So, I was ecstatic to see on Amazon that she is releasing a new book shortly called, Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: Orchestrating and Enjoying the Family Meal. If it’s anything like her previous books, this will be well worth its weight in gold!
Her book, Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, just makes sense. It’s concisely written for us harried Moms in a very logical and encouraging manner. I truly felt empowered after reading it and was armed with some terrific tools to bring to the table so to speak! Her premise is so simple (aren’t most things that work). Feeding is a shared responsibility, not one of standing over the table pleading for “three more bites” or short order cooking like Mel’s Diner. “Parents are responsible for the what, when, and where of feeding”; children are responsible for the how much and whether of eating.” This helps to eliminate the veritable minefield the dinner table can become. Toddlerhood is all about control and this effectively ends those unnecessary battle of wills.
Some great ideas I took away are: serving meals family style and letting kids serve their own portions. In our society now of “Super Size It”, we’ve really lost the concept of portion control, and toddlers/preschoolers have the right instincts about how much they need nutritionally. We need to show more trust in that. She did a study tracking all the various bites & tiny portions kids eat, and averaging them out over say a week or so, they are in general getting the foods they need. The book refreshes for us parents just how small a child’s portion really is.
Overall, this book has helped us to create a much better family meal experience with the Pearls. And, while they’re not always the best eaters and prone go through various phases like all kids, we have much better habits as parents now, as a result of Ellyn Satter’s writing.
Lastly, an interesting parallel to her book was a topic we discussed at Weight Watchers last week. It was about how our new eating styles have affected those around us. Have our family members tried things they wouldn’t otherwise as a result of us? I had to say a resounding yes that the Pearls have been impacted in a good way as I now watch them enjoy hummus with carrots, edamame, and lots of other new foods we’ve been introducing on a regular basis. My hope is that they will grow up with healthy attitudes towards food and be successful in maintaining a healthy weight.