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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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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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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A Simple Plan: Getting Kids to the Table and Away from the TV

Jul 14, 2010 by

Today I met Sharon, who told me how she got her grand-daughter to quit eating in front of the TV and start eating dinner and having pleasant conversation with them instead.

Sharon’s daughter, Emily, a single mom of five-year-old Katie, lives next door. Katie had gotten in the habit of eating dinner at a table by herself in front of the TV.

“She doesn’t know what she’s eating, or how much,” Sharon told her daughter.

So the grandparents got involved. They made dinner, set the table, and invited Emily and Katie to have dinner with them every night for a while.

They told Katie that they were going to have dinner together and share stories about their day.

Katie had no resistance to the new plan.

In fact, after a little while, Katie would come bursting in before the meal started to tell her story, and they would tell her, “Wait, we are setting the…

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How to get kids to eat at the table, Part III

Apr 6, 2010 by

Answering a reader’s question about how to stop children’s complaining, playing around and dawdling at the dinner table.

Lindsey,

I have some more thoughts on the question.

I think you need a bit less nonchalance about your son’s behavior and a bit more nonchalance—masterly inactivity, a purposeful leaving alone—about the eating itself.

I suggest laying down the law on behavior at the table: we do not come to the table and complain. Nor do we play around and dawdle. I’m sure you don’t want him to get in the habit of fussing and whining and being disagreeable. I know you would not like him to go to someone else’s house and express himself that way. Or treat his wife that way someday. You son needs to be taught that if he wants to eat dinner with the family, he has to be polite.  I’m sure he will decide that, yes, he…

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