Question from a reader: How long do children need for meals?

Mar 21, 2014 by

“Is it best to allot 30 minutes for kiddos to eat, an hour, 90 minutes? I feel like anything over 30-40 minutes just seems excessive and more frustrating for the adults. At about 20 minutes today, it was obvious the kids were done eating what was on their plates.” – Laurel

Thanks for your question, Laurel!  As usual, I have plenty to say. Sometimes parents or caretakers of picky eaters make children sit at the table until they eat a certain amount. Not very effective, I dare say. Making children sit there for a certain amount of time just because you think they should sit there, even if they are not eating, is no better. The ideal is to engage children in enjoyable conversation at the table, regardless of their ages.  If you create a pleasant atmosphere at the table, children will enjoy being with adults at the table. As…

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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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Dinner Table Lessons from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Apr 30, 2010 by

“Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution?” the moms I coach in getting their kids to eat have been asking me. I finally pulled it up on the web and watched every episode all at once this week.

If I were in Oliver’s place, there are a couple of things I would have done differently (and many not as well), but I admire what he’s done. The more this kind of thing is broadcast, the better, I figure. Oliver encourages us to provide kids with better food. He appeals to our emotions about its importance, and shows us how it’s possible and enjoyable to cook and eat better food. We also see kids perfectly able to enjoy real, from-scratch food.

One of the best moments of the show for us parents to see is when Oliver demonstrates the…

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New Sacred Appetite discussion/support group starting next week

Feb 10, 2010 by

ARE YOU hoping to get better results this year as you try to get your children to eat more healthfully, without turning the dinner table into a battle ground? Anna Migeon, author of the blog “Sacred Appetite” and mom of two teens who have always eaten anything put on the table, from cow tongue and liver to tofu and turnips, with never an argument (well, once there was an argument), is starting a free discussion /support in her home in San Antonio, where one in three kids is obese. Starting Feb. 19, she’ll share her successful techniques for raising kids who eat absolutely everything. Topics to be included:

· Key common mistakes to avoid if you want your child to eat healthfully now and for life.

· Masterly Inactivity,” or how…

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The habit of paying attention (or not) and the role of eating in forming it (or not)

Dec 4, 2009 by

Would you say your child is usually:

• Focused on what she is supposed to be doing at any given moment?

• Fully present or mind elsewhere?

• Interested in what you or teachers present to him?

• Bored and disengaged by school work or healthy meals?

• Easily distracted and has difficulty in paying attention?

• Ready to do what it’s time to do?

Maybe it’s not just those preservatives and food additives that are causing attention deficit in kids. Whether you child generally pays attention and is interested in what’s going on or whether instead he is habitually inattentive and bored can be largely a matter of training and habit. Functioning in a continual state of distraction instead of focus can be the result of conditioning.

It depends on a few simple differences in tactics, including at the dinner table.

In what ways are we building the habit of not paying attention in our children through…

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