Happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but this whole starting school thing has got me a little stressed out. Big A goes to school at 7:45 — early for us. We’ve been taking turns driving her, and letting Little D sleep in. Every week she brings home a list full of things for us to do, homework and future activities we need to take note of.
But we seem to be falling into a routine and figuring it all out. Anyone with new kindergartners out there? How’s the transition going?
Trying some new stuff this week including this easy and tasty chicken and pita pizzas. For more meal planning ideas see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking This Week
Monday: Shrimp tacos with black beans and all the toppings.
Tuesday: Gnocchi with White Beans, big salad and bread
Wednesday: Kids’ Choice
Thursday: World’s Best Chicken, roasted broccoli, baked fries and fruit
Friday: Greek Pita Pizzas with a salad (will likely make a couple regular pizzas with it).
More Family Recipes from Cooking Light
Complaining About Food
I’ve noticed Big A complaining about food lately. For example, we were having cereal most days when she started school because it’s easy and we were getting used to the routine. Before this we had a rotation set — cereal and fruit on Monday, French toast on Tuesday etc. So by the end of the first week, I decided to make French toast.
And guess who wasn’t happy?
“I want cereal!” she cried (and repeated) in full tantrum style. I know this girl’s favorite food is cereal, and she gets it about 3 times a week, but these fits were starting to happen more lately (and not just with food) — and they had to stop.
So after her breakfast rebellion, I asked her to go to her room for a time out. In our house we make it clear that time outs aren’t bad but time for a break. Five minutes later I went in and we had a talk.
Me: “I understand that you want cereal but I decide what we eat — and you get to choose whether or not to eat it. You can ask for what you want, and if I say no I will always tell you why, but you have to accept the answer. You are not using your manners when you complain about food like that. ”
Her: “But I love cereal!”
Me: “I know you do, and you’ll get it again soon. But it is inappropriate behavior to react like that when someone serves food to you. If you don’t want to eat it, just say ‘no, thank you.’ As always, there will be fruit at the table too. The next time you react like that, it’ll be an automatic time out. I’ll be sure to remind you.”
Her: “You mean I won’t get to eat?”
Me: “No, I would never withhold food from you but you’ll be asked to think about your behavior again.”
Her: “Okay” (and ended up eating 2 slices of French toast with gusto).
My husband and I often say that Big A will likely go into sales as she works very hard to get what she wants (what the business world calls “getting to yes”). I know that being consistent with feeding has helped tremendously and hopefully we nipped this new behavior in the bud.
Anyone else dealing with complaining kids?
News — Studies that Caught My Eye (Organic and DOR)
I’m sure you’ve heard about the big organic study comparing the health benefits of organic to conventional. In this WebMD post, I discuss key points of the study and mistakes people make when choosing organic.
Another important study was published in the September issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. The study involved 62 families with a child between 2 and 4 years and at least one parent who is overweight or obese.
Half of the subjects were instructed to follow Satter’s Division of Responsibility of Feeding (DOR), where parents structure meals and snacks and decide what is being served, while letting children decide whether and how much to eat (no interference with eating). The other group followed the “We Can” program, which focuses on increasing healthy foods (fruits and vegetables), decreasing fat and sweetened beverages, and increasing family exercise while decreasing TV and computer time.
Satter’s division of responsibility (DOR) intervention was more effective in reducing parental pressure to eat and restrictive feeding in girls than the control group. In a nutshell: those in the promotion of healthy eating group were more likely to use pressure and restriction.
Why does this matter? Restrictive and prompting (trying to get kids to eat) feeding practices have been linked to excess weight in children. Most researchers believe this is due to the child’s resulting poor internal regulation of food. Studies also show that when children are pressured to eat a healthy food, their preference for it declines over time.
The researchers state: “there is evidence that promoting consumption of healthy foods led to decrements in positive feeding practices. This may arise from parent’s pressuring their children to eat healthy foods.”
I think this is very important for parents to understand. All of the solutions to obesity focus on what children are fed, but often miss out on the how. Both are powerful, especially when combined together. But when we make it only about “getting children to eat healthy,” it’s too easy to compromise on how we feed them.
This was the key impetus for writing Fearless Feeding — bringing all the aspects of feeding together, including child development (which explains a lot about why children eat the way they do).
I also think DOR is misunderstood. So many think it means doing nothing, but the truth is it’s very hard for parents not to interfere with their child’s eating and commit to providing regular (balanced) meals and snacks.
In my story above, Big A was trying to take over my job of feeding and I wouldn’t let her. And I keep my end of the bargain, and don’t interfere with her eating once the food is on the table.
Have you found it hard to follow DOR when feeding your child?