I counsel parents to follow a Trust Model of feeding with their kids, also known as Ellyn Satter’s Division of responsibility. I work with parents to separate their concerns about body size from their feeding approach, so that they can provide a supportive, structured feeding environment that is not based on trying to manipulate body size. My approach is based on supporting unique individual children to develop eating competence at their own pace. If parents report growth or weight concerns, I evaluate growth data when possible and coach parents to support the natural process of growth and affirm the diversity of bodies.
If a parent is concerned about their child’s weight, I first listen to their concerns and ask a lot of questions — both about the child and the home environment. We discuss ways that the parent can support and help their child grow up in their body free from shame and guilt. I emphasize how important it is to continue to allow children to be the intuitive eaters they were born as– without any restriction on portion size, type of food, etc.