[Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: eating

From: Arlynn Liebster <abfab_at_abfabinc.com>
Date: Tue Dec 13 23:47:00 2005

For a 6 yo child to be eating so much candy/sugar that it is getting
overweight is in my opinion that there is a greater dynamic happening in
that family than just some ill informed people giving the child candy. What
has happened to the child's internal regulation of when to stop eating upon
fullness? What has happened to the child's innate ability to determine
healthful foods vs. occasional sweet treats? That family needs to look
particularly close at their issues with respecting their dd's internal
controls and stop imposing external controls on her. Imposing external
controls on a child's eating can start in early infancy and is always
detrimental to the child. It teaches the child to *ignore* their own
internal signals of fullness and wellness and to rely on external factors
such as parents forcing food on them and parents imposing when the child is
allowed to eat and when the child is not (it's not dinner time, no you are
not allowed to eat an apple now it will spoil your appetite). In this
example, the apple is a healthful food and the child is hungry *now*. Why
not respect the child and allow her to decide when to eat based on her
internal nutritional needs? I am suggesting that her proper internal
controls were ignored by her food providers by either forcing another ounce
of formula (to finish the bottle) or cajolling her into eating one last bite
(b/c the jar of baby food wasn't finished and it would be a shame to waste
it) or witholding food as punishment for some imagined household
crime/breaking a rule (you go to bed without your supper for breaking mom's
vase), stuff like that disrespected her as an infant/toddler and now she has
no external control on her eating b/c her parents are not always in the
vicinity to stop her food intake and no internal control on her eating b/c
she was taught to completely ignore it. It is important to somehow get that
*respect* back into her for her own fullness (so she does not overeat) and
that has to start with the parents b/c that's where the disrespect started

My son at 2 yo will always choose an organic apple (peeled and cored and cut
up for him) over an overprocessed white flour hydrogenated oil containing
cookie. When well-meaning people hand him this type of cookie, he has put
the cookie down or given it to the dog and picked up the apple I leave on a
snack tray available at all times for the kids to graze on during the day
with healthful options for them (cut up fruit, raisins, cheese cubes, pieces
of organic nitrate-free ham, pizza with whole grain crust, raw baby carrots,
wedges of toasted cheese sandwiches; the assortment is pleasing to look at
and varies by the day). He sees that this cookie is not a treat to him or
his body, he is aware of what really healthful food tastes like and his
tastebuds crave the real food, not the imitation junk. We call pumpkin
muffins to be cake in our house. They are organic and sweetened, but really
healthy and are a nice treat sometimes. These he loves! But when he has had
enough, he will put the remainder down and not eat more than is enough for
him. *All his life we have honored that he knows how much to feed his body.*
I nor his father have ever cajolled him into eating something he didn't want
or eating more before being allowed to leave the table or being punished for
going to the refrigerator and taking out a carton of milk and drinking it (I
ask him if I can help him by pouring some into a cup and this he is grateful
for). This is basic respect that this child of ours *knows* what his body
needs. Now that he has more options available to him, he still chooses the
delicious healthful options and not the options that cause *dis-ease* of the
body and in quantities that only he can know are the correct quantity to
fill his hunger.

Sugar bingeing oftentimes masks a lack of sufficient protein in the diet. My
first suggestion is to add more protein to her diet and see if she doesn't
lay off of the sugar on her own. Also, give it a lot of planning and work on
it daily to have healthful, delicious things for her to eat. A really ripe
pear, cut up baby carrots with ranch dressing for dipping, a peeled apple
with a bit of caramel to dip the slices in, cut up bananas rolled in a bit
of chocolate and coconut, toasted cheese sandwiches cut up in wedges, pizza
ww bagels with a bit of cooked chopped meat on the top for protein, for
snacks. It involves sugar in moderation, tastes great, involves fresh
delicious food and she might come to realize that she wants to learn more
about healthful choices and feeding her whole body, not just her tastebuds.
Received on Tue Dec 13 2005 - 23:46:35 EST

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