Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Another paper-nutrition this time

Posting my papers is pretty easy, and most of them are about things that really interest me. This paper is concerning an article that I had to read for my nutrition class. It is about how to feed yoru children, soemthing that I think many parents struggle with, and its something that I will be reading when I have children of my own. I would have liked to make the paper longer, but there were restrictions concerning length and content. Let me know if you would like to know more about it, I thought the entire thing was very interesting.

There are many parents across the country that have the same questions you do. They want to know how to feed their children, when it should be done, and what is best for them to eat. This can be done through the “Division of Responsibility”, which clearly outlines the tasks that parents and children should each follow to make eating a positive experience for all.
Division of Responsibility
As a parent your responsibilities are going to be much easier than you might imagine. You are responsible for choosing what your children eat, where they eat it, and when they eat it. You should not “short order cook” for your children, but don’t make their task of eating impossible by serving a meal of lima beans and meatloaf and a bitter fruit. Children need at least one food that is negotiable and easy for them to recognize and like. Bread is your best bet for this, as it is soft and chewy, as well as having a taste that most everyone can love. Sit down as a family and eat your meals, don’t rush through them or eat in front of the television. Talk to your child, but don’t make him the subject of the entire meal. It is important to teach him how to eat but don’t pressure him about what he eats. Respectable table manners are a must for individuals of all ages, and it is important that children learn what is expected of them at a young age.
Before you can accept your own responsibilities you need to realize that your children will eat. We are all born with instinctive drives concerning food and eating. Your child has the ability within himself to eat the right amount of food today to account for what he ate on previous days. Offer him a variety of food; though it may take him some time to adjust his palate to the sensation of these new foods, over time he will accept and even come to appreciate this new source of nutrition. Many parents push or restrict their child concerning what is being consumed, but it is up to you as a parent to accept that your child’s body has a specific genetic code determining how fat, short, thin, or tall he is. Pushing a seemingly heavy child to eat will only cause them to reject the food when you serve it, and secretly make up for it at a later time. Young children should not be taught to take on the adult views of what is or what isn’t a healthy body, they do not have the maturity nor the capacity to understand the terms healthy or unhealthy and it is important to let their bodies tell them what is or isn’t right concerning eating. Let a child decide for himself how much he should eat at each meal, he is obeying those natural hunger signals that are built within each of us.
Basis for Recommendations
The Division of Responsibility was devised by Ellyn Satter, MS RD LCSW BCD. She is an internationally recognized authority with 40 years of experience behind her. Her methods emphasize an individuals own aptitude for proper food behavior to develop.
Personal Experience
I see the contrast of this method in two of my Aunts, both my mother’s sisters. One short-order cooked, fed her child whenever he desired, and bought high-fat or high-sugar foods. She is dealing with an overweight, always snacking, unhappy child. My other Aunt fed her kids regularly scheduled meals, always healthy yet familiar, and kept nutritious snacks on hand for her kids to find for themselves if they were hungry throughout the day. She also kept all of the “unhealthy” foods locked up in a cupboard reserved for special occasions. Her children today are very healthy and active, with a positive relationships towards food and its benefits.
Over time, though the changes may be slow, you will see your child start to take on a naturally healthy view towards nutrition and you will find it is easier to provide them with the food and let them decide what they want to eat when they want to eat it.

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