‘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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Foundations of Appetite Training: 12 Ways children learn to like or dislike healthy eating

Oct 18, 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

Marissa and Jeremy were each born with an appetite — thank goodness! How else would we get babies to eat and thereby stay alive? Each baby cried for milk every few hours and latched on eagerly anytime they got something in their mouths, especially if it turned out to involve milk. They each certainly had a taste for what’s good for them. Each baby thrived.

As Marissa got older, she kept wanting the foods that were good for her. She would eat vegetables, fruit, fish, anything that came her way.

Jeremy, however, though he also kept getting hungry, developed the taste for french fries…

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Mom’s Best New Year’s Food Resolution . . .

Dec 28, 2010 by

. . . and the Top Ten Eating Problems It Will Solve

ARE YOU overwhelmed with the number of things you feel you should change or wish could change at your house starting January 1, 2011? Do you feel hopeless about getting your kids to eat healthier?

What if there were one simple new year’s resolution that you could make that would simplify your life and eliminate several problems at once in a powerful ripple effect?

If you are looking for just one simple way to improve the eating situation at your house, the place to start is…

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How to force children to eat dinner

Dec 20, 2010 by

Many cards and letters have come in asking whether or not children should be forced to eat their dinner.

The short answer is that of course children should be forced to eat their dinner.

The long answer is that they should be forced indirectly, not directly. We need to gently and in all cheerfulness block off all other means of eating and therefore, of survival, so that a child is forced to eat dinner in order to survive. It sounds more brutal than it need be.

The examples of two different little girls will illustrate:

When little Meredith, who is human and growing and therefore tends to find herself hungry every day, wants to eat, she eats. She…

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Why some kids in England ate at school but not at home

Nov 12, 2010 by

An English mom, Donna Lovett of Norwich, recently started her “fussy” son, Connor, on school lunches, sure that he wouldn’t eat a thing. She was surprised to see that he loved the school food. He even got into fish and vegetables, she noted. It’s opened the way to serving foods at home she didn’t think were “possible” before.

recent report from The Food Trust in England has revealed that four out of five kids who ate school lunches there started trying new foods at school that they would never have eaten at home. Half of those children also asked their parents to make some of the dishes that they’d tried at school.

This study came out to encourage parents to have their kids eat at the school cafeteria, following an earlier study that revealed that many parents were packing unhealthy lunches for their children, “because they worry that they…

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Six ways to orchestrate kids' desire to eat what you want them to eat, Part II

Aug 5, 2010 by

This post continues from Six ways to orchestrate kids’ desire to eat what you want them to eat, Part I

Four: Keep them from eating: be out doing something fun. Distract them from eating at times you don’t want them to eat. Take them to the park, the library, anywhere where it will be easy enough to keep them away from food.

Then have a meal prepared ahead of time to serve upon arrival, and they will be too hungry to turn it down.

Marlena’s kids would be foraging in the kitchen all afternoon, after not really eating lunch.  So they would spoil their appetite for dinner, thus perpetuating the cycle. They would need a “second dinner” before bedtime, after refusing dinner, in order to stay asleep all night. She decided the only way to stop them would be to get them out of the house.

I know you can’t…

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