Here's To A Boring Year

Too much excitement just might kill me!

What now, Ellyn Satter?

Like half the mummy-bloggers on the interwebs, I’ve read Ellyn Satter’s <em>Child of Mine</em>, and I agree with and try to practice the principles laid out in her book. We fell off the path of set meal and snack times when Monkey was having chemo, and we’ve never really got back to that, but we try to offer a range of foods at each meal and let him eat as much or little as he wants. Sometimes that means cottage cheese, cornflakes and banana, sometimes cookies and milk.

But this weekend we went away with a large group of people, and my faith in Monkey’s ability to know how much he needs to eat took a bit of a hit. Saturday night, in the excitement of a large social meal, he ate a bite from his uncle’s plate, a bite from Grandpa, and on and on. And then he spewed.

Part of me thinks I should have tried to step in and limit how much he was eating once it became apparent that he was getting carried away, although I’m sure that would have resulted in a tantrum, and may have been too late in any case.

Another part thinks that maybe this is just part of learning when enough is enough. I can remember doing the same a time or two growing up, and it taught me just how uncomfortable it is to eat too much.

I don’t want to become the kind of parent that is continually policing their child’s intake. I try hard never to refer to a food as being good or bad, and I feel strongly that food should never be used as a reward or a punishment. But is it wrong to let him eat so much that he makes himself sick?

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4 comments on “What now, Ellyn Satter?

  1. bionicbrooklynite
    April 28, 2013

    I was such a Satter fan until our Bean got to the age of food. I am still a fan of hers, theoretically, but it just doesn’t work in our house, for the opposite of the problem you cite here. Left to his own, incredibly picky devices, the Bean will absolutely fail to eat enough to allow himself to sleep more than an hour or two a night, and he will do so repeatedly. Am I just supposed to not care about that? No idea, because I very much do care. And so, farewell to Satter, at least for now; see you later perhaps. For now, we do everything “they” say will make your child obese (high-calorie foods, tv, lots of urging) because, well, that’s not much of a concern with this kid, and starving himself into a weepy haze and a sleepless night is a much more pressing issue.

    • boringyear
      April 28, 2013

      Monkey’s nutritionist encouraged high calorie (and specifically high fat) foods while he was having chemo. And he just wasn’t interested in stuff we tried to add fat to. And yes we started urging and lost the set meals, so I can totally understand what it must be like with a child who doesn’t eat!

  2. glumbunny
    April 28, 2013

    Oh my! I struggle with the do I reeeeeeeeeally just let the child keep eating?????? principle, as well as really, NO LIMIT on sweets!??!?! but the basic plan has worked so well for our family that I try to keep the faith. That said, it also seems clear that some elements don’t work for some families, and it’s not like it’s THE LAW. Ultimately you do what makes sense to you. This is what I tell myself, anyway.

    • boringyear
      April 29, 2013

      Except from the spewing it has worked really well for us too (so far). Monkey frequently chooses cucumber over chips and cheese over ice cream. I wonder if that will last as he grows up though.

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This entry was posted on April 28, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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