“Please pass this along to parents and caregivers” was embedded in an article that was printed in the “Dear Abby” column in the Arizona Republic on December 26, 2013.
Now it is my pleasure to “pass this article along” to you.
Dear Abby: I am a grandmother and a former teacher with a master’s in child psychology. I was also a school board member. I love children.
Please pass this along to parents and anyone else who cares for children: Quit force-feeding them! Again and again I see parents beg and coerce their kids to eat. There are too many obese people in the world. Kids will eat when they are hungry. Just don’t give them any junk in between.
I know a dad who told me he forced his son to finish his food until the son went and threw up. He said he will never do that again. Remember, children have small stomachs. They don’t need to eat much to feel full. Restaurants serve too much.
~ Diane in Milwaukee
Dear Diane: Unfortunately, babies don’t come with written instructions. Many parents “encourage” their children to eat because they’re afraid if they don’t they’re not doing their job. It’s a reflection of their anxiety. Too often, mealtime turns into a power struggle, which is a big mistake.
Dr. Sally: This grandmother, former teacher, and professional woman knows what she is talking about. She points out two major issues that are sad but true.
1. Most kids live immersed in a “world of snacks” that keeps them from ever really being hungry or having that wonderful nature-given feeling of wanting to eat.
2. Most food available to children is processed and full of chemicals. These are foods that confuse the whole satiety mechanism and make it difficult for children to know by nature what foods they need to eat for nutrition and in what quantities.
January! The Month of the New Beginning
Do whatever you can this year to schedule meals and snacks carefully and then to pack these eating opportunities with as many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as you can.