Review of Food Chaining, Part II

Nov 28, 2012 by

Food Chaining: The Proven 6-Step Plan to Stop Picky Eating, Solve Feeding Problems, and Expand Your Child’s Diet, by Cheri Fraker, et al.

“Children are not pets to be trained.”

— Alfie Kohn in Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

Food Chaining has a lot of great information in it. It offers parents in-depth understanding of the serious reasons some children refuse to eat. It also offers a logical plan to increase the range of foods even the pickiest eaters will eat. It has a great section about teaching kids on the autism spectrum about food. It’s all about figuring out WHY a child is refusing food and understanding what the child needs to improve her eating.

Then, in a section called “Positive Reinforcement at the Table,” the authors advise us to ignore children completely whenever they won’t eat or they misbehave at the table. When…

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How to use the Push Pull Principle on a food-throwing toddler

Sep 24, 2012 by

My friend Elaine has an adorable 17-month old, Wade. Every meal, Wade always starts throwing food once he’s eaten. As soon as he no longer needs it as food, he turns it into a toy. It’s a normal stage for a baby. A one-year-old discovers that he can throw food and enjoy doing so. But it’s been going on for awhile and Elaine doesn’t know what to do about it. She scolds him, but he doesn’t let that bother him.

I asked her if she took the food away from him when he did it.

“I don’t want to take the food away,” she said, “because I’m afraid he’s not done eating.”

That fear is the crux of the matter and so it continues.

Mom is the only one who’s afraid here. Wade has no concerns at all. He’s in charge and he knows it. He likes throwing food and he likes having…

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Parenting’s no longer fun: bringing up bébé to be picky AND tiresome

Aug 9, 2012 by

Research has revealed that American moms find being around their own children twice as disagreeable as French mothers do.

We Americans would rather do housework than tend our own little darlings, according to Pamela Druckerman in her recent Wall Street Journal article “Why French Parents are Superior.”

We parents would do well to remember that how we feel dealing with our kids is probably about how other people will feel dealing with them, just without our maternal or paternal affection.

To rub more salt in the misery, being self-sacrificially wretched for the sake of our children is no guarantee things are going right. Rather, probably the opposite.

Out of control while over-controlled

Marlena’s kids screamed like banshees, unchallenged, for what they wanted. They also snacked, unrestricted, on junk food all day long. But when it came time for dinner, Mom hovered, micro managed and pressured them over every bite, while they resisted.

“Two bites…

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Dinner Table Showdown: Hunger Games with Picky Eaters

Jun 23, 2012 by

Beth, mom of an eight-year-old and a six-year-old, wrote me with the suggestion that maybe moms of picky kids should simply offer them a “healthy” alternative, like pasta, whenever they don’t want what’s served. Good idea, right?

“I don’t want them to have to eat things they seriously don’t care for,” she said, noting that her kids don’t have medical, developmental or sensory processing issues or other such real problems. They just aren’t crazy about certain textures. Or probably, they just would rather have pasta than what’s served sometimes.

Thus far, I agree that no one should have to eat anything against his will.

“That being said,” Beth admits, “it upsets me that I have to make separate meals for them. It means we eat at different times and eat different things. 

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How to Get the Picky Eater to Eat: in the Woods or in the Pasture?

Mar 2, 2012 by

 

Getting kids motivated to eat is a lot like getting sheep to eat.

If sheep are allowed to run free in the woods, they are in danger. When they get hungry there, they will probably eat something harmful instead of the right things. Not much good grass in the woods.

The sheep might even fall in a hole or off a cliff, or be terrorized by a rushing stream. They could be eaten by a wolf, run over by a car, or shot by a hunter.

So the shepherd watches over the sheep and places them within limits. The shepherd selects the best pasture of green grass he can find, and builds a fence around it. He gently lures his sheep…

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Eating Power Struggles with Kids: Why they’re useless and how to end them

Jul 22, 2010 by

Marlena’s children weren’t good eaters; instead, they were screamers.

Marlena tried to control their eating. It didn’t work very well. At all. Instead, they controlled her and got their own way by screaming and refusing to eat.

Four-year-old Walker was surviving mainly on bean-and-cheese tacos. If he didn’t like what was for dinner (which was most of the time), he’d go to bed hungry and wake up in the night screaming for food. So his mom had started feeding him right before bed, a “second dinner,” of whatever food he wanted, to get him to stay asleep so they all could sleep.

When two-year-old Jennifer didn’t get her way, she screamed. Her parents would scramble to make her happy to end the screaming.

Marlena’s action plan was…

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