Home > Advice Column > Not in the top five: my own favorite blog post

Not in the top five: my own favorite blog post


FIND HERE: tips on getting kids to eat more veggies this year instead of donuts - photo by Anna Migeon

Happy New Year, as we start 2011 helping you improve your child’s diet and appetite together!  Let me know how I can help you.

The top five Sacred Appetite reader favorite blog posts this year don’t even include my personal favorite: How to Get Kids to Eat at the Table, Part III. It comes in response to a reader’s question about how to get her kids to quit dawdling at the table. I think it’s underrated. It sums up well a key idea that I’ve formulated this year: instead of ever pushing food on kids, look for ways to pull food away, restrict their access to food, and don’t put up with bad behavior. It’s a plan that improves both behavior and eating habits.

I think it’s got some pretty good advice, if I do say so myself.

The five top Sacred Appetite reader choice awards (according to number of views) of 2010 were given to:

1.  Five DOs and DON’Ts of Dealing with Dessert for Kids, from August 2010

2. Ratatouille: Everybody can cook, from January 2010

3. How to get fat eating vegetables? from June 2009

4. How we cured our son’s ADHD, from January 2010

5.  Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Need Braces, from clear back in June 2009.

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Categories: Advice Column
  1. Anna Migeon
    September 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Hi Josie, sorry for the six-months-later reply! I am back to blogging! Wanted to get an update and see how things stand since your last message. Have you been successful? I’d be thrilled to know the rest of the story!

  2. Anna Migeon
    March 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I’d love to have a conversation with you! You should not put up with your kids fussiness! You don’t have to. I hope you find ideas you can use here in my blog. I know I’ve written a lot of posts that should be useful and some dialogues with several different moms on their particular problems. It’s hard to see the answer when you’re so close, sometimes. I have had loads of battles with my kids, especially one! over the years, but it’s never been about food. I have always cared a lot what they ate, but only the part I can control: what food is available to them, and the atmosphere around eating. You need to switch the burden of worry to them about whether they’ll get enough to eat. Remember they HAVE to eat, so use that against them, gently, nonchalantly, sweetly. Would love to hear how things go or try to answer your particular questions… Thanks for your comment!

    • MamiJosie
      March 26, 2011 at 7:41 am

      Thanks for your response! I’ll write some more later, when I have a bit more time, but to start I’ll give you some background…

      Though my husband and I lived most of our adult lives in the USA, we are Cuban and Puerto Rican, respectively. We returned to the Caribbean –the Dominican Republic– 3 years ago, to be closer to our families, after 8+ years in New York City. I’m now a stay-at-home mom –formerly a journalist– who doesn’t cook!!!! My husband, being so passionate about cooking, “excommunicated” me, ja, ja, from the kitchen 15 years ago. Here in the DR, we have a lady who cooks for the family and my husband prepares our dinner when he gets home from the office. That has created the situation where our cook and the nannies have sabotaged my children’s eating habits. And I admit I’ve let them do so out of lack of cooking skills and despair. We’ve all given into the desperation of offering the kids whatever they’ll eat, usually quesadillas, pancakes, cereal, scrambled eggs, a little rice and black beans, chicken fingers and milk.

      My children are now 4. They used to eat everything we offered until they turned 2, when they started refusing to eat, being very selective and saying NO. One thing to our advantage is that we’ve always had and enforced my children’s daily routine, so we have –and they know it– set times for everything, including meals. Now that I have decided to finally take the bull by its thorns they know there are specific times in which they will have the opportunity to eat. My husband made me throw away all the cookies and we’ve been “running out” of everything else that we don’t want them to have. I’m also supervising my staff a lot more closely, we all need to be on the same page if this is going to work. They usually are the “good guys” and Mom is the “bad guy”, who establishes the rules. But I’ve told them they need to follow me closely, practically and emotionally, in order for the children to learn they won’t be able manipulate their eating.

      I’ve started offering them just our family foods, fruits, yogurts, the healthy stuff, no substitutions allowed. The past couple of days have NOT been easy. They’ve cried and screamed A LOT, they’ve gone to bed hungry. But I think I’m doing well in terms of remaining calm but firm. No drama. Yesterday, for example, they were desperate when they came back from pre-school and couldn’t have a snack. We offered them lunch -broiled chicken strips, brown rice and black beans, which they like– and they didn’t eat it. So I pulled it away. They took a nap and wanted a snack afterwards, but I told them it was not time for a snack and since THEY, not I, had decided to not eat their lunch they had to wait until dinner. They were completely depressed. Come dinner time, they were SO HUNGRY, they ate the same chicken, rice and beans they had refused earlier like you wouldn’t believe it! I let them serve themselves, eat at their pace within a set amount of time (usually 30 minutes) I sat with them and talked about our day. They asked me for dessert and I gave them yogurt. Win #1.
      I have to go now, but let’s see how today goes. They had a nice breakfast –whole wheat pancakes with fruit– and I’ve told them their next meal will be lunch.

      Thanks again, Josie

  3. MamiJosie
    March 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Anna, this is the year I will change my children’s eating habits for good! My 4-year-old twins (boy and girl) have driven me through a tortuous road for the past two years. As their mother I’m depressed, and so is my husband –a fine cook and lover of all healthy/natural and not-so-healthy but GREAT fine foods. My children used to eat the healthy and carefully prepared family breakfast, lunch and dinner up until they turned 2 and “discovered their wills”. We fell for the “as long as they eat something” trap, letting them choose their meals, etc. etc. I consider myself a good, caring and involved mother, and cannot take it anymore. I feel like I’m doing my children a great disservice if I don’t teach them to enjoy eating the wonderful world of foods out there. I’m glad I’ve found your blog. I’ll read through it for some ideas…

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