* Kids will eat when they are hungry enough.
They will not starve themselves *.
The inference is that we can force our children to eat what we'd like them to if we just shut the back door and prevent any wriggle room.
This is an interesting statement on two levels:
1. There are children who would rather be starved than eat something that is out of their comfort zone. Food is that scary that it's better to not eat than take the risk.
Granted, it is not common to find children whose fear is so great that they would go to this extreme. But it also can happen.
Many of the parents I speak to have children who would far rather skip food than eat something that is not within their narrow range of accepted foods.
2. Why wouldn't we want to make eating a pleasurable experience? Food should be about joy and any time we are not looking to do that we increase our chances of a fail. No one is going to be looking forward to food that they do not enjoy.
This would be magnified by infinite amounts if an unpalatable food appears more than once. I have many adults relate tales of refusing an evening meal then having to face the same for breakfast.
Does this teach a love for that food. Or is it the opposite?
- I am of course, not advocating just feeding our children what they like to eat. That is definitely a self-fulfilling ending! But there are many ways we can combine both in a gentle manner.
Will children starve themselves then becomes a moot point. It is not about us exerting our superior position to force an issue but rather the opposite. We provide the conditions and the opportunities for our children to fuel themselves adequately and sensibly. We teach them to enjoy food and to be able to manage variety.
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.