Listening to our Tummies
Thank you so much for all the sweet comments and emails! I feel so lucky to have such great readers as you!
The entire Weekly Bite family is home from the hospital and we are adjusting to the crazy schedule of a newborn… (cue sleepless nights.) Lucky for me, LeAnne from the Dairy Council of California has written a fabulous guest post! I love her story of how she’s teaching her kids to listen to their tummies. Enjoy 🙂
Listening to our Tummies
I am a most-of-the-time healthy eater and splurge guilt-free on my favorites (ice cream, salt and vinegar chips) when the mood strikes. My recently-turned-three-year-old twins are amazing eaters too and count among their favorites: grilled salmon, green beans, milk, goat cheese, steamed lentils, mushrooms, ice cream and Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies.
I take my responsibility for feeding them very seriously and follow Ellyn Satter’s philosophies. I provide a wide variety of foods and allow them to eat from what I offer (I write about our adventures on the Meals Matter blog).
I really wanted my son and daughter to have a fundamental understanding of what their bodies need and how to enjoy their food. I was an adult before I learned to eat the way that Estela encourages – no diets, intuitive eating, enjoyment in moderation, not restriction. I wanted my kids to grow up knowing no other way.
So about six months ago I introduced tummy talk.
When we sit down to eat dinner or snacks, we talk about our tummies being empty, how good the food tastes and how our tummies start to feel full.
Like most toddlers, mine are often distracted and want to play a lot more than they want to sit still and eat. So instead of pressuring them to eat, I simply ask them if their tummies are in the mood for more meat/milk/veggies/bread.
For being just two, I have been amazed at their progress. In just a few short months they own the vocabulary, and, what I believe to be, the feelings of satiety.
Here are some of the things you’ll hear at my table:
– No, mommy, my tummy doesn’t want any more food tonight.
– Wow, that meat was sooo good! My tummy is happy.
– No, no more chicken. But more green beans, please!
– And later we can have ice cream?
Not only have our twins gotten good at understanding their tummies, anyone who sits at our table has been forced to as well!
How do you teach your kids to eat in moderation and respond to what their bodies need?
LeAnne Ruzzamenti is Director of Marketing Communications for Dairy Council of California, which serves as the dairy’s industry contribution to community health by providing nutrition curriculum and programs to schools and adults. She blogs occasionally about feeding her twins at MealsMatter.org.