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Infants » Sleeping, Feeding, Eating

Feeding and Eating Helpful Hints

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Feeding and eating issues depend on ages and stages of life.

Food is a chore for some families and a pleasure for others and an ethnic and even spiritual act for still others! My thinking is that ethnicity and love of meals and food are forms of instant gratification and communication and they are learned behaviors.

I know one mom who never has gone into her designer kitchen, so it is take out and eat out! Mealtime means nothing, no conversation at all! The family eats at TV tables, the parents are fitness fanatics, and after work they use baby sitters who don’t pay any attention to the kids at meal times, and often throw away uneaten food, leave dishes in the kitchen and tell the kids to do their homework.

The kids are terrible eaters, rude and bossy and have no sense of what mealtime could be! They drop food wherever and whenever they please, and hate most foods except take out complete with soft drinks, candy and some fruit.

I know a single dad for whom dinner is a festival and a performance routinely and daily! He looks at food as an act of love…he is Italian, so the kids can’t wait for any family means talk, food and fun! He has a great sense of humor, but is firm about the family mealtime rules…same time each day. Same conversation such as “what did you do today”, same routine about homework… and his children always eat without complaints, joke about bad dinners, and take bites if they don’t like it. No snacks after dinner, no bedtime or bath time delays, just a routine that features brushing teeth, gargling and marking it off on a chart! When his children were babies his wife taught the infants to suck on water bottles if they were thirsty or between feedings, never offering bottles at night or in the bedroom. 

Ask Dr. Susan