they taste more like cookies, jam or chips, the food your child is probably in love with already. Another reason to serve mini-meals for snacks most of the time, offering your child his favorite snacks from time to time!\n\n[img February_28_400_resized]\nSnack idea: whole wheat bread, cantaloupe, ham and cheese. \n\nFor more snack ideas and recipes, check out the snack ideas and recipes in the Materials section. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ec","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302672,"position":9,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# Supplementation\n\nMost toddlers, even the pickier ones, do not need a supplement. What seems like an erratic diet, with a sketchy intake from each food group, may actually still provide all the nutrition your child needs. \n\nBut in some cases, like when a child eats no fruit or vegetables at all or takes time to warm up to fish, a supplementation may help to close the potential nutritional gaps. \n\nThere are a few things every parents should know before choosing a supplement:\n\n1. Supplements are not tested by FDA for safety and efficacy.\n\n2. Instead of choosing individual vitamins and minerals, it is better to choose a multivitamin formula with minerals. Supplementing just one nutrient without your doctor's approval may impair absorption of other nutrients and affect your child's health.\n\n3. Choose the supplement that provides <100% of Daily Value (DV) of vitamins and minerals. Too much may not be a good a thing.\n\n4. If your child eats a very restricted diet, choose a more comprehensive supplement with trace elements from a reputable brand instead of cute gummy bears that often have only a handful of nutrients. If you need specific recommendations, leave us a comment in the discussion section or send an email. \n\n5. Do not give your child supplementation with iron unless recommended by your doctor. \n\n7. You child may need vitamin D supplementation, especially if you live in the Northern hemisphere. Kids under 2 need 400IU and older children need 600IU daily. \n\n8. If your child is under 2 and he does not eat fish, he may need a DHA supplement. It is very important to choose a reputable brand when buying DHA supplements. One of the best we can recommend is Nordic Naturals. \n\n9. Probiotics have been featured in many research articles lately. While we still need to learn more about what types of strands are more beneficial for certain conditions, it is clear that probiotics are very safe. The best ways to obtain beneficial gut bacteria is though eating fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. But if your child does not or cannot eat these foods, adding a probiotic with a variety of strands providing about 1 billion of CFU (colony forming units) will help in the meanwhile. \n\n10. Finally, for more information on supplements, you can check FDA's website http://ods.od.nih.gov (Office of Dietary Supplements). Or choose a subscription service by an independent supplement testing organization like Consumer Labs (http://www.consumerlab.com/) to see quality ratings and comparisons of different supplements. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ed","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302673,"position":10,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5e1","content":"# Summary and homework \n\nWe hope you enjoyed this session. It is pretty dense information wise and if you are left with questions, please feel free to post on the discussion board or email us privately. \n\nIf you feel you need more help nutritionally fine-tuning your child's diet, we encourage you to get in touch with a dietitian who will be able to assess your child's current eating habits and make suggestions based on this. Although we do our best to cover the most common nutritional issues, your problems may be more specific than what this class can encompass. If you need help finding a dietitian in your area or someone who consults online, please send us an email at feeding bytes@gmail.com. \n\nAt a risk of sounding like a broken record, we encourage you to not get too worried about the exact amounts of nutrients you child should be eating. We build this session to give you an estimate of what you should be serving and we are confident that with the Division of Responsibility in place you child will start eating better with time. \n\nThis session's assignment is to analyze your child's food record using the Nutritional Checklist that can be found in the Materials section of the class and identify at least one nutritional goal that will help improve your child's diet.\n\nIn the Discussion section, we are talking about changes that this session inspired you to make in your toddler's diet. \n\nSee you in the Discussion section and have a great day!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ee","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302674,"position":7,"parentId":null,"content":"# Your Child's Growth: A Good Indicator of Whether Eating is Going Okay"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ef","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302675,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ee","content":"# Your Child's Growth -- A Good Indicator of Whether Eating is Going Okay\n\nParents of children who are smaller than average tend to worry and sometimes get overzealous or even pushy with feeding. It's only natural for parents to fear the worst when their child is small or not gaining. This fear can really override good feeding practices and make the problem worse or altogether create new feeding problems. But the same thing can happen when a child is larger than average.\n\nWhen we work with with parents to identify areas of feeding that can be improved, it rarely involves a major dietary overhaul. But it often does involve changing the feeding relationship and dynamics between parent and child.\n\n**Healthy kids come in all sizes. **\nAn excellent measure of whether your child is getting enough to eat is to examine the consistency of their growth. Typical healthy growth is consistent. If a child has been on the 50th percentile for a while but then takes a drastic dip to the 15th or climbs to the 90th, that's worth investigating. But a small child who has consistently kept near the 5th percentile is showing consistent growth, not problem growth. Same with the child who is holding steady near the 95th percentile. A consistent pattern of growth is most important, not growth at a certain percentile.\n\n**When there are changes in growth.**\nA child who starts off small but grows heavier may be catching up. And both larger/smaller children could change their growth patterns to look more like his parents--this is okay. But if a child's growth pattern starts to shift considerably and it isn't catch up growth or related to parental body type, feeding practices might need to be examined. \n\nIf growth has been an issue for your child examine how feeding has gone from birth to now:\n\n-- Were you able to follow baby's cues for feeding or was there pressure to make baby fit into a schedule or go longer/shorter between meals?\n-- Did you feel comfortable giving baby as much as he/she wanted to eat from breast or bottle?\n\n-- Did you work hard to make baby eat more/less of milk or purees than they were inclined to eat?\n\n-- Did/do you feel pressure to fatten up or slim down your child?\n-- Did/do you feel pressure to get your child to eat more/less of all or certain foods?\n\nCan you find any past evidence of pressure or restriction sneaking into your feeding? Do you spot areas where your DOR jobs have been reversed or confused? (Keep in mind that the DOR for babies puts them in control of all aspects of feeding and our job is to follow a baby's cues). \n\nWhether or not you can spot past errors in feeding, following the DOR is most likely to improve feeding and allow your child to grow according to the way nature intended."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f0","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302676,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ef","content":"# Food Preoccupied Preschooler\n\nNatalia once had a 5 year old client whose parents were told to \"watch her weight\" based on her growth chart measurements when she was 1 year old. This resulted in her hoarding food in the bedroom, eating food off other kids plates at birthday parties and waking up before parents to sneak in the kitchen to eat. After a few months (!) of working with Natalia the happy parents announced that she, for the first time (!), left a piece of a birthday cake unfinished at a party and went off to play with kids. The mom was crying when telling Natalia the news. Natalia had taught mom the Division of Responsibility, value of structure and the importance of not being restrictive with portions."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f1","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302677,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ef","content":"# \"You don't want to feed me!\"\n\n\"You don't want to feed me!\" -- from Jenny*, a chubby grade-schooler, to her mom when she noticed her thin older sister was allowed to have snacks and she wasn't. Jenny had a hearty appetite for many years and was consequently restricted from eating as much as she wanted. This was a patient of Adina's. 2 weeks after Mom was instructed in The Division of Responsibility and the importance of allowing Jenny to feel like she can get her fill, she'd calmed down measurably around food and wasn't taking the usual extra portions. Mom will need continued support to ensure she doesn't fall back on old ways, but Jenny is off to a good start. \n*name has been changed to protect privacy."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f2","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302678,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ef","content":"# \"You need to get your baby to eat less\"\n\nOne of Natalia's clients was told by the doctor to limit her 9 month old formula intake way under the recommended amount for this age because she was \"gaining too much\". At the same time, parents did a wonderful job of introducing a lot of new foods into the baby's diet and were confident they were feeding her in an attuned way, allowing her to eat as much as she needed. Natalia knew that babies are wonderful self-regulators and they would eat the amount of food that is right for them, if the feeding approach is correct. She recommended to continue with the Division of Responsibility and avoid limiting any foods. In a couple of weeks the parents reported that the baby started drinking a little less formula all by herself (but not going as low as doctor's recommendation) and she started crawling which required a lot of energy! From the last conversation with the parents, they reported that the growth stabilized and weight gain slowed down. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f3","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302679,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ef","content":"# Concern about dip on growth chart\nNatalia had a 2.4 year old patient whose parents kept a food record of everything he was eating for almost two years prior to seeing her, including calorie count. \n\nThe reason - extreme concern about a \"dip\" on a growth chart from 70th to 45th percentile soon after solids were introduced. Although the growth remained consistent after the growth curve reestablished at this lower percentile, the parents remained very concerned about his eating. The boy never seemed to like purees very much and mother reflected that she has been trying to distract him with games, videos and books to get more baby food into him. \n\nOnce he started self-feeding, he started further reducing his repertoire of accepted foods. The parents kept catering by offering him food different from what the rest of the family was eating and pressured him to eat them. Most of the 10-12 foods he enjoyed were of the typical \"toddler snack\" variety: crackers, cereal, waffles and flavored yogurts, accompanied by twice the amount of milk he needed for his age. The foods had to be of certain brands. The speech therapy evaluation did not identify any delays. The boy had trouble eliminating and needed help with constipation. \n\nAfter DOR was established, the boy kept eating only his acceptable foods that were served as meal components. But he touched and put on his plate new foods without eating them. In the meanwhile, the constipation issue was kept under control with the help of Miralax, with his doctor's approval and cutting down dairy to the equivalent of 16 oz of milk or two servings. After 2 months of DOR he tried and added to his diet two new foods. At a yearly physical (4 months after starting DOR) the doctor confirmed consistent growth at the same percentile (45th). Reassured parents continued with DOR. In 3 more months (at the last follow up appointment) he remained on the same curve but added 7 more acceptable foods including 1 vegetable. \n\nThis boy's parents' worry over his dip on the growth chart led them to apply pressure in feeding and cater for the sake of getting their child to eat something. But of course their feeding behavior only made his eating behavior worse. Once they backed off and implemented the DOR, things gradually but steadily improved with his eating."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f4","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302680,"position":8,"parentId":null,"content":"# Unsolicited Feeding Advice: What is a Parent to Do?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f5","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302681,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f4","content":"# Unsolicited Feeding Advice - What is a Parent to Do?\n\n* Is that all she's going to eat? \n* Looks like this girl has a good appetite!\n* What do you mean, she decides how much to eat?\n* She sure should try these peas, don't you think?\n* When my kids were young, we had no picky eaters!\n* I always ask my kids to take a bite of everything and they are great eaters.\n* Let him go hungry and then he will eat whatever you give him!\n\nThese are just a few examples of comments and questions you may end up hearing when you start using the Division of Responsibility in feeding. Your family and friends who grew up being pushed or restricted at mealtimes and who raised their kids the same way will probably not understand the concept without you providing some background information. They may also be lucky to never have experienced picky eating behavior themselves or with their children who may just happen to be adventurous or compliant eaters.\n\nThe criticism you may receive from family and friends may be frustrating and hurtful and make you doubt your parenting. And although the unsolicited advice may be coming from their true concern over your child's eating, it does not make it qualified or trustworthy. \n\nIf you are parenting a child who has little interest in food or eats only a small variety, it may seem like everyone else around you knows what exactly you need to do to fix the problem. But the truth is that your parental instinct is the best guide in this situation. And if the advice seems to be too rigid and lacking in compassion for your child, then it probably is not the best choice for you. \n\nIs it worth explaining what the Division of Responsibility is to everyone? It depends on how involved these people are in your child's life. If it is an acquaintance who you do not see very often, you may just say something like:\n\n\"Thanks, I appreciate your input, we are doing just fine.\" or \"The truth is, we have been using this approach for a while and it seems to be working great for my son/daughter\".\n\nIf it is your husband, parents, nanny, in laws or anyone else who is directly involved in caring for your child, it may be worth investing some time explaining more about the Division of Responsibility and maybe sharing some printouts from this class. \n\nSome of the talking points you may want to cover:\n\n* The food environment is very different now and the feeding strategies used a few decades ago will simply not work. \n\n* This is the only evidence based approach to feeding that is known today. You can refer to the \"Research\" section to see some of the research articles on the topic. \n\n* The focus of the Division of Responsibility is helping a child have long term healthy relationship with food, not just getting him to eat certain foods.\n\n* Most children to not do a good job eating when under pressure.\n\n* Some children are more affected by pressure than others and a request to take even one bite may spoil their meal.\n\n* Trusting a child to choose the amount of food he wants to eat helps strengthen the ability to self-regulate.\n\nFrom our experience, it's hard to change another person's perspective. Your parents or in-laws may never come around and understand why you feed the way you do. Some excellent quick responses we've read from other parents who follow DOR are below:\n\nPhrases to Say to Your Child (loud enough for the food pushing adult to hear):\n\n* \"You don't have to eat anything you don't want.\" \n* \"Are you full?\" (how can someone argue with 'full'?)\n* \"Auntie thinks you will enjoy this food, but it is your choice whether or not to try it\"\n* \"You have strong ideas of what you like and dislike, and that's okay!\"\n* \"Someday you might love fish, but it's okay that you don't want to try it right now.\"\n* \"You really listen to your body when it tells you it's full. That's great!\"\n\nPhrases to Say to a Food Pushing Adult\n\n\"I know you love her a lot and worry when she doesn't eat much. In spite of the way she eats, she is healthy and growing well. She loves being with you and taking part in family meals at your house. I want that to continue. But trying to get her to eat spoils that.”\n\n\"Dad, she's okay.\" or \"Let me handle this\"\n\n\"Mom, follow my lead.\" \n\n\"Thanks, Uncle Jim, he sees how much we enjoy this. Sooner or later, he'll enjoy it too.\"\n\n\"Yes, she is selective. I know when she is a teenager I will really appreciate her skill in being selective with who she chooses to date.\"\n\nFor a quick reference and overview of DOR:\nPrint out this \"From the Cook\" manifesto to hang prominently in your kitchen. (https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/cms-assets/documents/99663-21282.fromthecookheart.pdf) Explain to whoever is taking care of your child that these are the rules your child is supposed to follow at mealtimes. \n\nHow do you deal with pressure and unsolicited advice from family and friends? Please join our discussion below. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f6","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302682,"position":9,"parentId":null,"content":"# Research"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302683,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f6","content":"# Research\nFor those who are interested in some of the evidence supporting a DOR approach to feeding children we've summarized a few studies below. We will summarize the articles here and you can view them in our materials section."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f8","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302684,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# The benefits of an authoritative feeding style\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Authoritative%20vs%20authoriatarian%20feedig%20styles_1.pdf\n\nYou may be familiar with the four parenting styles and the associated pros/cons of each: Authoritative - Set limits and demands or expectations, but are responsive and warm. Authoritarian - Set limits and demands or expectations, but are not responsive or warm Permissive - Few limits or demands, but are responsive and warm Neglectful - Few limits and are not responsive or warm. In general research finds that an authoritative parenting style tends to be associated with better outcomes for children. This article provides a nice summary: http://www.parentingscience.com/parenting-styles.html What we want to draw your attention to is research that shows a connection between parental feeding style and better eating among kids. The authoritarian (high demand/low responsiveness) feeding style included behaviors such as restricting the child from eating certain foods and forcing the child to eat other foods. Thus, authoritarian feeding was characterized by attempts to control the child’s eating (high demand) with little regard for the child’s choices and preferences (low responsiveness). Some examples included: 'Physically struggle with the child to get him/her to eat’ or 'Show disapproval of the child for not eating’ Overall children ate best when they were fed in a more responsive, authoritative feeding style. Although DOR was not mentioned, it fits an authoritative feeding style because it is structured and responsive and allows children a measure of autonomy."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f9","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302685,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# Associations of parenting styles, parental feeding practices and child characteristics...\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Children%20centered%20feeding%20vs%20parent%20centered%20feeding_1.pdf\n\nFrom the abstract: -- The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of parent and child characteristics in explaining children’s fruit and vegetable intakes. -- Child-centered feeding practices were positively related to children’s fruit and vegetable intakes, while parent-centered feeding practices were negatively related to children’s vegetable intakes. In order to try to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption, parents should be guided to improve their own diet and to use child-centered parenting practices and strategies known to decrease negative reactions to food."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5fa","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302686,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# The variability of young chlidren's energy intake\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/The%20variability%20of%20young%20children's%20energy%20intake.pdf\n\nAlthough kids vary in the calories they may eat meal to meal, the day to day variability is much lower and tends to be consistent because kids adjust their calorie intake from meal to meal to get what they need over the course of a day."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5fb","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302687,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# Reluctant trying of an unfamiliar food induces negative affection for the food\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/reluctant%20trying%20of%20a%20new%20food%20may%20create%20aversion%20.pdf\n\nWhen kids are made to eat something they are reluctant to eat, it can negatively influence their enjoyment of that food in the future."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5fc","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302688,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# Relationship between portion size and energy intake among infants and toddlers...\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Self-Regulation_1.pdf\n\nConclusions of this study confirm that infants and young toddlers have the innate ability to self-regulate their calorie intake. However, environmental cues can diminish this self-regulation even in toddlers. This includes coercive feeding practices to \"clean your plate\" and being overly restrictive when motivated by concerns a child may be overeating."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5fd","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302689,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# The feeding relationship\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/The%20feeding%20relationship.pdf\n\nThe feeding relationship = complex interactions between parent and child as they engage in food selection, ingestion, and regulation behaviors. This feeding relationship can influence a child's eating and nutritional status."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5fe","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302690,"position":7,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# Just Three More Bites\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Just%20Three%20more%20bites.pdf\n\nOut of 142 families observed, eighty-five percent of parents tried to get children to eat more, 83% of children ate more than they might otherwise have, with 38% eating moderately to substantially more. Boys were prompted to eat as often as girls and children were prompted to eat as many times in single- as in two-parent households. Children were very rarely restricted in their mealtime intake. High-SES parents used reasoning, praise, and food rewards significantly more often than low-SES families. Mothers used different strategies than fathers: fathers used pressure tactics with boys and mothers praised girls for eating. These data reinforce current recommendations that parents should provide nutritious foods and children, not parents, should decide what and how much of these foods they eat."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5ff","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302691,"position":8,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# Parental influence on eating behavior\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Development%20of%20eatign%20behaviors%20among%20children%20and%20adolescents.pdf\n\n Development of eating behaviors among children and adolescents\nFrom the abstract: An enormous amount of learning about food and eating occurs during the transition from the exclusive milk diet of infancy to the omnivore’s diet consumed by early childhood. This early learning is constrained by children’s genetic predispositions, which include the unlearned preference for sweet tastes, salty tastes, and the rejection of sour and bitter tastes. Children also are pre- disposed to reject new foods and to learn associations between foods’ flavors and the postingestive consequences of eating. Evidence suggests that children can respond to the energy density of the diet and that although intake at individual meals is erratic, 24-hour energy intake is relatively well regulated. There are individual differences in the regulation of energy intake as early as the preschool period. These individual differences in self-regulation are associated with differences in child-feeding practices and with children’s adiposity. This suggests that child-feeding practices have the potential to affect children’s energy balance via altering patterns of intake. Initial evidence indicates that imposition of stringent parental controls can potentiate preferences for high-fat, energy-dense foods, limit children’s acceptance of a variety of foods, and disrupt children’s regulation of energy intake by altering children’s responsiveness to internal cues of hunger and satiety. This can occur when well-intended but concerned parents assume that children need help in determining what, when, and how much to eat and when parents impose child-feeding practices that provide children with few opportunities for self-control. Implications of these findings for preventive interventions are discussed."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e600","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302692,"position":9,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# Parental influence on eating behavior\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Parental%20influence%20on%20eating%20behavior.pdf"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e601","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302693,"position":10,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition Guidance for Healthy Children Ages 2 to 11\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/NutritionGuidanceChildren_ADA_position%20paper.pdf"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e602","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302694,"position":11,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5f7","content":"# The benefits of family meals\n\nhttps://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Family-Mealtimes-2.pdf"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e603","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302695,"position":10,"parentId":null,"content":"# Session 5: Meal planning strategies and easy family meal ideas"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e604","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302696,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e603","content":"# Meal planning strategies and easy family meal ideas\n\n[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phgjt8wZu2k]\n\n In the previous lessons we encouraged you to focus on stress free family meals with you child, mealtime structure and avoiding pressure. Today we will talk about the mechanics of putting a family meal on a table. For many of us this means cooking. If cooking sounds like too much work to fit in your busy life style, we hope that the tips and tricks we share with you in this session will make it sound less intimidating. \n\nIn fact, although we will never frown upon an elaborate meal and love spending time in the kitchen, the reality is that life just gets too busy sometimes. And what was intended to be an home-cooked meal with fresh market ingredients may as well end up being a take-away pizza with some veggie crudités on the side. \n\nSo, as always, you will not find any rigid rules or Pinterest-worthy meals in this session. It is all about ways to simplify, experimenting and trying to do what works for your lifestyle. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e605","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302697,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e604","content":"\n# How to plan family friendly meals\n \nIf you have not been using the Division of Responsibility in feeding before, chances are your eating habits and food preferences are different from your child. And maybe greatly so! Your child may subsist on a handful of child-friendly foods that you have no interest in eating. You, on the other hand, may enjoy fresh salads and spicy ethnic food your child has no desire to even try. \n\n**Meet your child halfway**\n\nSo where to start? Will you ever find recipes that work for all of you? Well, first of all, let's keep in mind that family meals are about the family time together, more than eating. From this perspective, it is easier to give up certain food preferences and start looking for a compromise. Second, your child had only few years to learn about food and eating. You are a much more experienced diner than him. In a math class, no one would expect him to dive into multiplications before learning what 1+1 makes. So in order to help him learn to like what you serve, it makes sense to meet him halfway and gradually build up the complexity of flavors and textures in meals. \n\nThis may translate in serving meals that are not 100% to your highest standards but are great at making your child feel successful at mealtimes. So let's say if you like a salad for lunch and your children have always been served mac&cheese and pb&j sandwiches, you may want to start serving both your salad and their mac&cheese. Below is just such a meal Adina served for lunch one day: boxed mac&cheese with smoked salmon and peas, plus a salad. If you happen to have the ingredients on hand, from-scratch mac&cheese doesn't take a second longer than the boxed variety. It does require more post-meal clean-up because of an extra pot, etc., but the total time from start to eating is the same.\n\n\n\nOr you can serve pb&j and maybe add another type of sandwich you like better yourself, like tuna or ham and cheese. \n\n\nThis sandwich plate, above, is something Adina has done before with her kids. She made both cheese-lettuce-tomato and pb&j. But so that she and the kids could share a meal of the same choices, she cut both sandwiches into quarters. The kids ate as expected: mostly PBJ, but the other option was there and they tried it without anyone cajoling them to have a bite. Also available were pear slices and milk. \n\nA scrumptious salad that you can make to go with take out, a frozen entree, or other meal that you might consider a 'compromise' is this kale-apple salad. If Kale isn't your favorite, spinach would work well too.\n\n\n\n\n\nAdd on, don't take away\n\nInstead of banning your child's favorites that make you cringe, add more foods to them to create a balanced meal. For example, if your little one is fond of chicken nuggets, serve them with a more elaborate grain like quinoa and nice vegetables like grilled asparagus, elevating the meal above the typical kids' fare but still keeping it family friendly. In other words, supplement a less than ideal food with something more nutritious. For each meal, plan to serve one item from at least 3 of the following food groups/choices: one protein choice, one-two starch choices, fruit and/or vegetable, some kind of fat, milk or other dairy and dessert (optional). \n\nOffer spices on the side\n\nSince kids' palates are more sensitive, it may be challenging for them to handle a lot of spice especially if they have not gotten a lot of exposure to it before. To solve the issue, add just a little spice to the dish and serve more on the side, to add on your plate. This way, your little ones will still be able to enjoy the flavor of the dish you share with them without being overwhelmed by the heat. \n\nMake food taste great\n\nAlthough some kids love steamed veggies, many prefer some fat and seasoning with them. And although steamed fish sounds very healthy it may not look or smell appealing to your child. Small children are typically not impressed by the nutritional characteristics of food but will eat it if it tastes good to them on that particular day (remember how finicky toddlers are?). So instead if telling them that carrots help them see in the dark, roast or pan fry them with a touch of honey and butter to make them even more delicious and sprinkle some Parmesan on broccoli to help mask the slight bitterness. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e606","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302698,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e604","content":"# If you do not cook\nEven if you do not cook, you will still be able to put together a meal for your family. Here is how - keep a well stocked kitchen with a variety of fruits, vegetables, bread and dairy products to round up a take away meal you bring home. See the printout with grocery list in the Materials section of the class for inspiration. \n\nFor example, you may order a chicken with rice and beans - add some carrot sticks and grapes with bread and milk to round up the meal. \n\nIf you bought a pizza on the way home, serve it with a simple green salad (pre-washed greens in a plastic bag are a great help here), cherry tomatoes, apple slices and yogurt for dessert. \n\nIf roasted rotisserie chicken in your local supermarket looks good, serve it with a side of boiled potatoes seasoned with butter, steamed in the microwave green beans and watermelon for a quick weeknight meal. \n\nA quick soup taco soup can be made almost entirely of canned items: saute an onion then add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 can black beans, 1 can pinto beans, 1 can sliced olives, 1 can corn, more water so it is as thick or thin as you prefer, taco seasoning and salt if you prefer and voila--a meal that will be cooked in less than 20 minutes! Add a bag of corn tortilla chips, plus some fruit, raw veggies or a make a salad while the soup is heating. If you have extra time you can saute some ground beef or other meat with the onion early on. \n\nExtra or leftover vegetables can be stuffed inside of a quesadilla for a tasty meal in a jiffy. Add salsa, guacamole, canned beans, salad, fruit or whatever sounds good to round it out. \n\nAs you see, the most important thing is to sit together to a meal. The complexity and nutritional value of it are less important. \n\nIf at some point you find yourself inspired to start cooking, it is best to experiment with new recipes on a weekend or when you have more time before dinner. If you are coming home at 5.30 and your kids are expecting to be fed at 6.00pm, spending an hour in a kitchen preparing a new complicated recipe will only add stress to dinnertime and further discourage you from cooking. Instead, combine a take-out with fresh foods you have at home on that day and enjoy your time experimenting in the kitchen on Sunday. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e607","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302699,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e604","content":"# Have a strategy\n\nEven if you are a seasoned cook, you may need some strategy to put a meal on a table most days of the week. \n\nFor most of us, who combine child care and work, it may be as simple as putting together a list of 20 recipes that are easy for us to prepare and rotating them. \n\nNeed inspiration? Check the selection of recipes from Natalia's blog that are easy to prepare, yummy and pretty nutritious. They can be found in the Materials section of the session. \n\n**How to store recipes**\n\nStore your recipes within reach. Some people do it on their computers and phones, others prefer the old fashioned paper method. Check out the folder with recipes Natalia has put together over the years. It contains the recipes that she tried and liked. They also got at least partial approval by her family. \n\n[image: Recipe_folder]\n\nIf you are looking for more high tech solutions, you may want to check out the websites and platforms like AllRecipes, SousChief that allow you to store all your recipes in your account and import them from other websites and BigOven.com that will also create a shopping list and nutritional analysis for you. \n\n**How to plan meals**\n\nDespite the proliferation of meal planning websites on the internet, we are not sure they are a solution for every family. A great idea for someone stuck in a cooking rut with some time on the hands and willingness to try a new recipe every day (!), it may be too much work for most of us. \n\nMany families tell us find that creating a weekly meal plan including tested and tried recipes was a life-saving solution for them. Again, you can do it on your computer using the websites we listed above and printing out the shopping lists or just jolt down the meals you have in mind before or after you go shopping on a piece of paper to display somewhere in your kitchen. See an example of how Natalia does it in a just couple of minutes.\n\n[image: Mealplan]\n\nIf committing to a certain recipe each day of the week is not feasible for you, a more doable strategy could be putting together a loose plan for what you plan to cook every week and adjust it as needed as the week progresses. For example, your \"meal plan\" may look like this:\n\nMonday: Pasta dish \n\nTuesday: Taco night\n\nWednesday: Make your own salad night\n\nThursday: Bean soup\n\nFriday: Fish dish\n\nSaturday: Leftovers night\n\nSunday: Take out or restaurant \n\nThis menu will provide tons of variety and enough flexibility to combine the main dish with the veggies you have on hand or cook with the protein available to you that day. For example, Natalia always tries to shop for the freshest fresh fish or discounted frozen and then prepares it that night using one of the simple recipes she stores in her binder. To make her job easier, she keeps a well stocked spices cabinet so she can switch from one recipe to another without having to do another shopping trip.\n\nAdina also prefers to buy what looks freshest and/or is on sale and then improvises with the ingredients she has at home. Although planning meals for a week is not her thing, she has a pretty good idea what she will be serving for the next two or three meals. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e608","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302700,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e604","content":"# Surviving the \"Witching\" Hour\n\nThe biggest problem some of the parents we know face is handling the \"witching hour.\" Most often between 5 and 6pm, this is the time when parents arrive home from work or bring kids home from preschool or activities and face the challenge of putting a meal on the table with a whining toddler on the kitchen floor or an older child who needs help with homework. \n\nIf this is your challenge, preparing for it in advance is the key to overcoming it. Here are a few strategies to help you both connect to your children and prepare a meal:\n\n* If your kids are starving, give them a very small snack (a few slices of fruit or vegetable will work great)\n\n* If you are cooking on that night, plan in advance by chopping the ingredients the night before or even starting the meal in your slow cooker in the morning.\n\n* If cooking is too much work on nights like that, plan to stock your kitchen on the weekend with fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products and bread that you can use to supplement take out meals.\n\n* If your children missed you and want to play with you when you get home, plan to cook something that is easy to get started and leave to finish cooking while you play with your kids. Examples are vegetable soup or roasted chicken thighs with vegetables. \n\n* Consider cooking big batches of food when you have time and freeze them for future easy meals. Make sure to divide the food in shallow containers to allow to cool quickly, cover with lids and store in a freezer for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. All you have to do when you get home in the evening is to reheat the meal until piping hot and slice some bread to go with it. \n\n* If your kids like cooking with you, engage them in the kitchen while preparing dinner. This way, you will spend some time together and get the meal ready! See the list of age appropriate kitchen tasks in the Materials section of the session. https://coursebeyond.com/media/institute/9/course/69/Kitchen%20tasks%20for%20different%20ages.pdf"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e609","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302701,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e604","content":"# Grocery shopping \n\nWhether you enjoy grocery shopping and are looking forward to your weekly trips to the farmers market or hate even thinking about it, spending a few minutes to make a plan before shopping can save you a lot of time in the week. \n\nOf course, if you are using one of the online tools we described in the \"Have a strategy\" section, you may end up having to just print out your shopping list. For the rest of us, an old fashioned pen and paper or quick list you put together on your iPhone may work just fine. \n\n**Money-saving strategies**\n\n* When in a store, check the price per unite (eg. oz of pound) which is a better reflection of the value of the product you are buying.\n* Look on the bottom and top shelves that often feature better deals than the \"prime real estate\" - the shelves at eye level. \n* Buy staples that can be kept at room temperature such as grains, flour, condiments, cereals, oils, canned goods etc, in bulk.\n* Shop for fresh produce and milk weekly \n*Make small trips to grocery store to refill your milk, bread and fruit supply. Keeping a supply of frozen and canned fruits and vegetables helps tremendously for those days when you can't make it to the grocery store but you run out of fresh produce.\n\n**Use a shopping list** when grocery shopping. \n\nWith these strategies, you will also have a well stocked pantry that will provide a foundation for many family meals that can be put together very quickly. You will also have plenty of fresh produce on hands to add nutritional value to your meals. \n\n**Puzzled by nutritional labels? **\n\nIn the Materials section of the class you will find a printout that will help you decode nutritional labels and make your grocery shopping easier. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60a","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302702,"position":11,"parentId":null,"content":"# Division of Responsibility in Action: Toddlers Eating Family Meals"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60b","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302703,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60a","content":"# DOR in action - toddlers eating a family meals\n\n\nhttp://youtu.be/RHRyfkNrxII\n\n\nToday we are inviting you to take a peek into what Division of Responsibility looks like in action. In this video, adorable 1 year old twins demonstrate the eating skills and competence typical for their age if parents follow the DOR. \n\nSome of our favorite things about this video:\n\n- Both parents work but they make family dinner a priority. \n\n- They also keep it very simple: a small appetizer, pizza and fruit make a pretty balanced meal.\n\n- The twins are doing a great job self-feeding and making the amount of mess that can be expected at this age.\n\n- The twins are allowed to eat the way they want: experimenting with the food by putting it int he mouth and taking out, eat with plate or without, eat as much or as little as they want.\n\n- The dessert (fruit) is served with the meal.\n\nWhat else dis you notice about the video that makes it a good example of DOR? Please share in the discussion below. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60c","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302704,"position":12,"parentId":null,"content":"# Last Day of the Program: Wrap Up"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60d","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302705,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60c","content":"# Last Day of the Program: Wrap up \n\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiqafyXjTGI\n\nHi everyone.\n\nWe cannot believe it is the last day of our program: Feed Your Toddler with Confidence. \n\nMake sure to ask all your burning questions and leave all your last minute comments till the end of today, when Adina and I will be answering them in real time. \n\nLast housekeeping notes:\n\n- The classroom will be open till Friday July 4th so that you can have a few extra days to download and save all materials.\n\n- In the Materials section of the class we have posted a list of resources, websites and books that will help you learn more about the feeding strategies we teach and also get new recipe ideas. \n\n- Please take a couple of minutes to participate in our final survey and get a chance to win a copy of \"Fearless Feeding\" - a modern encyclopedia on feeding kids - it covers children of all ages from high chair to high school. The winner will be selected next week. \nhttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-Q23kXLzFf_1bcs6R06C7a-7SSFT8GFB4-cnCpbYkTA/viewform?usp=send_form\n\n\nWe shared a lot of information on the “how” and “what” to feed your little ones. We hope that what you have learned is not a set of rigid rules but rather a selection of doable strategies that can be adapted to your unique situation and lifestyle. We are confident that what you have learned will bring structure and common sense into feeding and make mealtimes much more pleasant. \n\n\nThank you again for being with us these two weeks. We loved sharing the information, answering your questions and reading about your experiences. \n\nWe hope you will stay in touch and email us at feedingbytes@gmail.com any follow up comments and questions.\n\nOnce again we would greatly appreciate your feedback in our survey: Survey\nHave a wonderful day and enjoy Feeding your Toddler with Confidence! \n"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60e","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302706,"position":13,"parentId":null,"content":""},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e60f","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302707,"position":14,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Survey Form: Introduction & Welcome`\n\nTell us more!\nA short quiz to help us understand your feeding approach and how we can help.\n\nI try to get my kids to eat more or less than they want to at meals. *\n Often\n Sometimes\n Rarely\n Never\n\nI always include some kind of simple food I know my kids eat at meal times *\n True\n False\nMealtimes are stressful because I worry about my child's eating *\n True\n False\n\nI trust my child to eat as much as he/she needs. *\n True\n False\n\nI make exposing my kids to a variety of foods a priority. *\n True\n False\n\nWe eat together as a family at least 4 times a week. *\n True\n False\n\nI think toddlers should be allowed to eat whenever they feel hungry. *\n True\n False\n\nKids need parents to help them eat the right amount, otherwise they will tend to eat too little or too much. *\n True\n False\n\nServing dessert ony if they had a decent meal helps my children eat better. *\n True\n False\n\nIn our house we have set meal and snack times and no eating or drinking milk/juice is allowed in between. *\n True\n False\n\nMy toddler will overeat sweets if I stop limiting him. *\n True\n False\n\nPreparing family meals is too much work. *\n True\n False\n\nI plate my toddler's food for him/her with how much I think he/she should eat. *\n Always/Usually\n Sometimes\n Rarely/Never\n\nI usually serve my toddler different foods than the rest of the family eats. *\n True\n False"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302708,"position":15,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Introduction & Welcome` We cannot wait to meet you!\n\nPlease tell us a little about yourself and share your biggest struggle when it comes to feeding your toddler.. What meal with your toddler is the most challenging?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e611","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302709,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","content":"`response`\n# Yazhini\n\nRaji - 4 weeks ago\nHello everyone!\n\nIts nice to meet all of you. I am mom for two adorable daughters - Yazhini is 3 and Sara is 5 months old. Yazhini is very slow and fussy eater. I didnt have proper help or guidance when i started solids for Yazhini and so i didnt introduce a whole variety of new food, but i always served her what we eat but pureed or smashed as per her age. Nowadays its a struggle to make her eat - she wants to eat by herself most of the time but always gets distracted and i have to constantly remind her to take the next bite. Getting her to eat a decent amount of food even after she doesnt eat her lunch (she eats at daycare and her teacher always says she is eager to trash the food than to eat :( ) is a struggle. So i am looking forward to learn what i can change in order for my daughter to enjoy meal time.\n\nThanks,\n\nRaji\n\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nWelcome Raji! I hope that after reading Sessions 1 & 2 you will have some ideas to get you started. The DOR, as you will learn, is a tremendous help.\n\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nHi Raji and welcome to the class!\n\nIt is wonderful that you were giving your daughter what you were eating yourself. It is very important to expose babies to the food the family is eating. Looks like now she is eating pretty slowly is distracted more. I am curious what would happen after you analyze your food record for structure ( you can find the template in the session 2 materials). Also, as you read the materials from session 2, you may be surprised to see that a \"decent amount of food\" can be something very small, but sufficient for your daughter. Looking forward to your posts and questions!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 3 days ago\nRaji, how are things going? Have you been learning some things you've had a chance to apply?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e612","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302710,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","content":"`response`\n# A little about us...\n\nCristy - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nHi everyone,\n\nIt's nice to meet all of you! I am a first time mom and my son Sebastian is almost 15 months old. He started solids around 6 months but progressed slowly. He only ate baby rice cereal, mushed bananas and applesauce for a LONG time. I slowly introduced other fruit and veggie purees but relied a lot on the \"pouches\" as I wasn't sure how to combine ingredients to make a palatable puree that he would eat. Around 10-11 months he began to eat more solid foods such as breads, pasta, thick soups and non-pureed fruits. Around a year I tried to introduce meat but he won't touch it. He will eat eggs but chicken, beef or fish he just spits out. He also has very little interest in vegetables of any kind. Otherwise, he is a pretty good eater in terms of quantity and table manners. He will sit in his high chair for a good 20 minutes and either let me feed him (if it's a tricky food like soup) or feed himself bites of solid food. He has, however, started throwing food a bit, but usually only towards the end of the meal. I think it's his way of signaling that he's done. But it's still frustrating nonetheless! My objective for the class is to learn how to ensure he's eating a more well-balanced diet, and also strategies for dealing with the more challenging toddler eating behaviors.\n\n\nAdina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nWelcome Cristy! You are probably right about throwing food to signal he's done. My 4 year old was like that--she was relentless! It sounds like he's doing pretty well for the most part, still learning, still training his taste-buds :-)\n\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nCristy, eggs provide good amount of protein and iron too, so they can be a great substitute while he is learning to like meat, chicken and fish. Ultimately, the more exposure to these foods he gets, the more likely he will be eating them at some point soon. We will discuss other iron-rich foods in session 4 next week, hopefully we will give you a couple of new ideas. Good for you the mealtime behavior is (mostly) no issue! Not many parents of toddlers can say that :)\n\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nBeans, lentils, peanut butter, and tofu are good protein sources as well."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e613","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302711,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","content":"`response`\n# Asher's eating habits\n\nSara W. - 1 month ago\nAsher only turned one year old less than a month ago, and I'm not sure if it's the beginning of \"toddler behaviors\" or \"first time mom's unreal expectations\" that are the problem;) I didn't start him on solid food until he was around 8.5 months for two reasons- he has always been huge (tall, dense and heavy but not really chubby-- his dad is 6'5 and a very naturally muscular build and Ash takes right after him) so I didn't feel any hurry, and 2, I have a phobia of choking and was just too scared before that. Things went great for a couple of months. He would happily eat any pureed vegetable i made. At the time, i had zero stress about feeding him-- he was still on formula, so i knew his nutritional needs were being met regardless of what he ate, so when, for example, i tried mixing in ground meat and it was a no go, oh well, we'll try something different tomorrow. Now that he's one, we're almost completely off of formula, so my anxiety about his nutrition is much higher, along with the fact that right around 11 months he suddenly had Very Strong Opinions. He will not eat any solid fruit or vegetables, spits them right out, even strawberries and raspberries. I've noticed he has a particular aversion to tartness specifically so fruits especially have been hard-- the only one's he'll eat are applesauce and bananas. He even has a \"word\" for bananas and will ask or them by \"name\", but it's a 50/50 shot whether he'll gobble the whole thing in 3 minutes or spit it all over the floor. He does love applesauce and eats it every day. I pureed some peaches and mixed some in with his applesauce, but he had acidic diarrhea the next day and got a bad diaper rash, so i'm afraid to repeat that. I've tried giving him things like (un-pureed) peas, carrots, and lima beans at separate times on several occasions and he spits them out and throws them. He does eat solids such as cheese, bread, cereals and the like. The biggest frustration we have right now is that he's too headstrong to \"allow\" us to spoon feed the pureed veggies to him, but since i started him on solids so late, he obviously can't control a spoon well enough to feed himself (can a typical 12 month old use a spoon? I have several friends with babies born the same month and I have heard at least 3 of them claim their babies can \"spoon feed themselves\" but haven't actually seen it). In the past week, I've just \"let go\" and sat him in his high chair with a spoon and a bowl of pureed veggies and sat down to watch. All he can do is dunk his fist in the bowl and lick it off which is A) inefficient B) incredibly, incredibly messy. and C) sad for me to watch because I just want to feed him so he can get \"enough\" but he just bats the spoon away and gets mad if i try. He does sort of dunk the spoon into the food and chew the spoon, so i know he'll eventually figure it out, but he won't let me help. Another issue is that he knows the signs for \"eat\", \"milk\", \"more\" and \"all done\", and at first when he started signing spontaneously (maybe 11 months?) we gave him food or a bottle every time he signed the respective sign, to reinforce the meaning. So predictably, now he signs \"more\" and \"eat\" CONSTANTLY. Yesterday, I spent probably 4-6 hours giving him different foods, 80% of which he rejected, throwing or spitting, and literally ten minutes later he toddles up and signs \"more\" again. If I tell him \"no\" or even \"yes, we'll eat more later\", he wails like his heart is broken and then i worry that he's actually really hungry and give in. I honestly don't know what I'm doing and I want to balance letting him have autonomy with ensuring he stays healthy and develops good habits. Help! :)\n\n\nSara W. - 1 month ago\nAlso of note-- I am on the west coast (Portland, OR) and have more free time (haha!) in the evening so it looks like I'll be a bit behind everyone else. I'll do my best to keep up!\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nHi Sara,\n\nI'm on the West Coast too (Walla Walla, WA!) :-)\n\nIf it makes you feel any better, your 13 month old is soooo very normal. It's not common for a 13 month old to spoon feed himself very effectively, to be anything other than super messy while eating. But any food is a 'finger food' if he can manage to lift it off his tray and get it into his mouth....even something like mashed potatoes. But puree might be too useful anymore. Gagging is not a bad sign. It's normal. Choking is a problem, not gagging.\n\n\nNatalia - 1 month ago\nHi Sara, thanks for your post and welcome to the class! My first question to you - have you mentioned to your doctor the episode with diarrhea and diaper rash to make sure it is not an allergic reaction? And second question - is Asher drinking cow's milk now that he is off formula and how much of it he gets? It looks like there is a lot of anxiety around Asher's eating at the moment and we hope that the class will give you confidence to adhere to a feeding strategy that works. But I would like to reassure you that even without a spoon (most by kids can use spoon only by 18-24 months), toddlers are capable of self-feeding. I would recommend serving thicker purees (think of the texture of mashed potatoes) alongside finger foods (even if he does not eat them yet) and give him plenty of practice with the spoon and his hands. he is an eater-in-learning and it may take him a few months to become a pro. I used to strip my babies to diapers at mealtimes and then just rinse them in a kitchen sink when they were going through this learning to self-feed phase. I see a lot of babies in my practice who start refusing spoon feeding around your son's age so it is not that uncommon. As far as what constitutes enough food and how to implement structure, you will learn more in session 2 and the following sessions. My guess is that a few tantrums will be hard to avoid as you are going through the transition to more structure in meals and snacks but you will also see how beneficial it is. And it will also give you peace of mind since you will know that he is going to get food at regular intervals.\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\npuree might NOT be too useful.\n\n\nSara W. - 1 month ago\nThank you! I hadn't thought of that! So maybe mashed beans, really thick oatmeal.. more \"mash\" than \"mush\", I suppose...\n\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nYes. Spoon feeding runny things like soups and purees takes a lot of spoon mastery. It's a higher level spoon feeding skill.\n\n\nNatalia - 1 month ago\nAgree with Adina! At this point, mashing food with the fork instead of pureeing and plenty of practice with finger foods will do the trick. And although practicing with a spoon makes a lot of sense, he may not need it as much right now to get enough food. I recently saw a baby who was refusing to be fed from a spoon but then was happily albeit messily self-feeding herself the same chicken soup with fingers after we strained it and put it on her tray.\n\n\nSara W. - 1 month ago\nThank you both for your responses! I'll bring up the issue with the peaches and diaper rash with the doctor. He does drink cow's milk and loves it- I'd guess he gets about 20-24 oz a day on average. We definitely could use more structure to our eating schedules. I've let him \"take charge\" , feeding him on demand with his signing but I can see how it has led to chaos. I'll be brainstorming more soft textured food ideas and won't worry so much about the spoon for now:)\n\n\ncoachclaire - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nMy boys ate off a spoon well earlyish, when I loaded the spoon and then they guided it in, they then went through a stage of throwing their spoons so I went to feeding them, u til we were more on solids and finger foods, now they are much better with a spoon again but I control stuff like soups\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 3 days ago\nHow are things going Sara?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e614","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302712,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","content":"`response`\n# Getting to know you\n\nLindsey - 1 month ago\nI have b/g twins that will be three in a month. To say that meal time is stressful is an understatement. My girl loves certain foods and will eat plenty of them, but she will not try new things very often. Part of her problem is that she has a very sensitive sense of smell. Anything \"stinky\" to her will never make it in her mouth, (can I blame her?). My boy is a much more adventurous eater and will usually try what I make for dinner for me and my husband. He is very emotional and explosive in general, but especially at meal time. I have learned that he has a small stomach and can't eat very much at any given sitting. This has led me to \"feed him when he's hungry\". I find myself feeding the twins before my husband gets home so we can have a peaceful dinner together. I would love to have nice meals together as a family. It has gotten better with age, but being a short order cook does not appeal to me.\n\n\nNatalia - 1 month ago\nLindsey, looks like a mealtime structure that works for all the family would help you have everyone in your family fed and happy and reduce the amount of work you are doing. We will talk about structure more in the second session of the class and throughout the program. We will also continue the conversation about your daughter's smell sensitivity as soon as the structure and pleasant mealtime environment are in progress. These are the cornerstones of good eating for kids. We would also love to hear more about how exactly your son's emotions and explosiveness express themselves at mealtimes. I hope you will complete today's assignment to eat what you always eat but sit together as a family, without focusing on nutrition too much, just enjoy the time together. I hope you will share your thoughts and reactions to this little experiment with us.\n\n\nLindsey - 1 month ago\nMy son wants to be held and fed often. I am much better about getting him to sit in his own seat than my husband. In the morning, he especially wants to be fed. Generally, we have cold cereal for breakfast, and if either myself or my husband feed him he will freak out about the size of bite we are giving him. A bite will be \"too big\" or \"not big enough\", and he changes his mind every bite. This is all communicated via screaming and tears. If he ever spills anything, it is an instant meltdown. Anytime he makes a mess at all he instantly screams. We have really tried to make messes inconsequential. We always say, \"it's ok that you made a mess, we'll just clean it up.\" This poor boy does not like to be dirty or have anything on his hands. This boy can randomly just start yelling at us, red faced and all. I don't know if we push him to eat too much, or stay at the table too long. He usually sits and eats at the table 5-10 minutes.\n\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nLindsey, you are doing your best trying to figure out how to help your little one eat well. 5-10 minutes looks like a reasonable amount of time to eat for a 3 year old. But I am wondering what your thoughts will be as your progress through today's session on trust and realistic portion sizes. Also, did you try to switch to self-feeding 100% of time? I understand that mess may be an issue so, for maybe dry cereal in a bowl and 1-2 ounces of milk in a cup that can be refilled? It maybe too early to make recommendations, of course, and I am sure we will learn more about your situation as we go though the program. And you will be able to figure many things yourself. I think that If your son wants to be fed often, mealtime structure and family meals will definitely help him to be fed at regular interval in low-pressure environment. Please keep us updated on how assignments go.\n\n\nLindsey - 4 weeks ago\nYes, we try to have them self feed 100% of them time. I feel like being a twin forces the need for independence much earlier than with a singleton. This is mostly for my sanity, or course. The sooner they do things on their own, or \"by myself\", the less work I have to do. \"By myself\" is a very popular thing in our home right now, and I'm milking it for all it's worth.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI see.... I got confused when you shared your son's reaction to the size of bites of cereal you are giving him in the morning. Self-feedign is one of the most important skills for toddlers to master and I am happy to hear that you have been doing it. I am wondering how you may help your boy react more calmly to food mess. Does he like playing with messy things like play dough, glue and sand?\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nHi does like playing with play dough and he loves digging in the sand. We also finger paint, but he gets bored with that easily. He really only freaks out when he spills something inside, and that is generally food related. He doesn't have a problem knocking over toys or anything like that."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e615","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302713,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","content":"`response`\n# Rebecca\n\nRebecca - 1 month ago\nHello! Thank you the opportunity to take this class. I have two kids, 5 and 2.5. My oldest has always been a great eater. She eats almost everything I put in front of her... so when my second came along I figured whatever I was doing worked and did the same with him. It worked for awhile... he ate almost everything i pureed for him. But about the 16 month mark, he began to refuse a lot of what he previously ate. The most concerning of this is that he will not eat one single veggie OR fruit! I've heard of many toddlers not liking vegetables but fruit?! It's crazy to me. I've even tried making him smoothies with bananas and strawberries, greek yougurt and even added a little sugar to make it sweeter. Nope. Won't touch it. He doesn't even like juice. Only drinks milk or water (which i know is a good thing). But my hopes of getting fruit or veggies in him via a smoothie/homemade juice have vanished. He is basically all carbs, all the time. Bread, crackers, pasta, pizza, etc. How can be possibly be getting all the nutrients he needs? My other issue is family meals, which i know you recommend. I work full time so by the time I get home it's 6:30 and to then prepare a meal, by the time we'd eat it would be close to 7:30. Right now they eat b/w 5 and 5:30 with my nanny. They'd be ravenous if I tried to implement family meals at this age. Anyway, looking forward to the class!\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nHi Rebecca, so far what kind of tactics (if any) have you tried to get your 2.5 y.o. to eat fruit/veg?\n\nDo you have a certain definition for the foods that would constitute a 'family meal'? Think about how this definition might create a barrier.\n\nHow far prior to your arrival in the evening do they eat any type of snack?\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nAlso, does your Nanny eat with them? Do you know what she serves, how, and if she uses any tactics to try to encourage your child to eat?\n\n\nRebecca - 1 month ago\nBeyond the smoothie tactic, I have tried simply placing cut fruit or veggies on his plate. He does not touch them. Other times, I will be eating fruit and he will be watching me and he will point and say \"strawberry\", at which point I will say \"do you want a strawberry?\" and will hand him one. He will either say NO or actually put it in his mouth to taste it but then spit it out.\n\nI would say whatever I decide to cook for my husband and I would be the family meal. My husband and I like to eat somewhat healthy so i usually cook some sort of protein (chicken, fish, steak) and vegetables or salad. We rarely eat white flour carbs of the kind my son will eat so adding it the family meal just so he would eat it sounds like I would be catering to him - which i know is something you don't recommend.\n\nThey usually eat a snack b/w 2-3pm.\n\n\nRebecca - 1 month ago\nShe does not eat with them. Probably b/c it's too early for her and she doesn't eat what they are eating. She is not the greatest cook to be honest. So she serves them basically what she knows they will eat and what I have prepared and put in the freezer. She rarely take initiative to offer them anything new... Even if i've suggested she does. I have seen her do the \"one bite\" tactic if either of them won't eat.\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nHow do weekend meals go? Are you able to have family meals on the weekends or breakfast or any other time? What kind of starches do you and your husband eat? (whole grain breads, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain crackers, potatoes, ?)\n\n\nRebecca - 1 month ago\nDuring the week, i turn into a short order cook for everyone for breakfast. My kids will eat toast or eggs or waffles, my husband usually makes an egg white omelet or doesn't eat at all. I rarely eat breakfast either due to time contraints. On weekends I usually make whole grain pancakes for everyone as we all eat them or eggs or we go out to breakfast and dinner a lot on weekends. Does that constitute a family meal? I do make quinoa sometimes or farro or polenta if a make a starch for my husband and I at dinner. Rarely do I make potatoes.\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nIf you're eating together, sitting down, enjoying each other's company it is a family meal. The only tricky part in restaurants is that the same food is rarely shared except perhaps when eating Chinese and ordering a bunch of entrees that everyone takes from. Generally in restaurants, everyone has their own entree.\n\nYou definitely have a number of challenges to eating together and sharing the same foods. They are not insurmountable, thankfully. Session 2 will give you some possibly new things to consider and ponder. Natalia and I will definitely revisit this and continue the discussion! I have plenty of ideas to give you, but I'd like to see what you come up with on your own first as you learn more."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e616","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302714,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","content":"`response`\n# A little about me and Simon\n\nAmmick - 1 month ago\nI have an 18 month old who eats things he likes very well, but other things he won't even try. Before having my son, I was determined not to have a child who only ate kid food. I read the books Bringing Up Bebe and French Kids Eat Everything and wanted to follow this model. He has a repertoire of things he eats, but when I try to introduce new things, he won't even try it. He just throws it on the floor. This is so frustrating, especially when I have taken the time to make something. So, I end up defaulting to what I know he will eat, even though I know it's self-defeating in the long run. I'm not particularly worried about him not getting enough nutrition; I think he does and he is not long and lean, but long and squishy. He is not going to waste away. Mainly I just want him to enjoy and eat a diversity of foods.\n\nHe recently started a new daycare that serves a hot lunch family style and I was very excited about him being exposed to new foods and the benefit of peer pressure from seeing the other kids eating the food and liking it. However, the report I often get is that he won't eat the food, pushes the teacher's hand away if she tries to help him, and often throws it on the floor.\n\nI felt newly inspired after watching the webinar. Particularly about eating together and eating the same food. My husband and I often don't eat a very healthy dinner and we want our son to eat better than we do, so I usually make him something else and while he is eating that (hopefully eating that), I make our dinner, which is usually something quick and processed. At the end of last week, I was inspired to make something healthy, but after getting home from work, it took awhile to prepare a good dinner and it was getting later and later and my son was getting irritable and impatient, probably partly from hunger since he probably didn't eat his school lunch. So I gave him a variety of fruit to sustain him until dinner and then when dinner was ready, he was already full from the fruit. In other words, he wasn't hungry enough to try the new things.\n\n\nNatalia - 1 month ago\nIt is so frustrating to see a nutritious meal being rejected! Looks like Simon is going through a very typical toddler phase of \"I do not want anything new on my plate\". It is great that you are trying to expose him to new foods regularly and looks like the daycare has a perfect mealtime setting. I am curious to see what would happen to Simon's eating after you implement structure and family meal style we will discuss in detail in session 2. We will address many of the issues you are struggling with in other sessions, too. Today's assignment is to sit down to a meal together and share something simple, that does not require a lot of preparation (one of your son's favorites with some fruit and veggies on the side, for example). You do not have to cook anything special, just sit down and enjoy this time with your family. I am looking forward to reading about your experience tomorrow!\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nAmmick, I see some level of 'guilt' about what you and your husband choose to eat based on the time you have available. One thing that I too have to remind myself of often (in various areas of life) is to \"don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good (enough). In other words, you may have very valid ideals about what constitutes a quality meal, but if those ideals are not realistic (for you, at this point in time) you will keep yourself from enjoying a good enough meal together. Remember how in the webinar I mentioned we had watermelon, cottage cheese, and buttered toast for one dinner? It's okay to keep things simple. Sharing the same food together has to be doable, FIRST, before you can expand on making that food more fitting to your ideals. I visited family this Father's Day weekend and one of my relatives is not big into cooking. But she's found ways to create quick and balanced meals in much less time than me (who prefers to cook from scratch). For example she put together a taco soup in what I think was 10 minutes: can of black beans, can of pintos, veggie meat crumbles, can of diced tomatoes, can of tomato sauce, can of corn, taco seasoning...I think that was it. Plus chips. Might not be up to everyone's standard, but it was balanced, quick and quite healthy and nutritious.\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nSome more thoughts...\n\nThink of Simon as an eater-in-training. Natalia used that phrase in an interview once and I loved it! Eater-in-training -- exactly what most children are. He's a mere 18 months...only 12 (?) of those months have involved eating. Imagine moving to a foreign country with some strange food choices. Even after a year, I'm sure there would be a lot you'd still steer clear of--even as an adult. You'd probably latch on to a few favorites and HOPE that you could easily find those in the homes of people you visited and at restaurants.\n\nBasically he is just starting out in this new world of food and food training. He's got years to go. He won't be a \"foodie\" by Kindergarten, so it's definitely important to take a step back and remember forming your child's attitude toward food, his preferences, is the work of all of childhood. Think long term :-)\n\nSo for your homework to \"Eat what you eat but do it as a family\" don't translate the family meal to be a perfectly balanced, all-from-scratch, gourmet dinner. Consider what you have time for, what's in the fridge/cupboard and pick something very realistic--food that you can share together.\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nOh and one of the reasons to \"think long term\" is so that you don't give up in the short term. One area that I struggle with is getting my kids to clean up after themselves around the house. It is SO much easier for me to do it myself and I have to constantly remind myself that yes, in the short-term, me picking up after them yields a tidier house (what's that?), but in the long term they will benefit most from learning to do it themselves. So don't give up because of his temporary low interest in being a \"French baby\" ;-)\n\n\nAmmick - 1 month ago\nThank you very much for your responses. I do have ideas of what an ideal meal is supposed to be, not just for Simon, but for everyone in our family, and I rarely meet that goal, which does leave me feeling guilty and unsuccessful. I look forward to the rest of the classes."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e617","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302715,"position":7,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e610","content":"`response`\n# Regarding Mary Lynne's 18 month old\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nMary Lynne said all her daughter wanted to eat at supper was grapes (despite a nice variety of foods served). What Natalia and I would have done is... let her eat just grapes. Most toddlers are not super hungry by dinner time. We also don't believe in making dessert dependent on eating certain foods first. Holding out on dessert can feel punishing to a child who wasn't hungry to begin with. It also elevates the status and power of dessert and lowers the enjoyment of the meal food. As though the meal food is 'work' and the dessert is a prize. It makes that hard to get prize MORE desireable, not less. Plus it can teach kids to overeat because it's required to eat dessert sometimes. Luckily we cover both of these issues in our next session, so it won't be long before we expand on this!\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nI suppose you could think of the practice of serving dessert at the end of a meal as serving a meal in 2 courses. You know how in some countries, like France, meals are often served in courses? First an appetizer, then the entree, then a salad, then dessert/cheese...etc. Well in such countries the 4th course comes after the 3rd which comes after the 2nd which comes after the 1st regardless of how much each person eats. It would be unfair to make each course dependent on the eating of the previous course so one person is stuck in course #2 while others have moved on to course #4. Just another way to look at it. Although, as you'll see tomorrow, we promote a very different way to serve dessert...\n\n\nNatalia - 1 month ago\nI agree with Adina, serving meal in courses is a great way to stay away from \"if you eat this, you get that\" feeding pitfall. As far as her choice of food for dinner is concerned, it is pretty typical for toddlers to eat little eat nothing for dinner. As far as she can find something to eat from what you served, you did a wonderful job feeding her.\n\n\nMary Lynne - 1 month ago\nInteresting. I like the concept of not elevating dessert as the prize. I am curious to what you will present further on this topic. I am also curious as to whether you believe the methods you discuss on toddler feeding should continue into childhood or if there is a changing point where different methods should be used. I have a friend for example who uses a \"thank you bites\" method with her elementary age kids. They have to eat at least as many bites as they are old of every food she has prepared and those bites are called \"thank you bites\" as a thank you to mommy who made the meal. I know we are talking about toddlers, but i am curious how long your approach to feeding should be applied into childhood? Thanks!\n\n\nMary Lynne - 1 month ago\nWas i to make this comment as a new post?\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nMary Lynne you commented just right! You would only \"add post\" if responding to a new topic entirely.\n\nOur feeding philosophy doesn't end after toddlerhood--it is a pretty universal feeding philosophy. We touched on the one-bite/thank you bite rule in our webinar briefly. I think with some kids (and not toddler-age typically) it can go okay, but it definitely depends on the feeding history and the child's personality and general attitude toward eating. It can backfire for many kids, especially toddlers.\n\n\nMary Lynne - 1 month ago\nThat makes sense. Excited to learn more this week!\n\n\nMary Lynne - 1 month ago\nThat makes sense. Excited to learn more this week!\n\n\nNatalia - 1 month ago\nThe one bite rule is a tricky one. Will work for some kids and will backfire for others. Typically I recommend parents to stay away from it until kids start being naturally more curious about new foods. So unless they started asking \"what is that?\" and \"can I have a bite?\" on a regular I would not pressure them to take a bite of anything new if they have not volunteered themselves. Reminding that there a food on the table they have not tried yet is ok but establishing a firm rule about trying it can spoil the mealtime for everyone. Again, some kids are more adventurous and open and they probably would have tried all these foods even without a special \"rule\". My 8 year old used to be super picky and she is still a little more cautious with new foods than my 5 year old. She will NOT try a new food that she does not want to try. I may nudge her gently but I am prepared to take a \"no\" for an answer. But she tries new foods regularly on her own accord, without me saying a word and in friends' houses. And this is what we want to see when it comes to feeding kids - ability to try new foods regularly because they want to, not because they \"have to\".\n\n\nAdina - 1 month ago\nIt is really satisfying when your child tries something NEW of their own accord. I have had many experiences with my daughter trying new foods on her own. Or turning something down and 5 min into the meal changing her mind about it."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302716,"position":16,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Session 1` Assignment: eat what you eat now, but as a family\n\nEating as a family is the best way to teach your toddler about table manners, expose to a variety of foods and help acquire long term good eating habits. If you are not doing it already, try sharing a meal as a family today or tomorrow. Make sure to focus on connecting with your child and creating a pleasant mealtime environment instead of trying to get him to eat certain foods or amounts. Share your observations in this discussion thread. We are looking forward to reading about your experience!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e619","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302717,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","content":"`Response`\n\nFood is Like Other Parenting\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI find it interesting that although I embrace authoritative parenting, it seems \"harder\" to do so when it comes to food. This course has been like a weight has been lifted off me. It's not my job to make them eat. I've spent too much time thinking about my own hang ups about food, what happened as a child & how I overcame them. The scheduled, family meals & snacks have made such a huge difference, I'm amazed. So much less stressful!\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nFeeding is definitely parenting! We so often think of it in terms of the food and only the food, but those feeding dynamics really have to do with parenting. I'm so happy to hear of the difference it has made for you :-D\n\nAfter this class you're going to have such a 'different' outlook than many parents. You'll hear other moms complain of this or that about how their kids eat, how they try to get their kids to eat things, etc...and you'll think to yourself \"it does NOT have to be so worrisome and stressful--it can be easier!\"\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nWhen I first read about the Division of Responsibility in feeding, I thought it was a parenting philosophy, not only feeding-specific. I learnt so much from it that it definitely affected the way I parent my kids in all other aspects of our life. I am glad you feel the same way!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e61a","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302718,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","content":"`Response`\n\nTuesday Dinner\n\nAmmick - 4 weeks ago\nWhen I picked Simon (18 mos) up from daycare yesterday, his teacher said he didn't eat any of his lunch; not even the fruit, which he always eats (this is his third week at the new daycare, which serves hot lunches family style. Previously, I packed Simon's lunch). So I knew he was going to be very hungry. In the car, he saw the grocery bags and saw the bananas and kept pointing at them. I gave him one because I knew he hadn't eaten lunch. He ate it and did the more sign. I gave him a few goldfish crackers that were in his diaper bag.\n\nHe was getting irritable once we got home and my husband kept him distracted and occupied so I could get dinner ready. I normally plate everyone's plate; mainly because I don't want to dirty more dishes by serving family style and I'm really not comfortable for an 18 month old to serve himself. We had fresh green beans with yellow squash and onions, a cherry tomato and mini mozzarella ball salad, rice pilaf, fruit, and I gave him some cottage cheese. The fruit and the cottage cheese were his familiar items. He started eating his cottage cheese with a little fork, but turned to his hands so he could get more of it in his mouth faster. He wanted more cottage cheese, so I gave him more. He ate the fruit. He picked up the tomato and laid it on the table. He picked up the mini mozzarella ball and touched it to his tongue and threw it on the floor. Didn't touch the rice. Signaled more for additional fruit. Ate a lot of that. Turned the plate over and dumped the green beans on the table. This is what a typical meal looks like at our house.\n\nAmmick - 4 weeks ago\nI meant to say, \"I'm not really comfortable with an 18 month old serving himself.\"\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nThank you for the post, Ammick. It is a fairly typical mealtime scenario. You did your job wonderfully: established time and place for a meal, chose a menu with at least one \"safe\" food for your toddler and enjoyed your own meal. He decided what he wanted to eat and chose the amount he wanted. The tomato and mozzarella experience count towards extremely valuable exposure to less liked foods. He clearly (albeit messily) signaled when he was done. So the mealtime was a success I would say! I would only consider a more substantial snack, especially if he did not eat lunch and had to wait for more than 1.5-2 hours for dinner. Maybe a toast or/and a piece of cheese alongside the banana. When kids are famished by mealtime, it is harder for them to eat well. Also, to simplify family meals, we serve the food in the pans and pots right on the table. This way, we cut on dishwashing and even reduce food waste since the kids choose what they want. For an 18 months old, I would just show them a spoon with each food and ask if they wanted some. Do you think it would work for your little one?\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nIt wasn't until a few months ago that I let my 2.5 year old serve himself. And even then we help him when necessary (big clumsy pot or really hot food, you get it). So I wouldn't expect most 18 month olds to be very skilled at the job or for you to feel terribly comfortable doing it. What Natalia suggested is right on. Just show him the food and offer it that way. Also I was wondering about timelines. What time do you pick him up, what time is dinner, what time is bedtime routine?\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI just remembered something else that helps some reduce the food/dish mess that goes with family style meals! If you don't want to serve in the pots, tempered glass food storage containers work great! I know at least one person who puts the food into those and then after dinner is over, if there are leftovers the food stays in the container, the lid is put on and it can go straight into the fridge.\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI have started to serve right in the storage containers or in the pots. It's not pretty but it works and it makes far fewer dishes!\n\nAmmick - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nThose are good ideas. Pots on the table....duh! Sometimes it's so hard to think outside of the normal routine. I usually pick Simon up at around 5-5:30. The daycare provides a \"late snack\" for those last late kids, so they can make it through the drive home until dinner. They provide a normal afternoon snack at about 2:15, which is a little more substantial (cheese and crackers, yogurt and graham crackers, fruit and cheese). This usually consists of a couple of saltine crackers. Yesterday, I picked him up at 5:30 and was told he didn't eat any of his lunch (again!). I gave him a few goldfish crackers in the car. He ate about 10 (that's all there was in the container) and he signed and said his version of \"more.\"\n\nBy the time I got home, my husband had already made a plate for Simon (turkey lunch meat, cheddar cheese, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and crackers). My husband put a frozen eggplant entree in the oven for us which still had about 30 minutes to cook. So Simon ate his plate and we sat with him. When our frozen entree was ready, we ate and he sat at the table with us and colored. I normally have dinner ready about 6:30 or so. Then bath, books, and in bed by 8pm. We were putting him to bed by 7:15-7:30 pm, but we haven't been successful in getting him to bed earlier when the time changed"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e61b","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302719,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","content":"`Response`\n\nFamily meals\n\nRachL - 4 weeks ago\nI feel like we do a pretty good job of this in our family. We struggled a bit in the beginning when Evangeline started solids because my husband and I would eat a late dinner, but we are now accustomed to eating a little earlier so that we could eat as a family. I do need to make sure the table is free of distractions for all of us, and not just E! My husband and I can be guilty of being on our phones and not truly 'present' for the meal!\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nLooks like you did a great job with family meals - it is a challenge with the demanding schedules. Meals without distractions will be setting a great example for your little one! Imagine her in 12 years, with her own mobile phone :). I know moms of older kids who collect all the phones before meals and store them in the kitchen until everyone is done eating. :) I think that if we shift our goals for a meal and see it as a family quality time, it helps to organize the priorities and stay away from pressure, too. Looks like you are on the right path!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e61c","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302720,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","content":"`Response`\n\nour surprising family dinner\n\nSara W. - 4 weeks ago\nThis didn't work out the way I originally planned it, but Asher surprised me and reminded me not to assume I know everything;) I originally planned our \"together\" meal as a mid-day meal of eggs and English muffins. My husband works overnight, so this would be husband's breakfast, our late lunch. Asher signed for food about 15 minutes before the planned time, but fell asleep before it was ready! So my \"sure thing\" plan was out. We ended up sharing dinner, which sounded much more risky- we had panned to eat chicken chow mein, and I thought Ash wouldn't eat a bite, since it was so many mixed foods and heavy on veggies. I made sweet potatoes fries on the side, positive he would eat those since it is a very familiar flavor to him . Well, he gobbled up a huge amount of chow mein, including some veg, even signing \"more\" and eating a smaller second portion,and throw every single sweet potato fry onto the floor. I theorize he was thrown off by the shape- they happened to be waffle fries. As for the chow mein, he chewed the chicken for a while but eventually spat it out. He does this with meat often. I think he can't get it soft enough to feel comfortable swallowing. He got a few veggies by default because they were stuck to the noodles. I did have v trouble figuring out how long to leave him in the chair and when he was done. The noodles offered tons of entertainment and he ate really slowly. He was in the chair for 45 minutes total with a couple false endings when I asked him \"all done?\" and he either shook his head no or signed \"more\". I eventually just waited till all the noodles were gone, but he didn't show any really obvious \"done\" signs.\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nSara, thanks so much for sharing your experience! I think that a good summary for it would be \"Do not assume anything when planning meals for family with a toddler\". Asher surprised you by eating the exact opposite of what you expected him to eat and it is another typical toddler behavior :). And although each toddler has a list of \"safe\"foods they typically accept, they are quite unpredictable in what they will like at each specific meal. I think you did great by exposing him to a new food (chow mien), including one potentially \"safe\" food (sweet potato) and giving him time to eat as much as he needed. I have a couple of questions: did you notice any difference in his eating behavior when you all are present at a table? And another one: do you think he would have continued eating if there were more noodles on the table? It helps to have plenty of food on the table so that kids could eat till they are satisfied. I am curious because he never signed \"done\".\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nNatalia makes excellent observations, I'm curious what your responses will be Sara.\n\nThe only thing I want to add is regarding the fries. The fries could be any food for this lesson, really. But let's say the fries were something you and your hubby really enjoy and like to keep as part of your diet. In such a case (be it fries or beets or chicken) continue to serve them as often as YOU two want them. Don't take a toddler's current refusal/throwing/dislike as reason to cross a food off your list of things you serve. In other words, don't feel like you have to serve non-waffle fries from now on. Rotate between regular and those to your liking.\n\nSara W. - 4 weeks ago\nI did wonder if he made more \"attempts\" on the fries because he saw us keep eating them. He tasted them several times and went back to them throughout the meal, even though each time he took the bite out and threw it. He probably would have grazed on more noodles if available, but his rate of actually eating them had slowed so much that its hard to say. He does do one thing that gives me pause. Even if he's sat in his high chair for 15 minutes totally uninterested, as I'm detaching his tray, he often does this mad grab for the food like, \"hey, that's mine!\" If I stop and reattach the tray , he still doesn't eat it (he usually squishes whatever he grabbed) but it always makes me question if I should leave him longer.\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nMy son (2.5 presently) went through a period where he'd sign or say that he was \"all done\" and then when I'd come back with a wash cloth to wipe his face, he'd change his mind or grab and eat more food all of the sudden--like in a mad race to not lose out. It's pretty much solved itself with time. There was no clear reason for him to worry about getting enough food because it was always his choice when to be \"done.\"\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nWhat you described about him tasting them several times through the meal is a really great sign actually. We often think in black and white terms: Either the child eats his portion or it's a rejection. But really all that messy play, tasting, putting in and spitting back out--they are learning and it is very normal in the process of becoming skilled little eaters. When we share case studies tomorrow, you'll see that pointed out in one video."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e61d","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302721,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","content":"`Response`\n\nThis is what I struggle with the most\n\nRebecca - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nI touched on this in my intro yesterday, but figuring out how to eat as a family is what I really struggle with. I can certainly see how family meals can improve kids' eating habits based on the readings, but am just frustrated b/c I feel like, based on my lifestyle, that it's impossible. I keep hoping that as my kids get older and their schedules change, it will get easier to implement. The two things I struggle with are timing and family friendly meal planning. Like i've said previously, once i get home from work and take the time to prepare a meal it's already about 7:30 which is essentially my toddlers' bedtime, plus the fact that they could never last that long waiting for dinner. Secondly, i really love to cook gourmet meals and healthy stuff at that. So trying to think of ways to deconstrust what I already make so the kids can eat the same meal but more simply, is going to be something I really need to work on. I fear that per your suggestion, if i always add something to the meal that i know my toddler will eat (bread or pasta), that is literally all he will ever eat. But I guess I will never know until i try... :)\n\nAdina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nWhat if bread is the only thing they will ever eat? A very understandable fear. Making sure your kids are well fed is at our core as a parent. We want them to eat enough. We want them to have good nutrition and eat healthy foods.\n\nHaving grown up in a culture (Romanian) where bread was served with every single meal, I would say the likelihood of kids becoming bread-only eaters for life is slim. My grandparents would eat bread and fried potatoes, bread and watermelon, bread and grapes. Made no sense to me as I grew older...why would you eat those things together? It wasn't for the sake of us kids, it was just what people ate. Natalia, having grown up in Russia can attest to something similar. We saw no evidence of bread eating leading to greater picky eating.\n\nRight now the kids are eating without you and they are eating foods that don't meet your standards. I can totally understand your desire to eat to a certain standard that is excellent and desirable, and it might even be *better for you.* But is there any place for compromise when you consider that the compromise is building a foundation for progress? Is there any way to compromise those standards temporarily, knowing you can more easily build on *that* than on the status quo? Would it help to brainstorm ways to accomplish this in a way that doesn't leave you feeling TOO compromised?\n\nRebecca - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nYes... brainstorming would certainly help! I can certainly compromise on the adding a desired food to every meal. But I can't get to that compromise without compromising on the timing... which would mean leaving work everyday early... how have your other clients handled the late dinner time that comes with 2 working parents? Thank you again for all your advice and help! I hope i'm not sounding too defeated already :)\n\nAmmick - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nI struggle with this too and your description of juggling work and dinner in a reasonable time before bed is something I haven't really figured out either.\n\nAdina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nSo you would feel okay adding a basket of dinner rolls (maybe some butter?) to whatever else you are serving? That's a very fair compromise :)\n\nLooks like what is left is still the most DIFFICULT aspect of things: timing. How to get a decent meal on the table in 20 minutes instead of 60. If, you were able to accomplish a 20 minute meal, would that also cut things too close to bedtime? If so, that's fine. We can look at other options.\n\nRebecca - 4 weeks ago\nYes I can add bread and butter to every meal... i just have to trust that is not all my toddler will live on.... how much time do i give it before i see him start to try other things on the table?\n\nI could try a 20 minute meal but knowing me and my kids, just not sure that is realistic. Maybe once they are older and can push their mealtime to later.\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nTrusting that he won't live off bread forever is going to take a leap of faith--so it will take some guts on your part. I can't give you a timeline, I would imagine in a couple of weeks you may see him try new things. Possibly sooner, possibly later. Keep in mind he has breakfast, lunch and possibly other snack times (?) in which he is getting plenty of other nutrients.\n\nIs the 20-min meal unrealistic because it still gets too close to bedtime? Or something else?\n\nLet's look at this another way. Somewhere between dinners that take 1 hour full of only gourmet food happening 7 nights per week and no family meals with kids eating chicken nuggets alone while nanny watches there are many ways to compromise knowing that progress can be made with time. What are the baby steps? The details:\n\n-- Number of nights per week you eat together. Is there a realistic starting number? It doesn't have to start high.\n\n-- The meal -- it doesn't have to be dinner (breakfast?). Would it work to make breakfasts into family meals instead of short-order cooking starting with common ground and building on it.\n\n-- The food -- even if it is dinner, what are the compromise options? I'll throw something out there. What if once per week YOU ate what THEY normally eat with Nanny but threw in a gourmet side dish that makes you look forward to the eating? Something new to add to what they already accept. Let's say they love Mac&Cheese, you can add a simple vegetable and then make a kale-apple salad or something more elaborate (but that is quicker than a full gourmet meal).\n\n-- Nanny's contribution -- you said she's not the greatest cook. Is she trainable? Can she be bribed with a bump in her paycheck? If you set down the law and a menu would she follow it and sit with them and chat at the table, perhaps making their meal her snack?\n\n-- Timing -- I don't know what time they eat prior to dinner.. But what if they had a meal at 3:30 followed by dinner with you shortly after you came home? Perhaps it would be like a bedtime snack for them instead of \"dinner\"? This would simply create an eating together habit that you can build on. You could build on the concept of \"dinner together is pleasant\" and maybe 6 months from now you can start working on introducing new foods.\n\n-- Advanced meal prep. Some people find it helpful to prepare food the night before and reheat the next day. Would it be realistic to double the food you cook for you and your hubby and then reheat leftovers of it as soon as you get home the next night? Nanny could do the reheating so it is ready when you arrive. 10 minutes of reunion time with kiddos and then you could eat together. Maybe just one night a week as an experiment. Could Nanny-the-non-cook do some simple prep (wash, chop, measure) for you to save you time on anything? Could she start a salad or prepare the veggies for cooking?\n\nDo any of these areas where you could take baby steps appeal to you?\n\nRebecca - 4 weeks ago\nThese are all great suggestions - thank you. I especially like the first three. I just need to be able to adjust their mealtime back about an hour and not have them melt down before then b/c they are so hungry. I would fee awkward asking my nanny to do meal prep for me as that's not really what we ever agreed to... the nanny/mom relationship is always a delicate one... but that is a topic for another webinar :) Regardless, i feel like alot of these are good suggestions that I can start to possibly work on.\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nOh I'm so glad some of it was helpful.\n\nRebecca - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nOne more thing.... you say he is getting plenty of other nutrients from all the other meals and snacks during the day. Could that possibly be true if he doens't eat any veg or fruit?! He eats lots of carbs, some protein - but nothing else.\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nYes in general he could be getting plenty anyway. Grains, legumes, nuts, dairy and protein are also full of vitamins and minerals. You can use a multivitamin as \"insurance\" and we'll talk about choosing a good one in a later session."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e61e","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302722,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","content":"`Response`\n\nA habit we need to get into\n\nAKM - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nHubby & I have gotten into the habit of eating in the living room while watching a show on Netflix. We eat together, but are trying to be better about sitting at the table to have that be the norm before we start introducing solids (so we need to really get on that...which means finding a new home for my sewing machine!)\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nLooks like you already know what needs to be down for your little one to join you at a table. Of course, your schedules may differ, especially at the beginning, but I could see you setting a realistic goal of 4-5 family meals a week. And they do not have to be dinners only! Breakfast and lunch on weekends also count :). I hope the sewing machine will like its new home :)"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e61f","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302723,"position":7,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e618","content":"`Response`\n\nCheating\n\nLindsey - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nTonight we had dinner as a family. It was a little complicated because my husband got home just before 7, and we usually eat between 5:30-6. I had to take the twins on a walk to keep them from wanting dinner before my husband got home. they did have a snack around 3:30, so I wasn't worried about them being particularly hungry.\n\nI cheated tonight because I let them dish up some of their food. Major success here. I let my daughter pick out the ear of corn she wanted and dish up her watermelon. I let my son dish up his watermelon, but that is it. Both of them ate all of their watermelon and they served themselves large portions. This is not a new food, and one that they both love. My son ate two bites of his grilled cheese sandwich, didn't touch his corn or lentils, but ate all of his watermelon. He sat at the table for five minutes max, but was distracted by a hand ball pump that was promised him when his dad got home.\n\nMy daughter still sits in a high chair. It is a space saver chair that sits on a regular dinette chair. She couldn't wait for her dad to get home, but only started eating a couple of minutes before. She dished up her watermelon, and then had seconds of watermelon. She ate two bites of her corn on the cob. I gave her a slice of bread that we used for our sandwiches, and she ate all of that. She does not like cheese, mainly because of the smell, but I am fine just feeding her whole wheat bread. She stayed in her chair the entire meal, and only asked once to get down before we were done eating. She is a messy eater, and smears food on her tray. I'm sure this is the main reason I still have her in a high chair. My son just sits in a booster seat at the table, and is a very clean eater. There's hardly anything in his bib at the end of a meal, unlike his sister (ha!).\n\nThere were no melt downs at dinner. I let my son leave the table once he was done eating, but he never asked for more food and seemed quite satiated.\n\nWe generally are all in the house together every night, but not all eating at the same time. My husband and I always eat together, but sometimes my son is begging for food before daddy gets home.\n\nAdina - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nSounds like a successful meal to me. No cheating at all... in fact when you read the lessons for tomorrow you'll see why letting your kids dish up their food is precisely the opposite of cheating!\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks, 1 day ago\nAgree with Adina and congratulations on a successful family meal! When we talk about snacks in session 4 we will discuss the types than keep kids' bellies full for a few hours - perfect for when the dinner is a little later! Also, family dinner does not have to happen every day for the kids to reap all the benefits of it. You can also try to eat breakfast together and focus on family mealtimes on weekends, when you have more time. Just a few ideas. We are looking forward to more questions and news from you.\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nWe have had three family meals in a row for dinner and they have been successful. My son sat at the table an entire fifteen minutes tonight and he LOVES dishing up his own food. Who knew what a difference that would make for him? Last night he begged for a piece of bread, and I continued to only offer him what was on the table. He ended up eating plenty. My daughter has asked for a different food once at dinnertime, but easily accepted that we weren't eating that for dinner. She found foods she wanted to eat and was happy. Thank you for the great education thus far!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nYay! That makes me so happy to hear it :-)\n\nA local mom who is in charge of a mom's group decided to try letting her boys (all grade school through preteen) serve themselves broccoli after hearing me talking about it. She discovered she had short-changed one of her boys all these years because he took way more broccoli than she ever served him. Kids feel SO good being in charge of that serving process. I find with my 2.5 year old that the joy of using serving utensils is great enough he'll serve himself just to handle tongs, for example. He might not eat much of some things, like salad, but these are all steps toward good eating habits.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nAfter years of serving themselves, my kids get really offended if something is being put on their plate without their permission. Some parents are taken aback when they hear about it, but, ultimately, their plate is their personal territory, they feel that it is an extension of who they are and do not tolerate intrusion. I also learnt that on the nights when I cooked something yummy and really want them to try it, they never like it as much as when they ask for it themselves."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e620","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302724,"position":17,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Session 2`\n\n# Phrases that work and phrases that hinder\n\nPlease share your results/thoughts after filling out the template provided in the Materials section on the left side and analyzing your mealtime recording for phrases that help and those that hinder. Hint: The only types of comments that may help kids do a better job eating are the two at the bottom of the template."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e621","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302725,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e620","content":"`Response`\n\nMealtime phrases\n\nRachL - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nI noticed that I do try and 'sell' the food when we are eating, \"Mommy just took a bit of yummy beans! Do you want to try them?\" I also encourage her to eat more of a particular item and praise her when she does, \"Let's have one more bite of chicken! Good girl!\" She is 18 months old, so I do talk to her about other topics when eating, though sometimes it gets kind of quiet during meals (my husband is away during the week for work right now). I have been more cognizant of what I say now, and am trying to avoid the phrases that hinder. I have caught myself a few times, but hopefully the phrases that work will be easy to integrate into mealtime!\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 3 days ago\nAs your daughter is growing up, you will enjoy more fun conversations at mealtimes! My girls now talk about boys and friends a lot :). I cannot imagine this special time happening if I was focused on the number of bites they were taking. The goid news is that as soon as you fully adopt the DOR and stay away from pressure, saying things like what you described will feel unnatural and it will be easy to stay away from it.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 3 days ago\nCatching yourself is the first step--it shows awareness. I can hardly remember the time before we did family style meals and my kids are not that old! Because we eat just about every single meal together (the perk of working mostly from home) I have to force myself to remember to engage in conversation because sometimes I'm just tired and I want to eat and not talk at all."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e622","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302726,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e620","content":"`Response`\n\nVideo analysis\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nDuring our meal we reminded Rachel to eat her corn three times, and to eat more once. We commented on the chocolate she was eating, saying she needed less, and that sugar is bad for your brain. We also took away her chocolate until she ate her corn. We talked amongst ourselves, as adults, but didn't direct any conversation to her. We did not comment on the texture or flavor of the food, although we did \"sell\" the food by commenting on how good it was.\n\nJohnny's meal started bumpy, we much coercion to sit in his own seat and feed himself. He sat on both his dad's lap and my lap before he made it to his own chair. We reminded him to eat his sandwich twice, and hold it with two hands. We asked him to eat more once. We sold the food, by saying, \"that is so yummy, huh Johnny.\" We praised him for sitting in his chair and eating his sandwich. We didn't directly include him in non-food conversation or comment on the food's texture or flavor.\n\nI basically plated everyone's food for them and only served fruit family style. We did ask both children if they were all done, and let them down when they were.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nThose are all important observations Lindsey. What would you do differently in light of the DOR? Do you see where \"pressure\" was sneaking in?\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 3 days ago\nI definitely see where pressure was sneaking in. In light of DOR, I would never remind them to eat more, or talk about food being good or bad for you. We have been trying to talk much more about texture and flavor of our food now."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e623","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302727,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e620","content":"`Response`\n\nsigns that hinder!\n\nSara W. - 4 weeks ago\nSince Asher is so young, (only 13 months today) i don't use many of those particular phrases with him-- I do try to encourage him to eat by saying \"yum, those are good!\" and the like. One thing i DO do that isn't helpful, is towards the end, when I'm unsure if he's done or not, I do tend to hover and ask, \"you want more? or all done?\" while signing, which i bet is confusing to him and he ends up signing back at random just to answer. I think i will try to stop this, wait till he is definitely done on his own, and sign \"all done\" to him as I take the tray. He doesn't often spontaneously sign \"all done\" on his own, but he does sign it when we say it, so i think it needs more reinforcement so hopefully he'll start clearly telling me when HE feels done.\n\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nI agree, if it is confusing, maybe it is best for him to give you a signal the meal is over. I also think you will see that his interest in eating is going down and this could be another way to see he is done."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e624","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302728,"position":18,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Session 2 `\n\n#Analyzing food record for structure\n\nPlease share your results/thoughts after analyzing your toddler's food record for mealtime structure using the template in the Materials section on the left side. Can you think of any changes you would like to implement to establish a better meal/snack structure?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e625","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302729,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e624","content":"`Response`\n\nThe twins' food record\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nIn analyzing Rachel's food record, I found that meals are at a pretty set time, but snacks are all over the place. One day she had three snacks between breakfast and lunch. One problem that I'm facing right now is rewards for using the potty. I've been giving her one piece of chewy candy when she uses the potty, and sometimes she will use it just to get the candy. Since starting the class I have made her wait till snack time, lunch time, or dinner time to get her \"reward\" for using the potty. She has adapted fine to this, but before, I would just hand the candy out every time she used the potty. Eating opportunities are offered every two-three hours, but are not necessarily planned.\n\nJohnny's food record is not structured at all. He does not have food opportunities every 2-3 hours and food is served between meals and snacks.\n\nOne thing that I have noticed this week is that half of the time, Johnny naps before lunch. The poor boy is not a good sleeper, and can rarely make it to noon for his nap. The only way I can get them to have lunch together is lucking out, and having Johnny take a cat nap in the car between 9:30-10:30, or feeding lunch at 11am. We generally have breakfast between 7 and 7:30 every morning. So if we have lunch at 11, I feel like that would eliminate the morning snack. I am totally happy to do this, and I don't know if four hours is too long to go for almost three year olds. Otherwise, I have Rachel eating breakfast at 7, snack at 10, lunch at noon. Then I have Johnny eating breakfast at 7, snack at 10, and lunch at 2. I feel like if Johnny eats lunch after nap, that he needs to skip the afternoon snack in order for him to be hungry for dinner. The joys of twins!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nThat is certainly tricky. But now you have made the important observations and it just might take a little bit to iron out exactly how to schedule things so they work for everyone. I know lots of people use food treats for potty training. I never did but I only have one trained so far. With my 4 year old I cut up pieces of paper and wrote prizes on each one then had her pick a prize out of a bucket. The prizes included: time watching TV, time playing Starfall on my laptop, getting a couple nails painted, stickers, etc. I think at the time I included candy as one of the prizes. I probably wouldn't do the candy again, but I think that as one of several prizes it diluted it enough."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e626","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302730,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e624","content":"`Response`\n\nSnack & Sides\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI am still having a hard time a little bit with things like snack. If we have fruit - my son doesn't like blueberries. He just doesn't. It seems strange, but he doesn't. If we have blueberries for snack, is it OK to have blueberries AND strawberries - allowing each child to take what they like?\n\nThis was one of the most helpful things for me. My kids grazed WAY too much, so it was too easy for them to get off schedule and refuse dinner.\n\nAlso the idea of allowing them to eat as much or as little as they wanted, and making \"treats\" part of the overall picture rather than a reward...still working on that!!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nOh yes, totally fine to serve blueberries and strawberries. My kids just happen to like every single fruit they've ever tried (nothing I've done, just their natural preference) and even so I sometimes set out two fruits. Sometimes it's because I don't have enough of one, other times just for MY preference or for variety. Similarly I might have a cooked vegetable and salad or sliced cucumbers and carrots.\n\nThere will be days when you may feel nervous about their small intake but you hang in there and see a huge intake several days later.\n\nThe first few times I served dessert with a meal it was a little nerve-wracking. As were the times I served a dish of candy and side of milk at snack time. I felt a bit loony. But they always amazed me in their stopping before they emptied the dish of candy or plate of cookies. I don't do that very *often* but every great now and then. Now that I think about it might be time to serve some unlimited treats again in the near future."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e627","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302731,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e624","content":"`Response`\n\nMost helpful\n\nMary Lynne - 4 weeks ago\nI just want to comment that for me the most helpful yesterday was the division of responsibility in feeding document. Thank you! This will definitely be printed and kept on the fridge!\n\nMary Lynne\n\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nI definitely find it to be a breath of fresh air! I wish there was a DOR for tooth brushing ;-)\n\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nAnd for putting kids to bed :). I am so glad you found it helpful, Mary!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e628","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302732,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e624","content":"`Response`\n\nScheduling meals\n\nRachL - 4 weeks ago\nI thought that I did a pretty good job of this already, but I have realized two things: 1) She 'grazes' a lot throughout the day (mainly nursing) and 2) I typically offer 'snack' food at snack times. I think I am on the right track though, so that is promising! I like thinking of every time I feed her as a 'meal opportunity' and not just full meals or snacks.\n\nThe nursing thing will be a little more difficult, as I suspect it is more about comfort due to our living situation right now- our new house is under construction and my daughter and I have been living between my parents' houses while only seeing my husband on the weekends!\n\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nYou totally got it!\n\nAs for nursing, if it's meeting a need, don't feel rushed to make drastic changes NOW. It's tricky to take away a major comfort without a suitable replacement in the middle of a stressful time. But now you'll know why her appetite might be affected and you can relax about it. I don't remember your daughter's age, but she won't nurse forever so at least you have the tools for when that transition comes. You know your child and will make the right choice there :-)\n\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nWe will be talking more about mini meals that can be served for snacks next week but basically it is about a small meal with at least 2 food groups that do not have to be \"kid foods\". A sandwich or a cup of soup make a great snack! Looks like you are on the right track :)"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e629","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302733,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e624","content":"`Response`\n\nPutting our meals on a schedule\n\nSara W. - 4 weeks ago\nI'm posting from my phone so this will be brief, but I realized I was constantly feeding Ash because I was only feeding him one food at a time. No wonder he was constantly asking for more! I concentrated on fuller meals of 2-3 foods and mostly managed to make him wait two hours in between. It wasn't perfect, but it worked much better.\n\n\nNatalia - 4 weeks ago\nThis is a great observation, Sara! In our balanced meals session that is coming out next week we will talk about this.\n\n\nAdina - 4 weeks ago\nI like this!\n\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI've done this as well and it has been life changing. Sounds dramatic, but true! Snack is now cheese, fruit & crackers etc. A mini meal instead of a \"snack food.\"\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nMaria, you are a snack expert! This is exactly what we recommend. Mixing starches with protein and/or fat helps increase the satiety factor. And it feels more satisfying, than just an apple or a bag of crackers."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62a","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302734,"position":19,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Case Study Videos`\n\n# Discussing the Video Case Studies\n\nShare what was most interesting or striking to you as you watched the videos of families eating. Did you see your \"old\" self in any of those examples? Can you envision how you would do things differently?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62b","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302735,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62a","content":"`Response`\n\n# Not letting child say 'how much'\n\nRachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI mostly identify with the Norma/Isabella video. My biggest fear is that Evangeline does not eat enough, and so I would encourage her to eat more by 'selling' the food and repeatedly asking her to take a bite of this or that. I realize now that this adds pressure to meals! It has been difficult to trust that she will eat as much as she needs, but making sure that she has adequate (and scheduled!) eating opportunities during the day has helped with that.\n\nI would never make her eat a bite of something that she clearly did not want! I have never liked raw tomatoes, and I remember one time my day care lady made me eat them. I threw up and she got mad at me and made me clean it! I do try them every once in a while to make sure my tastes haven't changed (there are several foods I didn't like as a child that I now love!) but so far, I still do not like them. I still offer them to Evangeline though!\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nRachL, you got it! \"Selling food\" adds pressure to meals. I sometimes ask parents to imagine they have a colleague or boss sitting in from of them. Would they insist on another bite the same way? And you are right, meal structure gives peace of mind to parents. I am sorry you had such an awful experience with raw tomatoes as a child. Good for you to still want to try them - I would completely understand if you wanted to stay away from them for the rest of your life! And you still giving them to Evangeline shows that you are an amazing parent. :)\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nRachL have you tried different types of tomoatoes (i.e. grape or cherry tomatoes too?) You might not like any of them, which is okay, I was just curious. One of my nutrition professors did not like tomatoes until she went on a trip to Europe and ate some right out of the garden--she then grew to love them.\n\n\nRachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nAdina, I have tried cherry tomatoes, but unfortunately I did not care for them! Though, I do like the pico de gallo my dad makes with tomatoes fresh from his garden, so you may be on to something! I will keep trying them though, especially as it seems that Evangeline really likes them!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nGood for you for being willing without feeling like you MUST like them :-) I really dislike mushrooms, but if they aren't huge I'll eat a few if they aren't huge and are part of a dish."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62c","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302736,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62a","content":"`Response`\n\n# Green Beans Video\n\nAmmick - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nI think I identify the most with the grandma and the green bean videos. I want to believe the underlying division of responsibility philosophies, but deep down I don't think I'm really convinced Simon will eventually try new things. I can't remember exactly what the narrator said, but something like, in time, once he feels less pressure, he will begin eating the green beans. I want to believe that, but it wouldn't work for me, so why would it work for Simon? For example, no matter what, and no matter how many times I'm served it, I will never help myself to a beet. I am never going to eat a beet again. :-)\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nWe all have different personalities and food preferences. Typically more anxious kids are more suspicious of new foods and it takes longer for them to learn to like them. In other cases, children are the so called \"resistant eaters\" when feeding problems expand beyond typical picky eating definition. We discussed symptoms in session 1. Division of responsibility helps kids reach their eating potential regardless of how adventurous or cautious they are. It gives parents tools to affect things they can and avoid making things worse where their influence is limited. And while chances are the boy in the video may never be able to include green beans in his eating repertoir, he will definitely discover a variety of foods he is able to enjoy. Would love to hear more of your story with beets! Did you try them as a child?\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nI'm curious about your story with beets too, if you don't mind sharing it. It seems most people I have heard mention them either love or hate them. One of my friends mentioned once that beets were not allowed to enter her house...lol. So the fact that you don't enjoy them, is well, just part of life and our different preferences.\n\nI don't think we can know, with certainty, what Simon will try over time. Chances are his food choices will expand with time. He's only 18 months and an 'eater-in-training' -- some people take longer to learn certain things and he may take longer than average to learn to like certain foods. But let's say he never likes green beans, specifically, is that so terrible? There are so many vegetables out there to learn to like. And at this age, most children with their tiny tummies need calories most and are understandably drawn to good tasting calories.\n\nMy husband, who is not in any way a picky eater, does not particularly like fresh cooked green beans. He finds them to be \"squeaky\" when chewed and would much rather eat them from a can then when I cook them from fresh.\n\nAlso what is the alternative to DOR? Pressure. And pressure, in general, makes eating worse and creates bad associations with the food one is pressured to eat. Creating a pressure-free, pleasant mealtime together sharing the same food is much more conducive to creating healthy eating habits. Before a child who is naturally wary of new foods is going to feel comfortable branching out he has to have a foundation where he feels comfortable branching out: He needs to feel good about eating, enjoy the foods he does like and enjoy the times he gets to eat. He needs to feel like he can safely pick and choose from what is available and respond to his appetite appropriately. Consider that Simon has just started toddlerhood. He has another year and a half till he's done with toddlerhood and then another couple years till he completes the pickier period of his life. If during this time he develops a positive attitude toward coming to the table, toward eating, toward meal times and isn't one bit anxious about what he might be made to eat, it will be far easier for him to start to get curious about new foods. But this requires a long term outlook. DOR is about that long term outlook. I know one dietitian's child didn't touch veggies for the first 10 years of his life. She didn't push him and he came out on the other end just fine and able to eat many veggies with enjoyment.\n\n\nAmmick - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nAn example: Fruit is one of Simon's \"familiar safe\" items. So I have tried to introduce cantaloupe on a couple of occasions over the last week. I served an unfamiliar or familiar main dish depending, a familiar fruit (ie: blueberries; he likes them) along with cantaloupe, which is unfamiliar. By the way, this melon is perfect. It is a little soft and not hard like it can sometimes be and so sweet! It's so good. Simon may or may not eat the new main dish, eats the familiar fruit item and won't touch the cantaloupe. The unfamiliar items almost always end up on the floor. I think if he would just taste a bite of cantaloupe, he would love it. So once again, I know for me, sometimes a gentle suggestion DOES work for me. It opens up a possibility for something I hadn't considered or wouldn't have tried otherwise and sometimes it's successful; sometimes it's not. I am not trying to challenge or be difficult, I'm just having a hard time being convinced and I really want this to work. I mean, as the adult who has been around a little longer than the little one, isn't it our job to suggest things that at first may not be desirable because they simply aren't equipped to decide on their own?\n\nSo in many cases, I'm not even trying to introduce a food that some would consider distasteful (ie: a green vegetable). For example, I made chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday and they went on the floor. Which was so frustrating (and not good for our dog; I couldn't get it all up fast enough). I'm thinking to myself...you don't want chocolate chip pancakes, you are no son of mine!!\n\nI would also like a recommendation on how to respond to the tipping of the plate onto the floor. It's often not the case that he's finished because he often asks for \"more\" (meaning the familiar fruit he likes). Even if he is actually trying to tell me he is finished (which sometimes I think he is), it's still not acceptable behavior. It usually surprises me, so I often gasp, then try to pick up the food really fast so our dog won't get it, and say \"we don't throw food on the floor\" or \"just leave it on the plate if you don't want it.\" Help!\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI would like to address the plate issue first. It is pretty frustrating and messy of course. Looks like you react to it appropriately, i.e. not making a huge deal out of this. I think that little kids may not even need plates so you may try serving food on the tray or on the table. And if he keeps throwing food, I would remove him from the table saying something like \"If you throw food, you are all done\". If he is not signaling the end of the meal by doing this he may stop doing it in order to avoid being removed from the chair.\n\nI completely understand your frustration when kids do not even want to try a new food. Especially if it is really yummy. I think that a gentle reminder like \" We have some juicy melon for lunch today, would you like a bite?\" is totally appropriate. But ultimately I would be guided by a child's reaction to the presence of new food and reminders to try it. Does he seem anxious or behaves/replies in a defiant way? Or does he say \"No thank you\" in a matter-of-fact way and continues eating? This could help to see whether the DOR has had time to work its magic at mealtimes by making your child a competent eater, someone who enjoys being at a table and is ready to try new foods on his own accord.\n\nOf course, as adults, we are know more about every aspect of living including eating and there is a lot our kids can learn from us. They learn the best by seeing us doing things like eating a balanced diet, trying new foods and behaving in a certain way at mealtimes. And although kids are not equipped to decide many things about their everyday life, what they want to put in their mouth is something they have more control of than, let's say, what preschool they get to go to. That's why food can become a source of power struggles and everyone loses in this situation.\n\nOne of my kids (the picky one) does not like the typical kids' favorites like smoothies, cakes, pancakes, juice or crepes. She would rather have a toast with olive oil and salt or sushi rolls with avocado. She does not like a lot of fruit but likes kale chips and broccoli rabe so introducing foods outside what is considered \"kids-friendly\" may be something to consider?\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nSo there's the throwing and there's the rejection. Is one more important/frustrating than the other?\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nAmmick, I found this old thread from the Ellyn Satter (DOR originator) Institute's Facebook page. It's about food throwing and perhaps something in there from others who have been there will be helpful to you: https://www.facebook.com/ellynsatterassociates/posts/687733681262670\n\n\nAmmick - 3 weeks ago\nThank you again for the suggestions and resources. The tipping of the plate definitely feels like a giant \"f you!\". Especially the manner in which Simon does it. Intellectually I understand there are toddler reasons he's doing that, but it's exasperating for the more practical reasons that 1) it's a huge mess; 2) it wastes food, which really bothers me; 3) he didn't eat something I spent precious time preparing.\n\nBeets have a bad association. Growing up, we ate dinner at my grandmother's house. She frequently prepared canned veggies; including waterlogged asparagus. I didn't have fresh asparagus until I was in my 20s! I mean it's like they aren't even the same vegetable. Another of her favorites was canned beets. I remember that purple juice rolling all over the plate and contaminating the other food on my plate and turning them that nasty purple. I've tried them as an adult in fancy ways: roasted, etc. But no matter what they still have that familiar musty smell and taste. Gross!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks ago\nIt really *can* feel like an \"f you!\" when you've worked hard to put a meal on the table. But any naughty seeming looks he's giving you is probably just him being curious and intrigued at what kind of response he can elicit. Maybe some other feelings that are not at all personal to you. My daughter was really bad with the throwing. I think we tried lots of things at the time (2.5 years ago! seems like much longer) but we were not consistent. Lots of reminders, occasionally firmer \"NOs\" or scolding. But because she was such a thin child and I worried about her intake (before I had fully understood DOR) I couldn't bare removing her from the table. But I should have. It seemed like forever that she threw food. AND...we have CARPET under our dining room table--yikes. Luckily we have dogs too that are at the ready for clean up ;-) This stage WILL pass. I can't think of any additional suggestions to add to the ones in the link above. Lots of good ideas there."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62d","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302737,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62a","content":"`Response`\n\n# Sell that food baby\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI love how in the compliant eater video, the mom says the cheese will make the boy strong. We do that a lot with my son, especially because he's into super heroes. I have also felt like the desperate mom with the green beans. Sometimes I just want to have my children eat vegetables to have a more balanced diet.\n\nI also used to let my son eat on the kitchen floor because that is where he was comfortable. I've let my children eat plenty of snacks in front of the TV, (my poor carpet).\n\nIn like that there's a video with a grandmother in it. My in laws are close by and my kids are at there house for lunch a couple times a week. I know they sell food big time, when I've been there, and they let them eat whenever they want. Looking back, the crazy thing about them selling food to my children is that they only serve things they know my kids like. Its all a concern of quantity.I really hope they will be accepting of the DOR concept.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI've had picnics on the kitchen floor with the kids. You can follow DOR and lay a blanket on the ground in the yard. The main thing is that there is structure to eating.\n\nRegarding the concept of DOR and grandparents, we will definitely need to have a discussion in the next week about responding to family and friends. It can sometimes be a tricky area to navigate.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 5 days ago\nI also want to add that kids at this age do not \"buy\" nutritional talk. In fact, it may make them want eat vegetables even less! Here an article with recent research results. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/about/newsroom/press-releases/2014/2014-05-08"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62e","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302738,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62a","content":"`Response`\n\n# Don't Switch Jobs\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nThis course (beginning with the webinar) has been life changing for me, dramatic as that sounds. My job as a parent is to put the (right) food on the table and eat with my children. That's it! :-) The videos really illustrate some of the silly things I've said in the past, also thinking about the fact that while children are NOT tiny adults, they ARE people. How strange to treat children this way about food, right??\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 5 days ago\nYou nailed it! I often tell my clients to imagine they are sharing a meal with their colleague or boss. Would they make the same comments to them regarding their eating? Kids deserve the same level of respect when it comes to eating, don't they?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62f","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302739,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e62a","content":"`Response`\n\n# Bottom line\n\nRebecca - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nI think the bottom line of most of those videos is RELAX! :) Don't pressure your kids to eat anything. Don't coax or comment or bribe or worry.\n\nAlso - is the 4th video only meant to me 24 secs long? Seems like it gets cut off.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nDefinitely relax :-) Doing the opposite tends to create issues where none need exist.\n\nI'll look into that video, thanks for letting me know.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 6 days ago\nBut Isabella's grandma was \"relaxed\" in the sense of being mellow and not talking much. Yet she kept quietly and gently addressing food repeatedly. Before I knew about DOR, I would have never read that as not relaxed. I would have thought \"oh what a nice grandma, helping and reminding the little girl in a gentle way. She is not pushy at all.\""},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e630","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302740,"position":20,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Session 3`\n\n# Adding variety to your child's diet\n\nDid this session inspire you to add variety to your child's diet? If yes, how? If not, why do you think these strategies will not work for your little one?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e631","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302741,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e630","content":"`Response`\n\nShe asked to try something\n\nLindsey - 1 week, 6 days ago\nI just have to share that my daughter asked to try Natalia's yummy white bean soup two nights ago. I cooked the beans with garlic and onion in a crock pot so there would be a mild, deconstructed option. My daughter didn't want the soup, but she wanted plain beans. When she tried the plain beans, they were too bland, and she asked if she could try the soup!\n\nShe is also asking me what's for dinner every night instead of demanding rice krispies.\n\nMy son loves DOR and has started eating more variety and more quantity. He just seems all around more happy about food.\n\n\nAdina - 1 week, 6 days ago\nAwwe...that's so great to hear! You're doing a fabulous job and your kids are responding amazingly well.\n\n\nNatalia - 1 week, 5 days ago\nYay! So glad the soup was a hit! Beans are surprisingly popular with babies and toddlers - easy to chew and mild in flavor. Tons of good nutrition, too. I try serving bean- and lentil-based meals at least 3 times a week. Since my younger one was once prone to constipation, got to keep an eye on that fiber :)"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e632","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302742,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e630","content":"`Response`\n\nShe ate Beets!\n\nAdina - 2 weeks, 5 days ago\nI just wanted to share with others my 4.5 year old's progress lately. She is my \"picky\" one and never once has she shown any appreciation for beets except the one time I made beet pancakes (where the beet flavor was well masked by enough raspberry sauce). Tonight's dinner involved roasted beets & onions on top of sauteed beet greens, pesto linguini, and fried tofu. I set aside some plain linguini in case she and her little brother didn't want pesto sauce on theirs.\n\nMy daughter served herself PESTO pasta, tofu and asked for bread (which was also on the table). She ate some pasta, all the tofu and 2 slices of bread...and THEN scooped herself some of the beet mix. And she ate every single beet chunk!!! (leaving only the greens and onions). This was all quite remarkable to me. And she has been slowly doing little things like this that show growing adventurousness with food over the last few weeks. It's really neat to see. I did nothing more than MAYBE acknowledge what was on the table so the kids knew what it was. No suggestions, reminders or hints to try anything. Luckily, for her, I didn't add quite enough pesto to the pasta so it was kind of bland. I actually lhad to go get more from the freezer so mine and my husband's had more flavor. But she CHOSE to get the pesto pasta over the plain. Really big deal for her in my eyes. I could hardly wait to talk to my husband about it (he didn't make it to the table until after she'd excused herself).\n\nI credit this to her coming out of that toddler age, no pressure, and continued exposure to the foods we enjoy."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e633","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302743,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e630","content":"`Response`\n\nPower struggle\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nMy poor daughter has been catered to for far too long. The girl has been on a rice krispies food jag that last few days and has had a hard time being denied them. Two days ago, the afternoon snack was only 90 minutes from dinner, so they didn't eat great at dinner. I decided that they could have cold cereal for the after dinner snack. Rachel loves cold cereal for breakfast, and it's what my twins eat for breakfast every day. I think this is mainly because they want breakfast as soon as I get up. (They are early birds and play in their room until their alarm clocks light up.) I let them pick whatever cereal they want, and I generally have healthy cereals. The only sugar cereals we have are Life and Honey Nut Cheerios. Today, I made oatmeal for me and my husband, but the twins were nearly done eating their cereal before we even started. The twins both like oatmeal, and a few other breakfast foods, but they are too impatient to wait for it. Many times we are rushed in the morning as well to get out the door and I don't have the time to make a hot breakfast. I feel as we establish DOR it's not a bad thing to let Rachel have her beloved cold cereal every morning for breakfast. Any feedback on that?\n\nI love the idea of having fun with food. Painting with food, or dissecting it to see what's inside would appeal to my kids. They already like to \"help\" in the kitchen, so this is a great way to expose them to new foods.\n\nI experimented with snack yesterday and gave finely shredded carrots, shredded apples, and strawberry yogurt. Rachel used to love yogurt, but has become quite averse to it in the last year or so. Her biggest issue is that it's stinky, but I generally only have greek yogurt in the house. I bought regular yogurt and she dished some up for herself, but didn't end up eating it. Neither one of them would touch the carrot or apple shreds. I think if I continue to cut food into different shapes that they will continue to reject it. I'm really nervous about messing with a food that they love.\n\nUnfortunately, my husband took the twins to my in-laws for lunch and DOR went out the window. As long as I'm in charge, DOR works great. My husband is getting on board with it, but he did not provide the lunch that I went to the trouble packing yesterday. There was a lot of food out, and true to form, my kids demanded what they wanted. If I had been there, I would have just told them that Fruit Loops (seriously?)weren't for lunch and set the table with the lunch I had made. They could choose to eat or not, but I feel so liberated with DOR I refuse to go back to a short order cook. I also am observing that my in-laws pressure and sell food a ton. I have no idea how to deal with this. I'm sure that they did this with their five children, and I don't know if they'll change. I'd love for them to talk about the texture, color, and flavor or the food, but I need advice on how to broach the subject.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nThose light up alarm clocks are the best! We have them too and travel with them to keep the kids contained till a decent hour in the morning.\n\nCold cereal is okay, we eat it from time to time--particularly on those mornings I am rushed or just don't feel like turning on a stove. I don't prefer it because I don't think I can eat enough of it for it to stick. I get tired of the flavor long before I've consumed enough and it tends to leave me feeling starved. We usually only have the same 2-3 cereals available and put them all out on the table. The kids and my hubby like to eat a mix of what is available anyway. If cereal is working well for you, then maybe 'variety' can come from the selections you buy. Perhaps trying new cereals or granola might work well for you. So that you can still teach the concept of \"different can be good\" within that comfortable genre of breakfast food. You can also vary the fruit sides and put a bowl of walnuts or almonds on the table. Sliced strawberries or sliced bananas are very tasty on non-sugary cereals. I have heard of some people using their crockpot for oatmeal--perhaps that might be an option once or twice a week?\n\nGreat job trying a new snack experiment! Sometimes experiments will be hugely successful and sometimes they won't be. Are carrots and apples foods they generally like or was this an attempt to make something they don't like more appealing? It might work better when you can eat it with them. Remember that carrot-blueberry-pumpkin seed salad (experiment) I wrote about in the carrot article? I LOVED it and they only touched the blueberries in it. Also perhaps if they are in the kitchen with you when you shred the apples/carrots and make it into a slaw (i.e. combine the two together, drizzle with honey/sugar [just a little] and lemon juice) maybe they'd like it better. Make it for a sweet side sometime for dinner and try it yourself. But really it's not like they have to like shredded apples. I always do 'experiments' as part of meals where we eat together otherwise 'new' foods don't go over as well. SO let's say that you normally serve carrots in strips for dinner, then you could cut them into coins another time. That's what I mean. You don't have to constantly change things, just keep the concept of change in mind so that you DO do things differently now and then. That particular snack may just have been a time they weren't all that hungry. Rejection of a food doesn't mean you shouldn't serve it again. That's why it helps for parents to experiment in ways that they are likely to eat the food too so whether or not the kids love it, it can be repeated for exposure's sake.\n\nI'm glad you feel liberated by DOR. I feel the same way. In-laws, grandparents, aunts, friends...the list of people who think they need to \"help\" your kids eat is very long. We will write up a short bit about that and begin a discussion in the next few days. I like to sneak in phrases to combat 'selling\" like \"...and I eat it because I like it.\"\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nSnack too close to dinner may spoil kids appetites. Maybe a 2 hour \"gap\" will be more appropriate for your kids? My kids are older (5 and 8) and I try to make sure there is nothing but water served to them at least 2.5 hours before dinner. Otherwise they are just not interested in eating. Playing with food outside of meals is a great way to provide exposure without pressure to eat. We do \"taste-tests\" when we try and rate different kinds of food. I do it not only for the kids, but also for my husband and myself, so we get to try new types of cheese or dark chocolate!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nNatalia, do you tend to do taste-tests with your kids around a typical snack time? Would it make sense to serve some acceptable snack alongside if it is a normal snack time? I ask because I imagine if they like the item in the taste test, they could eat more of it but also have a normal snack in case they are hungry but dont like the taste test item?\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nI typically serve bread, crackers or cookies alongside whatever food we choose for taste tests and do it around mid afternoon snack.\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks ago\nCarrots are not a regular snack for my kids. I shredded the apples to see if it would make the carrots more appealing to them. I like the idea of making a \"salad\" with the carrots and apples. We did a chocolate chip taste test yesterday and they had fun with it. My next taste test will be a \"dip\" taste test with hummus, peanut butter, and almond butter. I might even throw in nutella for fun.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks ago\nFun! Let us know how it goes :-)\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks ago\nOh and I Like that you started with a very easy to love taste test...to win them over to the concept.\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks ago\nI feel like it's all about gaining their trust at this point. Especially with my daughter.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks ago\nYes!\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks ago\nExactly Lindsey! Variety does not mean only more fruit and vegetables. Teaching children to appreciate the idea of variety within any food group is an important step to balanced eating."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e634","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302744,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e630","content":"`Response`\n\n\nDon't Get Bogged Down with Rules!\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nIt sounds like trying to juggle variety and balance and the DOR is getting stressful for some. So I want to implore you to drop some of the balls you are juggling. DOR is really the only thing we consider a 'rule' to follow. The rest is icing and here to help you see the many possible ways to improve your child's diet. Getting too caught up in achieving some kind of perfect variety is putting the cart before the horse and may add stress where none is needed.\n\nThe purpose of the Variety session of our class is to help you get out of ruts. We have found that parents often prefer to compromise variety for the sake of getting food (calories,) into their kids. By doing this they end up serving only the foods their kids are eating so that they get the calories they need. At the same time, parents are concerned that their kids are eating a limited diet and wonder when they will start eating more variety. So for those stuck in this cycle, doing some work to increase variety is helpful. There are benefits to serving a variety of delicious food for meals and snack after mealtimes have been established. We can't expect our children to eat a varied diet without serving one. But the variety doesn't have to be limitless and akin to new foods 7-days a week, 4 weeks a month.\n\nHere's a real life example of how sometimes variety can take a back seat. I've been needing to go grocery shopping since Sunday. I'm out of fresh fruit and fresh veggies except for carrots and celery and I'm not a big fan of plain celery as a side. NOTHING shopping related got accomplished on Sunday for many logistical reasons (uncooperative kids were one reason). Well on Saturday night I had served carrot sticks to go with our picnic supper in the park. Sunday at lunch I served carrot sticks again. Last night we had burrito take out with NOTHING on the side. And today for lunch I made a carrot-raisin slaw to go with a pre-packaged potato soup. CARROTS AGAIN. I had planned to go shopping this morning after the trip to the park, but nope. And then I had a patient at work scheduled later than usual. So...I sent hubby out for take out pizza while I steamed frozen broccoli at home. Big deal? No. Just real life. We still ate our meals together and enjoyed what we had.\n\nAnd since we're talking about carrots, remember how in my carrot article I said something about serving a food 10 x the number of ways it can be served? Well that can be taken two ways.\n\n1) OMG what a tall order! I don't know if I can be constantly creative that way, that sounds exhausting!\n\n2) Oh, I see! So I shouldn't consider it set in stone that my child doesn't like carrots. He simply hasn't had that much exposure to them. I guess I won't consider him a carrot-hater until he's really seen them and tried them in lots of ways. That means that I should occasionally re-introduce them in new ways, but I won't sweat over it.\n\nIt's the second option that I had intended."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e635","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302745,"position":21,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Session 3`\n\n#Analyzing food record for variety\n\nDid you make any interesting discovering about the food record after reading this session's materials? What are your barriers to serving more variety?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e636","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302746,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e635","content":"`Response`\n\nLeftover dilemma\n\nRachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI try to provide a variety of food, but I find that balancing not wasting food and providing a variety of foods is sometimes difficult. Right now, most of our meals are just the two of us. It is challenging for me to prepare a meal for just myself and her without having leftovers, which I would prefer to serve again before they go bad. I love to buy and serve fresh produce, but again, it will go bad unless I serve it with several meals between the two of us! I find that I try to serve them in different ways, but I am ultimately serving the food twice in a day or the same thing over three days. Sometimes she will eat all of the particular food and the next meal she will not touch it, so I know that she likes variety. I try not to serve the exact same things so that she can have other foods to choose from at a meal, but it can be difficult!\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nRachL, I have the same problem in our house - we need to reuse the leftovers over 2-3 days to prevent waste. And we like variety! What I have down so far what 1/freezing leftover grains like rice or quinoa. I transfer them into zipper lock bags and throw them in a freezer. 2/ Reusing leftover vegetables to make soups (my kids like pureed soups), add them to stir fry, frittatas, meat sauce, add them to salads etc. I always have a few bowls with leftovers in the fridge and just keep recycling them until they are gone! I just made a delicious sauce for leftover couscous with leftover roasted pork (chopped in small pieces), leftover steamed green beans, zucchini and tomatoes. Just added some herbs and a little soy sauce to make flavor more interesting. Yum!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nThis is a challenge for anyone cooking and preparing food for only 1-2 people...and toddlers eat like 1/2 a person if that. Your variety may have to come in every other day. Or if you have leftovers save them for 2 meals from now rather than the very next meal.\n\nWould you be willing to share examples of some meals where you had tough-to-use leftovers or just didn't like how much was left? What was served?\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nThis is an example of a meal of leftovers we had: http://goo.gl/Ho7IaD -- Sometimes I collect a few days' leftovers and serve them all. Or supplement one particular leftover with a new meal and at least us adults will eat up the leftovers. Leftover veggies can be added to quesadillas too...or omelets.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI want to add a little more. When I cook dinner I almost always have leftovers for the next day. We usually eat those at lunch. It means the same food shows up again the next day. I don't think that is necessarily a problem because we'll eat something different for dinner that night and the next night and often there are new foods the following week we didn't eat the week before. Salads aren't always the same. Other things change. So in your quest for variety, just do what is realistic for you and if you feel like you've been eating the same things over and over, you will likely want a change anyway. It's a tough line to walk today. Variety is important because different foods have different nutrients and it helps kids learn to like different things. But at the same time, you don't have to win a Pinterest award and you can repeat your family's favorites and create your own little food culture based on what your family likes and your drive to try new recipes.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI guess we wanted to talk about variety in this class because we often see parents who would rather feed their kids only the foods they accept over and over again. We did not mean it as a challenge to come up with new recipes all the time. As you could already see from what we teach in this class, it is about keeping things doable. That's a partial reason we do not typically recommend sticking to a specific meal plan. It will not be sustainable for many families partially due to a big amount of waste and leftovers that are not accounted for in the meal plan.\n\n\nAmmick - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nThis was a good question and something I struggle with, too. I stress out about it because one of the rules says to not serve the same foods twice in order to increase exposure and variety.\n\n\nRachL - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nIt is good to hear that I may be over-thinking the variety dilemma! Natalia, those are some great ideas to use up leftovers. I can see myself incorporating them into our mealtimes! Adina, thank you for the picture example! I often do something similar, so it is good to see I am not completely off base!This past week we had some baked chicken with veggies for dinner. I used the chicken the next day for lunch, shredding it into some pasta salad. I need to come up with more ideas like that! I guess the hardest leftover for me to do something with is spaghetti and meat sauce (or meatballs!) It always seems like there is so much left over, even when I only prepare a small portion of noodles!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nAmmick, that is not a rule! We said that we considered making it a rule, but realized it is far too rigid and unrealistic. Sometimes you just have to use food up. The closest thing to a rule we believe in is the DOR. And at birthday parties we give more freedom than that because food is always out and it's an exception to the normal daily habit. So please please don't stress out about variety. Variety is good, healthy, beneficial, but not if seeking it out is causing stress and worry. #1 thing: follow a division of responsibility and serve the foods you like. Chances are you'll WANT variety yourself. Any time you serve food solely for the benefit of your child you risk they won't eat it, so serve things YOU like so you're not stuck with unusable foods. Please use the Variety section as food for thought and to help you get creative, but don't stress over the ideas. They are meant to help you see possibilities not to feel trapped.\n\nRachL I can re-use spaghetti and sauce about twice, max. If after that it's still lurking in the fridge I toss it because I just feel bored with it. Maybe a meatball sandwich?\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nI would freeze the meatballs and bake the pasta into a casserole with some veggies and cheese. Posted a recipe a few days ago: http://tribecanutrition.com/2014/06/pasta-broccoli-casserole/.\n\n\nAmmick - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nThank you for your thoughts and suggestions. As I said in a previous post, I read the books Bringing Up Bebe and French Kids Eat Everything when i was pregnant and set a high bar for myself. The pressure of making a delicious healthy and interesting meal was something I struggled with even when it was just my husband and I. Now the pressure is more intense because I want to do the best for my son and feel I feel so disorganized. Usually I haven't been to the store, so don't have staples to work with, get home late from work, everyone is hangry, and I'm usually faced with a sink of dirty dishes from the night before. I guess I stress about meals because it is an area where I have begun to feel very inadequate.\n\n\nNatalia - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nAmmick, first of all, French parents get much more support in teaching their kids good eating habits than we do. As you remember from the books, the school and daycare meals over there are quite amazing and kids are taught cooking lessons, instead of being showered with candy and cupcakes 5 days a week.\n\nWhat the French prepare at home is very simple actually. I was in France last September and we had dinner in our friends' house (a couple with two kids). And they served cantaloupe for appetizer, steak with mashed potatoes for entrée and store bought brownies for dessert. I do not think that it took more than 20 minutes to put the meal together. And since I always talk about food at dinner :), they shared that this level of simplicity in meal preparation is pretty common among their friends and family. Again, it is not about cooking an elaborate meal, but maintaining structure and sharing a meal as a family.\n\nIn the tomorrow's session we will share a few shortcuts to having a meal on a table in no time. I hope you will experiment with some of them.\n\n\nLindsey - 2 weeks, 5 days ago\nSpaghetti sauce freezes great! I make a large batch of marinara and then freeze it in pint size jars, then I'm only defrosting as much as we will eat. Another way to repurpose the sauce is making homemade pizza or making calzones.\n\n\nRachL - 2 weeks, 5 days ago\nLindsey, I actually just made some marinara to put over raviolis, and I portioned out what we needed and froze the rest! That had never occurred to me before, but I'm sure I will be doing it often now :)"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e637","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302747,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e635","content":"`Response`\n\nDid you say, short order?\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nMy children definitely had variety in their food records, but they rarely ate the same thing at the same meal. They eat lots of different fruit, gratefully, and they love crackers. My son loves cheese and yogurt, and the only dairy my daughter will touch is milk. My son loves peanut butter sandwiches and my daughter will only eat plain wheat bread. One dinner, my boy had mac n cheese and my girl had ramen. The next night they both ate pepperoni pizza.\n\nSince we started DOR, everyone is eating the family meal and we have lots of variety.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nLindsey, looks like DOR brought some quick results! Glad to hear that :). Your kids seem to have different food preferences, how did you manage to \"bridge\" them within family meals?\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks ago\nI'm just making sure that I have two items they both like at each meal. Often times it's fruit and bread. That's what happened tonight. We had mashed potatoes, creamed chicken with peas, dinner rolls, steamed broccoli, and watermelon. My daughter ate half a roll and some watermelon. My son ate two rolls and two bites of watermelon. He served himself broccoli, but didn't eat it. They both refused the potatoes and creamed chicken.\n\nMy daughter did beg for rice krispies for dinner and proceeded to have a huge meltdown. I told her that we weren't eating rice krispies for dinner and then we basically ignored her and talked about our day. She calmed down in about 3 minutes and proceeded to eat more dinner roll and watermelon. She is definitely struggling with DOR and not being able to choose what she eats.\n\nI'm happy that they are getting exposed to many new foods, but I am struggling with lunch. Mainly because I would always cook them a kid friendly food, like ramen, mac n cheese, or even cold cereal, served with fruit and maybe string cheese or yogurt. I personally eat a spinach salad with raspberries or strawberries 3-4 times a week accompanied by roasted sweet potatoes. I have no desire to eat ramen or mac n cheese for lunch, so it's hard for me to figure out \"meals\" for lunch.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks ago\nLindsey, it is very normal for kids to fill up on fruit and bread for dinner, when the other food is a little too challenging. In fact, they may not even need a lot of calories after a whole day of eating! The fact that your son served himself some broccoli is a great sign :). Maybe you can serve rice krispies for snack one day and let her have as much as she wants? I do not think she is struggling with DOR if she is able to pick and choose from what is offered. Of course, a few meltdowns are unavoidable as kids are adjusting.\n\nWhat about you serve everything family style for lunch and have just a bite of their food and offer them some of your salad? It will send them a message that there is no special food for them and they are expected to learn to like yours, too.\n\n\nLindsey - 2 weeks, 5 days ago\nToday I served lunch family style. I made the twins mac n cheese, my spinach and strawberry salad, cottage cheese, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, and Healthy Choice fudge bars. I had a bite of mac n cheese and Johnny tried one bite of raw spinach. He spit it out, but he tried it. So, I think Natalia, your idea was genius.\n\n\nNatalia - 2 weeks, 5 days ago\nYay! Glad you tried it :)"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e638","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302748,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e635","content":"`Response`\n\nQuestion about \"catering\"\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 5 days ago\nI have one child that doesn't like soup. I made a soup with chicken, corn, potatoes and rice, and he ate heartily when I used a slotted spoon to drain the broth. Is that OK or should I have just told him he didn't have to eat it and that he could eat just he bread?\n\nWhen I make chili, it is quite spicy and I will rinse part of it with a bit of water to remove some of the spice for the kids - rather than make 2 batches, one spicy & one not. Is that ok or is that catering?\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 5 days ago\nIt's a fine line, but I consider what you did just fine. When serving oneself you can always take more/less broth anyway. Rinsing a batch of the chili is okay too.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI think it is very close to the concept of \"deconstructed\" meals we discussed in the class. So I agree with Adina, it is ok. And spice is hard to handle for most little kids, so rinsing a part of chili so you could enjoy the meal together is a small price to pay for sharing the same meal.\n\n\ncoachclaire - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI've seen people on cooking pages I am on say add your spice in after taking their bit out?\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nThat could work beautifully, Coachclaire. My husband likes tons of black pepper on his food. My kids not so much. So he adds it to his plate. I do the same with red chili flakes.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nSeasoning after a portion is set aside would be totally fine too. Probably depends on the timing of the seasoning.\n\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nMy chili is the kind that cooks all day long & tastes delicious. :-) Different seasonings and some sliced hot peppers etc. Not really something that you can season afterwards, though I've done that when possible!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e639","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302749,"position":22,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Sessions 4`\n\n# What you can change to boost the nutritional value of your toddler's diet?\n\nOf course, when it comes to feeding picky eaters, it seems sometimes that we as parents have done all we could to improve the nutritional quality of their diet. But did you learn something in this session that inspired you to make some changes to your child's diet?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63a","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302750,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e639","content":"`Response`\n\n# Iron and protein\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nMy kids rarely eat meat. My son will eat roasted chicken occasionally. I think I could serve him meatballs with his spaghetti, and he likes lasagna. My daughter really won't touch meat. I would love to start offering meat more often. I have never offered fish and I do have concerns about it.\n\nMy husband does not like fish. Never will. I love it, and I order it when we go out to dinner every chance I get. Maybe this will become a lunch option? I'm still very leery to offer fish to my daughter due to her smell sensitivity. I think I'll start with tuna salad?\n\nI definitely could serve beans twice a week. We love haystacks, and it's a built in deconstructed meal. My son loves burritos, but I haven't offered one to my daughter in so long I have no idea what her reaction will be.\n\nI have been giving my twins DHA supplements for the last year. We use Nordic Naturals and they do great with them. Since they don't eat fish should I continue these?\n\nMy nutritional goal is to serve iron rich foods twice daily.\n\nI will do this by:\n\n1. Introducing iron rich cold cereals.\n\n2. Start offering meat with snacks, mostly natural, low sodium cold cuts.\n\n3. Serve beans more. Either as burritos(whole or deconstructed), soup, or as a main dish.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nSounds like a great plan! I'll be curious what she thinks of fish the first time. She may not touch it, but that's okay--a lot of things won't get touched the very first time. Does your husband tolerate the smell or is it hard for him to be around it?\n\nI'm really amazed that my pickier (4 y.o.) one likes fish. It's bizarre considering that it does have a horrible smell (sometimes) if you're not the one eating it. I found a recipe for.. this sardine pate and it came out completely wrong (too runny) and I figured it would bomb, but both kids took to it. Yet neither of my kids like hummus. You just never know.\n\nSomething worth trying is homemade baked taquitos. It took serving them on four occasions before my 4 yo tried one and she ended up liking it. If you're interested I have a recipe for roasted veggie-black bean-corn taquitos and you could always tweak the precise ingredients. Goes great with a salad and fruit on the side.\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nI would love the taquitos recipe! Thank you.\n\nMy husband can't stand the smell or the taste. The only fish he'll eat are Rubio's fish tacos. Beer batter and all...\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nHere you go: http://www.sugardishme.com/2013/10/31/roasted-veggie-taquitos/ -- I don't take the time to roast the veggies, I just lightly saute them and adjust a few other things to suit me. One warning: they are deathly hot for the first 5+ minutes out of the oven. So time it for when they can sit up to 10 min to cool. My poor hubby. He bit into a hot one and then joked about how cruel I was for also serving barbed wire (kale salad) to go with his burned tongue. He's not a kale fan.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nGoogle comes through once more! I ran across this article on helping kids like meat a while ago and thought it offered some useful tips: http://www.yourkidstable.com/2014/01/how-to-get-your-kid-to-eat-meat.html -- at least I think it was this one. Maybe something in there would be helpful. From a quick perusal of this therapist's site (very quick) I didn't see anything that screamed \"pressure\" and some hints of a feeding philosophy congruent with DOR.\n\n\nLindsey - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nwww.yourkidstable.com is a great resource! Thank you."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63b","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302751,"position":23,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Your Child's Growth`\n\n#Your child's growth -- A Good Indicator of Whether Eating is Going Okay\n\nWhat do you think about the case studies we discussed in this session? The parents needed to take a leap of faith in order to start trusting their child to regulate their eating. They also needed to do a lot of work around structure and providing variety of tasty food for meals. Do any of the stories remind you of yourself or someone you know?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63c","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302752,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63b","content":"`Response`\n\n# What happened to my schedule?\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nI strictly breast fed my twins their first year, and I was rigid with their feeding schedule. I'm sure you can imagine how hard it was to just breast feed them for a year. I can't imagine not having a schedule (it was every three hours, until we added solids). I'm so happy to have a schedule again!\n\nSometimes I feel like pediatrician's can go overboard. My neighbor has a child that only ate a handful of foods until age four. They had to see a growth specialist. She told me they would even spank their son because he wouldn't eat. She also told me that the more she \"let go\", the better her son would eat. I was so happy to share DOR with her. Do growth specialists not know about DOR? Her son is now six, and loves red pepper hummus. He is still quite selective, but he is growing. I'm sure he's in the 1st percentile for weight, but 50% for height.\n\nLuckily for us, our pediatrician is a veteran, and she doesn't get concerned about much. My kids have always been long and lean, and we'll see where they are in August.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nOh man, spanking for not eating. That makes me so sad to think about, but I totally get how some parents can feel helpless and resort to that in hopes of not seeing their child starve.\n\nHonestly, not all dietitians are familiar with DOR so I'm pretty sure there are plenty of pediatric specialists that have never heard of it or have heard the \"eat this or starve\" misinterpreted version. It's not something I was taught in school, or if it was it wasn't taught except in a cursory sort of way. But I know other nutrition professionals who spent quite a bit of time learning about DOR and feeding dynamics. So it probably depends on the particular school one attended and the faculty's interest. That's one of the main reasons I started my FB page a year ago--I just felt like I needed to spread the feeding \"gospel\" so to speak. It's so helpful and such a huge stress relief to know it doesn't have to be a battle, that kids really DO want to learn to eat and they will provided we let them.\n\nHow did your neighbor respond to what you shared with her?\n\nGlad having a schedule again is working well for you.\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nI think she likes the concept, but it seems like a lot of work. She has four children, 8, 6, 3, and 4 months. She was very receptive though because meal time is chaos and her idea of the perfect meal is having all her kids strapped into their car seats eating snacks. I sent her links to both of your websites so she can reference them when she comes out of the post partum fog.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 4 days ago\nPost partum fog...that felt like my life for at least the first 6 months with each child. Maybe as she sees it helping you reduce chaos/stress she'll find ways to baby step into it."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63d","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302753,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63b","content":"`Response`\n\n# 5% babies\n\nMaria - 3 weeks, 5 days ago\nI myself am just under 5' tall and around 100 lbs when not pregnant or breastfeeding. My kids have all hovered around the 5%. When my first was a baby, she was subjected to a battery of tests, despite having ZERO indication of having something wrong. I was pressured to put cereal in a bottle, stop breastfeeding etc. etc. Fortunately we found a GREAT pediatrician who looks at all 3 of my kids and says that it's genetic, they are healthy & happy, meeting milestones, have a varied diet etc. It is hard to shake though when you have slender babies and see big chubby babies everywhere & get snide remarks from people.\n\nAt the same time, I had a friend with a 100% breastfed baby crushing the charts for height & weight and SHE was getting the opposite, her milk was no good yada yada because baby was BIG! You can't win. Just plug your ears and \"lalala\" and follow what we're learning here!\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 5 days ago\nHaha...amen to the \"lalala\" ;-)\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 5 days ago\nI had a 2 year old patient a year or so ago who was growing perfectly at the 5th percentile. Mom was worried about her light and picky eating. The thing I worked hard to convey was how amazing the child's body was regulating things. When you really think about it, that *consistent* 5th percentile (or any percentile) maintained for her whole 2 years with barely a blip is quite remarkable--that the body can maintain a steady growth like that...amazing!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63e","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302754,"position":24,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Unsolicited feeding advice`\n\n#Unsolicited feeding advice - What is a parent to do?\n\nWhat has been your family and friends' faction to DOR so far? Did you use any specific strategies to deal with pressure or unsolicited feeding advice?\n\n"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63f","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302755,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e63e","content":"`Response`\n\n#Getting on board\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nMy in laws and nanny are pretty open to the idea of DOR. I don't know what my nanny feeds my kids for lunch and snack, but she no longer feeds them dinner. I shifted our schedule so we can have our family meal at 6pm. We used to eat dinner as early as 4:30 before because my boy seemed to be quite hungry by then, and I \"struck while the iron was hot.\" When our nanny was a child her mom served dinner, and that's all there was.\n\nMy in laws have made comments that our kids seem to be eating better. My biggest concern with them is \"selling\" food and feeding on demand. My mother in law will follow my lead, but I can't count on my father in law to pay attention enough to learn about DOR. We will invest some time to teach them.\n\nThe best compliment for your course comes from my husband. Tonight he thanked me for all the changes I've implemented with feeding our children. Not only are they eating better, but mealtime is enjoyable. We used to dread dinner, but my son has not had a melt down at the table since he started serving himself ten days ago.\n\nI'm a control freak, so until DOR is solidly in place, we are doing all our eating at home. My babysitters are always left with instructions and a schedule, so I'm not concerned about that.\n\nI think the best strategy is to have people observe the difference in my children's eating.\n\nWe will be visiting family in August and I will keep all of your phrases in my back pocket in dealing with family.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nWay to make us feel awesome. I'm thrilled that you're getting such great results.\n\nThere will be times when other people don't do things the DOR way with your kids and it will bug you, but ultimately, the fact that it is a blip won't hurt your kids when you maintain that DOR at home :-)\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nCongratulations Lindsey! Pleasant mealtimes is definitely a worthy prize for all your efforts! I think you are doing right by eating at home until you feel absolutely comfortable with DOR. Since kids have more choice when they are eating out, DOR is not 100% applicable to these situations. You can still help them to choose a meal and split a dessert but you will definitely have less control over the \"what to serve\" aspect of the meal. However if restaurant outings are only occasional you may relax and be more flexible with their choices. If we happen to be on a vacation etc I tend to choose menu myself and we often share 2-3 entrees + 1-2 vegetable sides and/or appetizers among the 4 of us. I try to make sure that I pick at least one food they will eat, sometimes it is just mashed potatoes, a vegetable and/or bread with butter. Now that the kids can read they often want something from the kids menu so I may allow them to choose 1 thing to split plus they eat off our plates too."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e640","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302756,"position":25,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Session 5`\n\n# Troubleshooting & Burning Questions\n\nIf you have a question or want to discuss something about child-feeding, trouble-shooting DOR, or have other burning questions on food/feeding topics we haven't discussed yet, this is the place to ask :-)"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e641","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302757,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e640","content":"`Response`\n\n#Random-- spacing of a supplement\n\nSara W. - 3 weeks ago\nThis is kind of random and doesn't exactly pertain to what we've learned here, but thought you may have a suggestion nonetheless. Asher was prescribed fluoride drops because Portland water is unfluoridated and i have a family history of weak enamel. When my husband picked it up, the pharmacist told him not to give it to him within 2 hours before or after eating (i understand it's because it binds with minerals in foods and therefore doesnt absorb into his body-- Calcium and Magnesium maybe? Potassium? can't remember specifically.) Anyway, there is no time during the day when Ash goes 4 hours without eating! That sounds crazy to me. Sometimes it happens when we're out and about and having fun and get distracted, but never on purpose and certainly not on a normal day at home. Pretty sure he'd start gnawing my arm off around 3 hours and 15 minutes;) Ive thought about not feeding him 2 hours before bedtime, but he is still in the habit of one last cup of milk before he falls asleep, and besides he doesn't go to bed at the same time each night so it's impossible to plan perfectly. Originally I thought it was JUST calcium that was the issue, so i'd give him things on a short list of \"safe foods\" during the time when he couldn't freely eat-- applesauce, Baby Mum-Mums (crackers) and Cheerios, but I've since read that it's *not* just calcium and now im super confused. Thoughts?\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks ago\nWell, I'm stumped. If it were me I'd call the pharmacist and explain that at 13 months the only time your child (and most kids) goes 4 hours without food is overnight and ask him/her how strict the 2 hour rule needs to be.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks ago\nDefinitely too long for a 1 year old to wait between meals. I would also recommend discuss it with pharmacist again."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e642","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302758,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e640","content":"`Response`\n\n# Smell sensitivity\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nShould I be concerned about my daughter's smell sensitivity?\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks ago\nMany kids are sensitive to smells in some degree. Some just cannot stand the offensive food on their plate, others need to leave the house or restaurant when it is prepared or served. It can be quite frustrating, especially this food happens to be one of the family member's favorite! If she can tolerate being in the same room with the food, keep serving it within a family meal but try to keep the bowl with it not to close to her. I would not try to put any on her plate, it may only slower the process. By seeing and smelling the food at a respectful distance numerous times she will most likely learn to be be around it without any trouble and chances are she will even eat and enjoy it. I would give it some time and avoid pressure in all forms.\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks ago\nOk, she can \"mostly\" be in the same room with offensive smells, and it is getting better. I'll just keep the pressure off her. Thank you!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e643","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302759,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e640","content":"`Response`\n\n# Snacks\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nDo you have a favorite \"healthy\" cracker? Also, any favorite brands of popcorn? I do have a special microwavable popcorn bowl that you put raw kernels in and add whatever you want. Maybe I'll try that. My son loves kettle corn, and we get it at our farmer's market about once a month, but I know it has too much sugar and too much salt.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI use Carr's whole grain crackers to make all kinds of open \"sandwiches\" for my kids. They are a little sweet but they work great with savory toppings too. But our favorite way to eat them now - a little cream cheese and fresh strawberries on top. (Yum!) We also make popcorn at home - we have a stove top pan for that. Before we got it, I used to make it in microwave and season with melted butter and salt. Oh, we also like Kashi 7 grain crackers with cheese.\n\nHere is a Consumer report article comparing some popular brands: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/05/cracker-taste-off-we-compared-30-kinds-of-crackers/index.htm\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 2 days ago\nI've always liked Rye Triscuits, but I think most of their crackers are 100% whole grain. They are pretty salty though. The occasional kettle corn is fine. Remember, include 'forbidden' food now and then too. If, once a month, you got some kettle corn to share for a snack, I don't see a big problem with it. We have a microwavable bowl too and I like it a lot.\n\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nTriscuits now has a \"hint of salt\" variety, only in original. I scoured the shelves at Target today, but they didn't have Kashi crackers or Carr's. I'm sure I can find them at my local grocery."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e644","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302760,"position":26,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Discussion: Toddlers in Action`\n\n#DOR in action - your thoughts?\n\nWhat stood out to you from the Division of Responsibility perspective as you were watching the video of the 1 year old twins enjoying their dinner with parents? Any other thoughts/questions?"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e645","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302761,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e644","content":"`Response`\n\n# Thank you!\n\nMary Lynne - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nAdina and Natalia,\n\nI just want to say thank you for equipping us to be better parents to our children. It's interesting talking to my mom about what I've learned in this class. Her response was \"I don't remember ever having to think so hard about what and how you kids were fed\" ....well it's been over 20 years for her, so i think she just forgot the tough moments, but also I think that generationally we are now so different. The increase in heatlh awareness today is a blessing....but a \"curse\" in that it can become a little obsessive. I tried not to let it be so obsessive with my now toddler, but I just didn't know HOW to still care about what was going in her mouth but not control and make a big deal out of it. That 's no way to live! I feel that you have given us tools to be able to be well balanced in our approach to feeding our little ones. Thank you.\n\nI also thought the mix of materials and videos and discussions was great! Your prompt replies to our questions were excellent. This course was perfect in that we could get out of it as much as we could afford time to put in. There was no pressure to get assignments done, yet great email reminders that the course was still alive and active! Thanks again! I hope you will continue to offer it so that I can recommend it to struggling parents in the future.\n\n\nAdina - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nThank you! I'm really pleased that this class was helpful to you. When explaining the DOR it does sound like thinking \"so hard about what and how...kids [are] fed.\" But really it's just about doing a good job of providing and not getting in the kid's way. And yes, today, parents are generally very confused about what to do. So much more pressure to get XY and Z into their kids and keep EFG away from their kids, it can be overwhelming.\n\nWe will offer this class again in the fall!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e646","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302762,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e644","content":"`Response`\n\n#Real Trial\n\nMaria - 3 weeks ago\nThis weekend, my husband has our 9 and 5 year olds in South Carolina (we live in Maryland) to visit his parents. I stayed home with out 2 1/2 year old because he's just not up for the 8-9+ hour drive or disruption. It's been tough to stick with the routine for the 2 1/2 year old but pretty easy for hubby since MIL (YAY) has a similar parenting style.\n\nTonight I fed my son a chicken sandwich with a side salad and toppings for the sandwich, along with a Friendly's brand sundae cup we chose at the grocery store. He ate nearly all of his dinner and about 2T of his sundae. I call that a win! :-D\n\nHe has done so well with sticking with meals & snacks since *I* have stuck with it too!\n\n\nNatalia - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nThis sounds like a win-win, Maria! Did you share a meal with him, too? Mealtime structure truly is the foundation of productive feeding relationship. Thank you for reminding us of that!\n\n\nMaria - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nI did sit down with him, but I'd eaten while he napped. I took him to our local John Deere dealer (they were closed and he LOVES looking at them. Perfect opportunity!) and he fell asleep on the way home. I transferred him to the couch & let him sleep a bit but honestly, I was too hungry to wait! So I just sat at the table & drank my glass of water while he ate. Ideally I would have waited. :-)\n\nDelete\nN\nNatalia - 2 weeks, 6 days ago\nA perfect example of how flexibility is totally appropriate and exceptions to the rule do not undermine it. :) Life happens..."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e647","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302763,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e644","content":"`Response`\n\n#Really helpful! and a question\n\nSara W. - 3 weeks ago\nHi all, I'm back catching up tonight. Had a busy work week (Husband and I work opposite shifts, so we both do a lot of \"single parenting\") and had a hard time fitting in the active participation I had hoped and planned for myself.I found this really helpful, especially since these two seemed not much older than my 13 month old. I laughed at Maddie putting food in and pulling it back out of her mouth repeatedly. THIS IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW! It's like he wants to chew it, see what it looks and feels like now, re-chew it, and repeat on and on. was surprised to see the open cup but am excited to try it. He does okay from water bottles. I was wondering, what if he drops everything or almost everything on the floor? Does this automatically mean his meal is over? My instinct says that a lot of time it's just playing or experimenting and doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't want it. Do you offer more? If so, how many times till \"game over\"?\n\n\nSara W. - 3 weeks ago\nI did just see that Ammick asked a similar question in another thread. reading that discussion now.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks ago\nLet us know if that other discussion doesn't solve it for you. The only thing I'd add to it is that at 13 months I'd probably be a lot more 'lenient' than at 18 months. You might just ignore it for now and give a lot smaller portions if possible. If you don't do an open cup, be sure it is a straw based cup because the typical sippy requires a sucking motion that isn't helpful in a child's development of mouth movements. So say speech therapists.\n\n\nNatalia - 3 weeks ago\nAgree with Adina, sippy cups are not helpful for oral motor skills development. A little bit of water in an open cup would be a great practice at mealtimes."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e648","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302764,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e644","content":"`Response`\n\n#Distractions\n\nLindsey - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nI felt like there was a huge emphasis eliminating distractions. From the phone ringing, although being ignored, still being a distraction, to the mom wiping Maddie's face multiple times really drove it home. We are still working on having the kids play quietly once they are done with eating. It is near impossible for them to not be distracted at an extended family meal, and that's when I'm grateful for the last snack of the day. I just love establishing a calm, enjoyable family meal so early in our kids lives. Once they are older, I'm going to have an electronics bin to have everyone dump their devices in before we eat.\n\n\nAdina - 3 weeks, 1 day ago\nI'm STILL working on my 4 year old playing quietly after she's done eating. She loves to talk and be with us but once she's done eating she can not sit any longer...she can barely sit while she eats. Luckily my 2 year old son is not easily distracted from his eating. He takes a while to start, but once he does he is fairly committed to the task."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e649","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302765,"position":27,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Material: All Sessions`\n\n**Session 2: **\nYour child's move, your countermove: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3E0sQDnIj5DVWNUYWlfRWRrbnc/edit?usp=sharing\n\n**Session 4: **\nImportant Nutrients for Toddlers\n\nSnack Ideas and Recipes\n\nNutritional Checklist and homework\n\n**Research** See links in outline + Drive\n\n\n\n\n"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302766,"position":28,"parentId":null,"content":"# `Announcements:`\n\n#Daily Messages Sent to Students"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64b","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302767,"position":1,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"#Welcome\n\nHello everyone! \n\nWelcome to the class \"Feed Your Toddler with Confidence\". Please activate your account by clicking www.coursebeyond.com/activate. After that, you can use www.coursebeyond.com/login to get into the system. \n\nIf you have questions, please email us at feedingbytes@gmail.com.\n\nWe will see you in the classroom!\n\nAdina and Natalia"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64c","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302768,"position":2,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# We cannot wait to meet you!\n\nGood day!\n\nOur first discussion question has been posted - \"We cannot wait to meet you!\". Please log in to tell us a little about yourself, what your biggest struggle is when feeding your toddler and what you hope to take away from the class. We will also participate!\n\nBest,\n\nNatalia and Adina"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64d","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302769,"position":3,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# 5 Typical Toddler Eating Behaviors\n\n[unpublished?]\n\nGood morning! Our first session has been posted. We are going to discuss typical toddler eating behaviors and red flags that may indicate a presence of a bigger feeding issue. See you in the classroom!\n\nNatalia and Adina"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64e","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302770,"position":4,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# How to get your child to eat, but not to much...\n\nHappy Tuesday! Our second session has been posted. This session is a lot more involved, but you will learn our feeding philosophy and how to respond to the typical toddler eating behaviors plus much more!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64f","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302771,"position":5,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Your child's move - your countermove\n\nGood morning,\n\nWe hope you had time to look over the materials on Division of Responsibility we posted yesterday. And thank you everyone who posted on the discussion board their reflections on the assignments: 1/eat what you eat as a family, 2/analyze your food record for structure and 3/phrases that help and phrases that hinder. We see great observations made by some parents and we hope that this mini analysis will help you see where you are doing an excellent feeding job and how you can improve your feeding relationship with your child.\n\nToday we are posting a list of exact things you say and do when you child tests the limits you set at mealtimes with the help of the Division of Responsibility. You will find answers to questions like: \"what if he asks me for food 15 minutes after a meal?\" OR \" what to do if he does not eat at mealtime?\". The printout labelled \"Your child's move, your countermove\" is posted in the Materials section of the class. \n\nWe are looking forward to more discussion around the topics of session 2 \"How to get your toddler to eat, but not too much\". Please feel free to share your successes, thoughts, fears, concerns and doubts. It does not take one day to adjust your feeding approach and we are here to help!\n\nStay tuned for video case studies we will be posting tomorrow - it is going to be a very fun and useful exercise. \n\nBest,\n\nNatalia and Adina"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e650","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302772,"position":6,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Did she really say that?\n\nHappy Thursday!\n\nToday we've added some video case studies of families eating together. We hope you will identify where the DOR has gone awry in each example. Watch Adina's intro video first. Then, after watching all 5 video case studies, join us in discussing what was most interesting to you in our Discussion section."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e651","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302773,"position":7,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Ways to include more variety\n\nWelcome to session 3 where we discuss how to introduce more variety in your child's diet. We hope you will find one to two ideas that will work for your family. As always, feel free to share with us what you found useful and what you are struggling with. We will see you in the discussion section!\n\nNatalia and Adina"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e652","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302774,"position":8,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Planning Balanced & Nutritious Meals\n\nSo far we've covered our feeding philosophy and you're becoming well acquainted with how to implement The Division of Responsibility as the foundation. Now it's time to look at the nuts and bolts of planning balanced and nutritious meals! Session 4 starts today and we'll address the basics of balanced meals as well as the basics of ... dairy, fiber, fat, iron, sugar, snacks and supplements. You'll also be able to see Before/After photos of some meals Adina's kids have eaten and meal records from her kids' eating. "},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e653","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302775,"position":9,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Your Child's Growth - A Good Indicator Whether Eating is Going OK\n\nHappy Tuesday everyone! \n\nWe cannot believe we are in the second week of our class already! Thank you for everyone who contributes to our discussion by asking questions and sharing experience. For those who did not have an opportunity to do so yet, please feel free to join the conversation in the discussion section of the class or send us an email to feedingbytes@gmail.com. \n\nOur yesterday's discussion topic is all about nutrients and supplements. If you have any question about the content of our yesterday's class, we are looking forward to your posts!\n\nToday's topic is growth and growth charts. We see many parents in our practices who are concerned about their child being too high or too low on growth charts and we thought it would be important to address these concerns. We also shared a few case studies to show how DOR can bring parents peace of mind and help stabilize a child's growth. \n\nEnjoy the session and have a great day!"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e654","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302776,"position":10,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Unsolicited feeding advice - what is a parent to do?\n\nToday we will share with you some ways to deal with pressure from friends and family who may not know about the Division of Responsibility in feeding. We included some talking points as well as exact phrases you can say to them. \n\nIn materials section you will find a fun \"From the cook\" manifesto that will look great in your kitchen and hopefully become a conversation starter with your family members, friends, nanny and your older kids. \n\nIn the discussion section we are talking about dealing with the outside pressure and other people's reaction to your feeding strategy. \n\nSince some of you could not see the case study videos on our tablets, we included a link below each of them that you can copy in your browser to see them. Please go to the \"Video Case Studies\" section on the left side menu to access them. Do not forget to ask questions and share your thoughts in the corresponding discussion section.\n\nThank you - we are looking forward to seeing you on the Feeding Bytes discussion board!\n\nNatalia and Adina"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e655","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302777,"position":11,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Research section open!\n\nSorry for multiple emails! \n\nI just wanted to add that we also opened our Research section (check the vertical menu on the left) where you can find some research articles on children's appetite regulation, different food parenting styles including authoritative parenting (aka Division of Responsibility) and other relevant to the class topics. \n\nFeel free to share these with your friends, relatives or anyone else who is curious or skeptical.\n\nHave a great day!\n\nNatalia"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e656","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302778,"position":12,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# Meal planning strategies & easy family meals\n\nHappy Thursday!\n\nToday is our last full session and the goal is to get you thinking about meal planning strategies and easy family meals. Please pop in to our discussion forum and ask your final burning questions too--we don't want anyone to leave this class without getting answers and finding something simple they can do to improve meal times at home with your toddler (and whole family!)."},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e657","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302779,"position":13,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# DOR in action - toddlers eating a family meal\n\nHappy Saturday everyone,\n\nAs our program is nearing the end, we are sharing with you a video demonstrating the Division of Responsibility in action. Many of you have achieved tremendous progress in feeding your little ones and are enjoying more pleasant mealtimes. Some are still working out the kinks and adjusting the mealtime strategies. \n\nWe hope you all will enjoy this little example of what DOR looks like from outside and share your comments and questions with us in the Discussion section, as always.\n\nBest,\n\nNatalia and Adina"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e658","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302780,"position":14,"parentId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e64a","content":"# The last day of class\n\nWe cannot believe today is the last day of our program Feed Your Toddler with Confidence. \n\nWe would like to thank you all for taking this journey with us!\n\nToday we are sharing with you some last announcements, a list of resources published in the Materials section of the class and link to the final survey--we love feedback and to thank you for your feedback we'll enter you in a drawing for an excellent book on feeding kids. \n\nCheck \"Last Day of Program:Wrap up\" on the left side menu to get access to these materials. \n\nHave a wonderful day and stay in touch!\n\nNatalia and Adina"},{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e659","treeId":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","seq":302781,"position":29,"parentId":null,"content":"# Change Log:\nRecord changes here. (Is this too cumbersome? Should we just \"get it done\"?)\n\n\n"}],"tree":{"_id":"53cc7537631acaa33c07e5b0","name":"Toddler Feeding Course Backup","publicUrl":"toddler-feeding-course-backup"}}