• Christie

Pediatric Nutrition Lesson 1

The Feeding Relationship -


This is one of those things you wished they put in the “Kid Manual” that you get when you leave the hospital with your little one. Did you know us parents have jobs when it comes to feeding and the kids have their own jobs? This is called The Division of Responsibility in Feeding, a concept created by feeding expert, Ellyn Satter. This is a cornerstone of Pediatric Nutrition.



It can be a little tricky to wrap your head (and heart around) the first time you hear about it.


First, learn your jobs as the adult (they are BIG jobs):

-decide WHAT food to offer

-decide WHEN to serve it

-decide WHERE to eat it


Now start to gain an appreciation for what your child can do here:

-decide HOW MUCH to eat

-or whether to eat


To begin to see how this works, let’s play a little game of “opposite land.” Give your toddler or even your teen the adult jobs. What would a 5 year old decide to make for dinner? Froot Loops for everyone! Or a teen - When are they going to eat? Where would they sit to eat it? You can imagine meals would start to get a little cray cray!


Now you take over the child's job. You have to make your kid eat. What would that look like? What would that feel like for them? How would you actually do that?




For the next little bit as you consider this concept, just pay attention to meals, snacks and food choices in your house. When do the roles get reversed? When you start doing the child's job and they start doing yours...how does it go?






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