Thursday, June 12, 2014

Raising Eager Eaters - Part II

I was really encouraged by the comments-section-discussion that ensued after my blog post about raising eager eaters. One reader and friend even requested a follow-up post to let you all know how the MOPS talk went. So just under one month post-talk, here I am, with a report:

The format our meeting was similar to previous meetings in that we gathered, chatted and ate breakfast. This particular week was different though because we had to sign up for 3 breakout sessions. We call it our Wellness Day and it's fun because it's fast moving and you get to learn about 3 topics instead of just one. The challenge for me was to say everything I wanted to say in 15 minutes, 3 times in a row. Was I successful? No. But after 3 speed sessions, it seemed like the moms felt empowered to differentiate their role from their child's role.

The most encouraging bit of feedback I got was actually from a friend who didn't attend, but asked for the handout. After reading it, she emailed me this:

Hi Alicia! I am ordering Child of Mine and Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family tonight. I am really feeling blessed by this new way of looking at food, eating and meals. My experience growing up was dysfunctional and (my husband's) was REALLY dysfunctional so this will be so helpful to us. I was not allowed ANY SWEETS growing up so.... my best friend's family ended up owning a country store and when I would sleep over we would sneak downstairs and steal candy! and when I was old enough to buy my own, I went to school everyday in Junior High and High School with a huge bag of Sour Patch Kids and ate them all day long... then at lunch I would bum money off of people and buy cookies and ice cream sandwiches. Now, as an adult, I buy candy constantly! All because of a deprived childhood. I am going to turn it around with my own family. My husband was forced to clear his entire plate or he would get beaten.... and if he didn't like the taste of the food, he ate it even FASTER so that it didn't get cold and even more disgusting... I always wondered why he wolfed down food that he said afterward was, "not that good." Anyways, I guess I wrote you a revealing book... I am just really excited about this new way of life. I am inspired.

Her email was so awesome in-part because it made it clear that I didn't come across as a deprivation-dietitian. During the talk, I made a point to encourage moms to serve dessert to their kids, with just two stipulations:
  1. Dessert is an adult's idea and not the child's
  2. Dessert is offered intermittently in order to raise children who eat well whether or not dessert is being served
I definitely believe that dessert is an important part of raising a child that has a good relationship with food, and I wished we could have spent more time talking about the mechanics of dessert-giving at the talk, but year!

And just in case you need proof that Louisa and Cora enjoy their fair share of desserts, here's a series from our visit to The Buttery in Santa Cruz. They're sharing a chocolate dream cookie, chosen by Louisa from the gorgeous, sweet-filled case. I split, she picked…the larger half of course.

One last great thing about the talk that day at MOPS is that there was a woman in one of the sessions who attended a multi-day seminar on the topic of Division of Responsibility and had wonderful things to say about how the approach completely turned things around for her family. Very cool, not to mention super-helpful for me, assuming their were some skeptics in the audience.

Nutrition is so great. Through my various paid and volunteer nutrition jobs, I'm constantly feeling affirmed that I chose the right profession!

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