Thursday, January 14, 2010

This was Timely

I've been doing some thinking on what to do with Justin and some of his pickiness with eating.

This post I thought timely.

Divisions of Parent-Child Responsibilities When it Comes to Eating:

Parent's responsibilities:
  • Respect the child's ability to know when he is hungry and full.
  • Make sure to serve small, child-sized portions
  • Prepare and serve healthy meals and snacks
  • Set regular meal and snack times
As the parent, you decide:
  • What food will be given (making sure it is nutritious)
  • When it will be given (making sure it is provided every few hours)
  • Mealtime rules and where food will be given
The child decides:
  • What, out of what is given, he or she will eat
  • How much, out of what is given, he or she will eat


Jeremy Pierce said...

I thought this was a bit harsh, but then I read the post you linked to, and it does go on to say that you should always have some food you know the child likes. I was going to say that serving only liver and onions when you know your child hates that strikes me as intentionally starving your child, and saying you offered them food would merely be a bad excuse, because you knew full well they wouldn't touch it.

None of this would make sense with a child with severe sensory issues due to autism, which is true of one of ours. If he's going to eat at all (at least remotely healthily) we need to offer him several options before he can find something that fits his at-the-moment sensory state. The trick is figuring out when it's a genuine biological issue that isn't caused by mere behavioral resistance to something (e.g. when he just wants candy and refuses all else) or when he's really got a biological sensory need for something or a neurological basis for resisting a certain food. That's not always easy to detect.

Annette said...

Jeremy, having worked with special needs folks for a long time, and living with a hubby who can't eat stuff based on how it feels in his mouth, I totally understand this.

My boy is a bit of a mix between me (who will eat most anything unless it's spicy/hot) and my hubby (fussier on what he can handle/eat).

BUT he'd rather play than eat.
He'd rather eat cake than healthy food. There are some things that just feel wrong in his mouth (aka boiled eggs).

So I chose a long time ago to not fight with him about food, but it was getting to a point where meal times were taking more than an hour (for him) and chocolate sprinkle sandwiches were becoming about the only thing he really wanted to eat (other than unhealthy food).

Being at an age where rules are important we changed a few things and this article helped. :)