How Much Do You Care about Your Kids' Eating? How Much is Too Much?

Oct 24, 2011 by

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In the mid-90s TV show My So-Called Life, a baby-faced Claire Danes plays Angela Chase, an emo teenager.

About four minutes into the pilot episode, the scene opens with Angela’s sigh, and an arial view of her plate of peas with mashed potatoes and gravy and meatloaf being pushed around by her fork.

“I cannot bring myself to eat a well balanced meal in front of my  mother,” says Angela in a voice-over. “It just means too much to her,”.

An old Zits comic strip uses the identical statement to illustrate the same kid attitude.

Jeremy is earnestly confiding in his best friend, Hector, how he…

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‘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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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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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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