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Division of Responsibility in Feeding



As a Dietitian (and parent), I honestly feel like there is too little emphasis on HOW we feed our children, yet most parents struggle with meal time battles, and picky eating. Hearing of frustrated, and crying children at meal times (with frustrated parents to boot) breaks my heart.


Parents try to so hard to get their kids to eat anything at all, and often find themselves cooking several meals at a time, desperate to get their little one to eat SOMETHING! Or else, there's the classic run around and chase your kid with food, until they let you put a bite of food in their mouth. Let me introduce you to Ellyn Satter, a Registered Dietitian and Family Therapist, who coined the term "Division of Responsibility in Feeding" and wrote "Child of Mine: Feeding Your

Child with Love and Good Sense". This is a FANTASTIC book that will revolutionize the way you feed your family, and will help avoid/overcome meal time struggles. But I do have to warn- some of the nutrition recommendations such as what foods to introduce when starting solids are out of date - things have changed since the last published edition of 2000! In addition, the guidelines, proposed in this book may not be appropriate for some children with special health needs and concerns.

With the Division of Responsibility in Feeding, there are clear parents roles and there are clear child roles when it comes to feeding. Many issues arise when role delineation gets foggy- kids start demanding food, and parent(s) take on the role of deciding what is the "suitable" amount for their child to eat. This book, which I have read many times, brings us back to the basics of enjoying to eat once again, takes the pressure that we often put on ourselves as parents regarding how much, and of what our child eats, and emphasizes respectful feeding and competent eating. If you've ever uttered "You're not leaving until you finish your plate", or stressed because your kid is not eating her (fill in the blank), then this book is definitely for you!

This book guides you through feeding your healthy child from breastfeeding, to starting solids, to feeding a spirited toddler. There are lots of ways to get your hands on this book- you can buy it directly from the Ellyn Satter Institute, order it from Amazon, or borrow it free of charge from the BC Children and Women's Hospital Family Support and Resource Centre (they will ship it to you for free, you can keep it for up to 30 days, and they will even include the return postage!). But of course, if you're feeling stuck, worried about your child's intake, or just can't handle meal time battles anymore - then don't hesitate to be in touch! We can get work together to get your family on track to supporting your child to become a happy and competent eater!


Happy Reading! Let me know what you think!

~Brigitte McRae, RD

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