Feeding Children: Health versus Freedom? Part 2: The Solution: Family Style Meals

In Part 1 on feeding children, I described some problems that developed with feeding my 3 year old: He only wanted milk and starchy items; some health problems resulted from this; and he didn’t want to eat at dinner time, leading to wanting to eat after being put in bed. I abandoned all pressure tactics (which amounted to just one in the morning) and got to reading to learn about theories on how to present food to children and learn more about proper nutrition for children.

Based on Amazon reviews I read Help Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating. I wouldn’t call my son’s case “extreme,” but it was the most well reviewed book on the topic. This book advocates serving food family style, where all food is put in the center of the table and each person can serve themselves. This, family style meals, single handedly changed everything related to food for our family, for the better.

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Feeding Children: Health versus Freedom? Part One: The Problem

I had promised myself I would never blog about eating. It’s so controversial. There are so many competing diets and theories on nutrition right now. It is also a surefire way to start mommy wars. In an effort to keep this blog positive, I thought it was best to stay away.

But, when my 3 year old developed issues directly related to eating and drinking habits, I knew it was time to throw myself into learning about pediatric nutrition.

My 3 year old developed some potty issues. I made a promise to him that I would not share such intimate details with the world, so I will keep the details of it to but one realization and one recommendation. The realization: My son was not getting enough liquids in his diet. The recommendation: Read the book It’s No Accident before you ever start potty training and certainly if you have any potty issues. This book recommends to potty train closer to 3 years old, watch for signs of problems (which is why you need to read it before potty training), and to eat a diet high in fiber and with lots of water.

Otherwise, our eating situation was not terrible, but my son only really liked to eat Cheerios, peanut butter sandwiches, and drink milk. He did eat fruit popsicles and roasted chick peas pretty happily and even chicken, beef, and salmon on occasion, depending on how they were served. I worried about how his diet contributed to his health problems and what a proper diet even was–beyond just the obvious that cookies, chips, cakes, and colas were bad.

The other problem we encountered is he never wanted to eat at dinner time, then wanted to eat after being put to bed. Yes, after a full day of being a mom to 2 kids, when you are supposed to finally be “done” for the night, it is completely irritating to be sitting at a table watching a 3 year old eat.  I took and take full responsibility for all of it, but better solutions had to exist.

So, all of this “inspired” me (more like “threw me in based on worry and panic”) to read as much as I could on pediatric nutrition and health.

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