How to encourage your child to be a competent eater?
You decide what, when and where food is eaten.
Your child decides how much, and whether food is eaten.
This is the crux of Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding. Research shows that when parents follow this method, children become competent eaters who have good nutritional status, good food intake regulation and who grow well.
The parent takes the lead by:
- Choosing and preparing food
- Having regular meals and snacks (together as a family when possible)
- Making eating time pleasant and enjoyable
- Being a role model for how to behave and engage with food
- Giving autonomy to the child to decide how much to eat (with no coercion, forcing or bribery)
- Trusting the child’s internal food regulation process.
For children who are picky eaters, a Registered Dietitian can advise on how to apply these principles to promote eating competence. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.