Showing posts sorted by relevance for query eating. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query eating. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Children reach for food

Because of La Leche League and natural weaning, and the idea that children will reach for food when they want some, so you don't have to schedule and spoon it into them, it was easy for me to see the smallest seedling-root beginnings of how our culture creates the eating disorders they bemoan. Letting kids decide what THEY think is good and bad, instead of labelling things good and bad in advance for them, allows a child to think spinach is wonderful but donuts are kinda yucky.

Without choices, they can't make choices. Without choices they can't make good choices OR bad choices. In too many people's minds, "good" is eating what parents say when parents say (where and how and why parents say). That doesn't promote thought, self awareness, good judgment or any other good thing.

Food is for health and sustenance. Eating with other people can be a social situation, ranging (on the good end) from ceremonial to obligatory to courtesy. There's no sense making it hostile or punitive.

SandraDodd.com/foodproblems
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Food Freedoms

Because of La Leche League and natural weaning, and the idea that children will reach for food when they want some, so you don't have to schedule and spoon it into them, it was easy for me to see the smallest seedling-root beginnings of how our culture creates the eating disorders they bemoan. Letting kids decide what THEY think is good and bad, instead of labelling things good and bad in advance for them, allows a child to think spinach is wonderful but donuts are kinda yucky.

Without choices, they can't make choices. Without choices they can't make good choices OR bad choices. In too many people's minds, "good" is eating what parents say when parents say (where and how and why parents say). That doesn't promote thought, self awareness, good judgment or any other good thing.

SandraDodd.com/eating/idea
Image by Holly and Sandra

Monday, May 20, 2019

Ease into change

Instead of just going from lots of control to "do whatever you want," a really sweet way to do it is quickly but gradually. Quickly in your head, but not all of a sudden in theirs. Just allow yourself to say "okay" or "sure!" anytime it's not really going to be a problem.
If something isn't going to hurt anything (going barefoot, wearing the orange jacket with the pink dress, eating a donut, not coming to dinner because it's the good part of a game/show/movie, staying up later, dancing) you can just say "Okay."

And then later instead of "aren't you glad I let you do that? Don't expect it every time," you could say something reinforcing for both of you, like "That really looked like fun," or "It felt better for me to say yes than to say no. I should say 'yes' more," or something conversational but real.

The purpose of that is to help ease them from the controlling patterns to a more moment-based and support-based decisionmaking mindset. If they want to do something and you say yes in an unusual way (unusual to them), communication will help. That way they'll know you really meant to say yes, that it wasn't a fluke, or you just being too distracted to notice what they were doing.

SandraDodd.com/eating/control.html
photo by Julie D

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Charlie eats an apple

"I was looking at the photos on my phone tonight and found this (Jack must have taken it, hence the angle). It is Charlie (3) eating an apple in front of the telly right beside of a full pot of sweets. I thought it was a rather lovely illustration of the choices kids make when they have them, and I thought of you because they never would have had that choice without all your writing."
—Sarah Dickinson
SandraDodd.com/eating/apple.html
photo by Jack Dickinson

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Clear good sense

A mom wrote:
My children (11 and 7) have eaten more sweets than if I had controlled and restricted them, but our relationship wouldn't have been as sweet, and they would have had stress and longing, sneaking and guilt, and none of that would have been healthy. They wouldn't have had a good sense of what they feel like eating, and what they don't. Those internal senses don't come through clearly, when you're pressured and shamed and stressed.
—Cathy Choo
(in a comment here)

Similar: SandraDodd.com/eating/choices
photo by Sandra Kardaras-Flick

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The clock isn't hungry

Perhaps "eating by the clock" has roots in European manor houses filled with servants, where the lady of the house got to choose the times of meals (within the narrow window of what was considered right and proper). In more modern times, eating by the clock has to do with factory lunch breaks and with school bells.



Don't be the clock's mother. Don't watch the clock to see if it's time to eat. Watch your child. Or watch the clock to see if it's time to offer another snack, but don't let the clock say "not yet" or "Must EAT!"

It isn't good parenting or self control for an adult who has reproduced to be looking to a mechanical device to make decisions for her. Clocks are great for meeting people at a certain time, but they were never intended to be an oracle by which mothers would decide whether to pay attention to a child or not. Your child knows whether he's hungry. You don't. The clock doesn't either, never did, and never will.

from page 163 of The Big Book of Unschooling (page 182 of newer edition)
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Peace and health

"Candy fed with love beats the heck out of broccoli eaten out of fear."
—Schuyler Waynforth

"Ramen in a happy environment is better than four dishes and a dessert in anger and sorrow."
—Sandra Dodd

Turns out it had been said before. See other quotes about eating a dinner of herbs, or a dry crust, or Twinkies and a Red Bull, here:
SandraDodd.com/eating/peace
photo by Janet Rohde Buzit

Monday, January 13, 2014

The clock isn't hungry.

Perhaps "eating by the clock" has roots in European manor houses filled with servants, where the lady of the house got to choose the times of meals (within the narrow window of what was considered right and proper). In more modern times, eating by the clock has to do with factory lunch breaks and with school bells.

Don't be the clock's mother. Don't watch the clock to see if it's time to eat. Watch your child. Or watch the clock to see if it's time to offer another snack, but don't let the clock say "not yet" or "Must EAT!"

It isn't good parenting or self control for an adult who has reproduced to be looking to a mechanical device to make decisions for her. Clocks are great for meeting people at a certain time, but they were never intended to be an oracle by which mothers would decide whether to pay attention to a child or not. Your child knows whether he's hungry. You don't. The clock doesn't either, never did, and never will.

from page 163 of The Big Book of Unschooling (page 182 of newer edition)
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Charlie eats an apple

"I was looking at the photos on my phone tonight and found this (Jack must have taken it, hence the angle). It is Charlie (3) eating an apple in front of the telly right beside of a full pot of sweets. I thought it was a rather lovely illustration of the choices kids make when they have them, and I thought of you because they never would have had that choice without all your writing."
—Sarah Dickinson
SandraDodd.com/eating/apple.html
photo by Jack Dickinson

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Enough to learn

[Some people say] "I used to control this (or that) and now that I don't, and I told them they can do whatever they want to..."

Too big a jump.

If your kids ask for another one (potato, cookie, peanut butter sandwich) I think it's helpful if you just say "Sure!" and make another one, even if you don't think they'll finish it, even if you think they'll be too full or whatever. As long as they're not eating someone else's share (and even so, if the other person agrees), it's not a big deal. If they don't finish, save the leftover for someone else. If they do finish and they're "too full" that's how they'll learn their capacity (which will change anyway as they get older).

SandraDodd.com/eating/control
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ease into change

Instead of just going from lots of control to "do whatever you want," a really sweet way to do it is quickly but gradually. Quickly in your head, but not all of a sudden in theirs. Just allow yourself to say "okay" or "sure!" anytime it's not really going to be a problem.
If something isn't going to hurt anything (going barefoot, wearing the orange jacket with the pink dress, eating a donut, not coming to dinner because it's the good part of a game/show/movie, staying up later, dancing) you can just say "Okay."

And then later instead of "aren't you glad I let you do that? Don't expect it every time," you could say something reinforcing for both of you, like "That really looked like fun," or "It felt better for me to say yes than to say no. I should say 'yes' more," or something conversational but real.

The purpose of that is to help ease them from the controlling patterns to a more moment-based and support-based decisionmaking mindset. If they want to do something and you say yes in an unusual way (unusual to them), communication will help. That way they'll know you really meant to say yes, that it wasn't a fluke, or you just being too distracted to notice what they were doing.

SandraDodd.com/eating/control.html
photo by Julie D

Friday, July 8, 2011

Eating sugar


"I don't believe sugar is addictive. I believe some people naturally like sweets more than others and I believe our attitude about sugar, about any food, creates more problems than the food itself. I think one of the best things we can do to ensure a healthy attitude about foods for our kids is to not screw up their psychology with fear and guilt and dire warnings."
—Deb Lewis

The quote is the conclusion of a longer story by Deb Lewis here: SandraDodd.com/eating/sugar
photo by Sandra Dodd, of cupcakes by Julie Anne Koetsier

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Between "more" and "too much"

If your kids ask for another one (potato, cookie, peanut butter sandwich) I think it's helpful if you just say "Sure!" and make another one, even if you don't think they'll finish it, even if you think they'll be too full or whatever. As long as they're not eating someone else's share (and even so, if the other person agrees), it's not a big deal. If they don't finish, save the leftover for someone else. If they do finish and they're "too full" that's how they'll learn their capacity (which will change anyway as they get older).



SandraDodd.com/eating/control
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eating

Food and stress should never go together if it can be avoided.  My suggestion for today is:  Lighten up.     


Even if you feel that you've overcome all your prejudices and fears about where, when and how children MUST eat, there might be a few lingering concerns. Let one go. Maybe let two go. One way to think about it is that they will live for a long time and what they eat this week doesn't matter much, or they won't live much longer, in which case what they eat this week doesn't matter at all.

SandraDodd.com/eating/peace
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Experience and knowing

Once someone was going on about power, and giving children power over themselves, and the power to decide what to learn.

As we had been talking about natural learning, naturally I responded:

"The power to decide what to learn" makes a pretzel of the straight line between experience and knowing.

My children don't "decide what to learn, how to learn, and when to learn it."

They learn all the time. They learn from dreams, from eating, from walking, from singing, from conversations, from watching plants grow and storms roll.

They learn from movies, books, websites, and asking questions.

They eat when they're hungry (when possible or convenient; I'm making a lunch for Holly to take to work today as she's working in the flower shop for eight or nine hours, as Mother's Day is Sunday here).

They sleep when they're tired, unless there's something they'd rather do that's worth staying awake for. They don't always "decide" when to wake up. They wake up when they're through sleeping, or when the alarm goes off if they've chosen to get up early, or when I come and wake them up if they've left me a note.

the original is here
photo by Gail Higgins

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Moment of realization

An unschooling moment of realization (one of those things that you know, but have a moment of knowing it even more):

Learning is learning whether or not it's planned or recorded or officially on the menu. Calories are calories whether or not the eating is planned or recorded or officially on the menu.
—Pam Sorooshian
Several Definitions of Unschooling
photo by Cass Kotrba

Sunday, April 11, 2021

More power

Help your children to be powerful. Let them have all of their power and some of yours.


SandraDodd.com/eating/diets
(quote is from page 171 or 194 of The Big Book of Unschooling)
photo by Janine

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Directly and clearly

Read some, do some. Think. Rest. Watch your child directly and as clearly as you can, without the filters and overlays you might be used to. If you think of any terms other than his name as you're looking, shake those off and think his name. Don't think "small, ADHD, rough, shy," or "girly, bright, verbal, musical." You might get back to some of those sometimes, but try to see "Holly, touching a leaf," or "Marty, eating soup." Sometimes the school-colored glasses can keep us from seeing anything but "is doing school work" or "is doing nothing." Unschoolers don't do school work, and "nothing" falls right off the radar.

from "Beginning to Unschool," page 36 or 39 of The Big Book of Unschooling
See also: Practice Watching elsewhere on Just Add Light and Stir
photo by Sarah Dickinson

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Nurturance

"To nourish" someone goes above and beyond food. "Good food" served with shame or pressure loses all its goodness, to a child. A loving relationship can last forevermore. Ice lollies and popsicles are gone in no time.

Let their memories of treats, and of meals, of childhood, and of parents, be warm and comforting.
Advantages of Eating in Peace
photo by Elaine Santana

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

In every moment

Caren Knox / dharmamamma, when her kids were young:

We learn through all five senses, frequently the sixth, and through connection with each other. We learn from books, from magazines, from movies and TV and You Tube Poop. We learn from Barbies, from guns and swords and Bionicles and Legos. We learn through talking, through watching and asking, or waiting. We learn through cooking, shopping, eating, eliminating. We learn from driving or riding the bus or walking or biking. We learn by listening to music, or playing an instrument or singing or banging a rhythm on the table. We learn through living, whatever life looks like that day, whether it's a trip to Discovery Place and the library or a day of not getting off the couch because we're so hooked by David Tennant as Dr. Who we watch all the episodes on the XBox.
There are as many ways to learn as there are... people. Multiplied by infinite ways to learn. Learning's not an event, it's in every moment.

How do they Learn?—Caren Knox
photo by Sandra Dodd