‘Duty Made Lovely’: How to Train a Child’s Appetite

Oct 21, 2011 by

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L’appetit est la conscience du corps (The appetite is the conscience of the body).

— Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.

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When my children were about six and eight, we listened to the original Pollyanna story on tape. Unlike the caricature of Pollyanna as a ridiculously blind optimist, we found the real Pollyanna to be charming and delightful. I was surprised and pleased to find that she managed to inspire us and stir our hearts by her sweetness. “We can be glad of that!” she would say. We still quote her, 14 years later. We all loved Pollyanna and her story.

Pollyanna and many other literary or real-life heroes are perfect examples of what educational reformer Charlotte Mason (1846-1923) called “duty…

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The Best Way to a Kid’s Stomach is Through the Heart: How to Use Kids’ Emotions to Form or Deform the Appetite

Oct 10, 2011 by

“L’appetit est la conscience du corps.”  (The appetite is the conscience of the body)

— Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo

If “the appetite is the conscience of the body,” a child’s appetite is, in theory, able to lead him to eat what is good and avoid what is bad.

The problem is that kids are born with raw, unformed appetites along with immature, uninstructed consciences.

A child “is born to love the good and to hate the evil, but he has no real knowledge of what is good and what is evil, . . . but yields himself to the steering of others,”  states educational reformer Charlotte Mason.

Kids are…

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Another Bad Tip for Feeding the Hypersensitive, Orally Defensive or Sensory Processing Disordered Child

Nov 30, 2010 by

In my last post, we looked at Amy, one of those children generally considered to be on the autism spectrum, with neurological and physiological causes for being a picky eater.   Amy was diagnosed as “hypersensitive to oral input” or “orally defensive.”

Such children should be under the supervision of a doctor to make sure that their nutritional needs are met. But as with all children who resist eating, the family dynamics and relationship around eating can either aggravate the problems, or ease them.

Amy’s parents do their best to get her to eat. Most recommendations they’ve been given for getting their hypersensitive child to eat involve various forms of pressure and urging. The more desperate they are to get her to…

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Three Bad Tips for Feeding Hypersensitive, Orally Defensive or Sensory Processing Disordered Children

Nov 23, 2010 by

Amy, age 8, will only eat a few things: little beyond a certain brand of macaroni and cheese, bean and cheese tacos, very smooth mashed potatoes and apple sauce put through the blender again.

As a baby Amy had trouble sucking. She grew slowly. She finds most foods too salty, spicy, lumpy or gritty, or even too hot or cold. She abhors all toothpaste. Once she threw up when she licked a sticker. She screams at the dentist. If she tries something she can’t swallow, it triggers a higher level of resistance, even to what she would normally eat.

Diagnosed as “hypersensitive to oral input,”  or “orally defensive,” Amy isn’t your run-of the-mill picky eater. It’s not her parents’ fault. It’s not all in her…

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Interview with Paul Gratkowski: Picky eater grows up to go from obesity to fitness, learning to like veggies along the way

Nov 4, 2010 by

This year will be the third year in a row that Paul Gratkowski, 44, will bike over 10,000 miles.  Today, he’s obviously in great shape. He also now loves eating healthy. But Paul grew up as a picky eater, and ten years ago, he was “on the road to an early grave,” as his doctor told him.

He started out young, biking a lot, and made some epic bike trips in his 20s, including going from Los Angles to Boston in 42 days, averaging 82 miles a day. But he couldn’t keep it up once he hit his 30s.

“I had to come to terms with the fact that my body would not allow me to continue to smoke and drink and to eat poorly, and to exercise at that level,” he said. “The booze, bad food, and cigarettes took over and I ballooned up to just under 300 pounds.”

I asked…

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11 Ways to Raise a Picky Eater

Oct 22, 2010 by

1.  Don’t expect kids to enjoy health-giving, real foods.

2.  Feed them kid food: specially manufactured edibles designed for kids–baby food in a jar or packaged finger foods made for children, instead of real, whole foods. It’s easy, and, like cat food, the flavors are technologically designed to be accepted by kids.  Children are sure to eat them. Also, those edibles get babies used to artificial flavors and sugar early and increases their changes of rejecting real food.

3.  Make one meal for the adults and another for children, because kids don’t like what adults will eat. Stick to the foods kids are generally known to eat, like chicken nuggets, hotdogs, pizza and french fries.

4.  Give children rewards for eating.

5.  Micromanage their eating. If they want more meat, make…

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