Raising Healthy Eaters: Feeding Teenagers

By Marsha Hudnall on 03/01/2010
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Happy birthday, Jake!

Today my youngest child begins his last year as a teenager.  He’s off at college and I’m not dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities of child rearing anymore.  But many of us still are, and I thought I’d celebrate Jake’s birthday by pointing readers to Ellyn Satter’s latest newsletter talking about the division of responsibility in adolescent feeding.

If you don’t know Ellyn, she’s a long-time proponent of attuned eating — listening to our bodies and responding intelligently when it comes to our choices around food.  She’s also the creator of the division of responsibility in child feeding which basically says that parents provide the what, when and where of eating and kids decide the whether and how much.  It’s a system that served me well in raising my two without eating issues in a time when eating issues abound.  It’s not like I didn’t have any challenges.  I’ve talked about feeding challenges with Jake before.

Ellyn’s division of responsibility in adolescent feeding is along the same lines. I enjoyed particularly her story about how one mom drew the line at breakfast.  The daughter didn’t want mom making it any more so mom said fine, you do it.  But when daughter started skipping it, mom insisted — either daughter made it or she did.  Daughter caved and went on to realize the value of breakfast, even becoming a proselytizer of sorts with her friends.

So in honor of my youngest’s last year as an adolescent, I encourage other moms (and dads) of teenagers and younger children to follow Ellyn’s website, her newsletters and pick up some of her books for intelligent guidance on helping your kids become healthy eaters.

Our time with them is so short; we need to make the most of it.  *Tears*

Have you any stories to share about feeding your teenagers or younger children?

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