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How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much

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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Answering a multitude of questionssuch as What should a parent do with a child who wants to snack continuously? How should parents deal with a young teen who has declared herself a vegetarian and refuses to eat any type of meat? Or What can parents do with a child who claims he doesn't like what's been prepared, only to turn around and eat it at his friend's house?this ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published September 1st 1987 by Bull Publishing Company
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  394 ratings  ·  62 reviews


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Michelle
Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
OMG, the longest parenting book ever. Mostly because we're not just focusing on eating; Satter gives a lot of general parenting advice then focuses on how that general advice pertains to eating. And we go from newborns to teenagers. And I read it all, even the chapters that were like, My teenager has an eating disorder! My child is overweight (or might easily become overweight)! These things are not currently my children's issues but I felt like, What if they do become my children's issues?! I ...more
Dolly
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents
This is an informative and supportive guide for parents to help children learn to eat nutritious meals and form a healthy feeding relationship.

I first learned about this book from a visit to a nutritionist. I wanted to talk with her about reinforcing the lessons I'd already learned about healthy eating for my family as well as about discussing how, as middle aged people, our bodies change, our metabolism slows, and our muscle mass slowly begins to decrease.

I also wanted her advice and support
...more
MaryAnn
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
My four take-aways from this book are:
1. Respect the division of responsibility in feeding. Parents are responsible for WHAT, children are responsible for HOW MUCH
2. Forcing doesn't work and creates lots of problems. You can't force a child to eat their dinner or eat their peas. What you can do is keep presenting new foods and allow them to determine what they select and how much. If you make a rule that they must taste everything, then you will be more successful of you allow them the option
...more
Natalie
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
This book had some good insight on feeding your children. The basic gist of the book is this - Parents are responsible for what is presented to eat and the way that it is presented. The child is responsible for how much and even whether they eat. It goes on to say that often we battle over getting our kids to eat and it only makes things worse. If we give them relatively healthy meals and snacks at regular times during the day, our child will learn healthy eating habits, even if sometimes they ...more
Tricia
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
I had a child with severe problems of not eating. He had constipation problems, sensory issues, would throw up almost anything I fed him if he would eat anything at all. He was so picky, yet wouldn't eat the only things I could think of that he liked. Reading this book helped me to get him over the hump of actually trying things and learning that eating actually helps you to feel good! I would definitely recommend this book. It may take a long time, but I have definitely seen a difference in my ...more
Jan
May 30, 2009 rated it liked it
I really did learn a lot about feeding your children and how to present meal times. The main message is that parents are responsible for what is presented to eat and the manner in which it is presented. Children are responsible for how and even whether they eat.
Chloe
This book has a lot of great information and cites a lot of very interesting research. It has chapters on each age group (baby, toddler, preschoolers, school age and teenager) as well as information for preventing and dealing with obesity, eating disorders, and kids with special needs. I will definitely reference back to this book.
My only complaint is that Ellyn Satter comes off a little arrogant at times. Additionally, theres a lot of repetition from Child of Mine but thats nice for anyone who
...more
Sheryl
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This might be the best book on parenting I've read so far. I have had a lot of anxiety around Sasha's food consumption - no doubt based on my own ambivalence around food issues, but nevertheless it has been stressful. Is she eating enough? Is she eating enough of the right things? What do I do when she doesn't want to eat?

Satter's premise is simple. As a parent, it is my job to determine what Sasha eats, and her job to decide how much of it to eat. When put that way it seems so simple, but the
...more
Stacey
Jul 29, 2008 rated it liked it
I have a picky eater. I think he may be pickier than the children in How to Get Your Kids to Eat... But Not Too Much by Ellyn Satter. I don't know if her advice really speaks to my problem.

Basically, Satter's premise comes down to this: "It's my job to give him healthy meals and snacks but it's his job to eat it." It sounds simple enough and maybe by reading this book I've decided that my son's eating really isn't so much of a problem. I'm learning to let him do his thing and since I've done
...more
Nephi
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good advice, more than just food.

This book completely changed my approach to feeding my daughter. We were starting to struggle at dinner to get her to eat, and it was filling to be a fun and satisfying time for anyone. This book helped me realize that I was trying to hard and that cause be more harm than good, given my child is healthy and growing.
J Clements
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life changing

This isn't just a book about how and what to feed kids - it's a book about parenting. It helped me stop stressing and not worry so much about a complicated job. The author's easy-going attitude and conviction that everything will turn out okay was encouraging.
Angie
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely thorough, convincing, and helpful. My pediatrician recommended this for help with a picky eater, but I gained far more than just tips for that situation. It covers the complete foundation of proper family nutrition, and Im excited to adopt some new strategies around here. In particular, the proper division of responsibilities: the parent decides what is offered and when. The child decides whether to eat and how much to eat out of what is offered. It has been SO freeing to stop ...more
Gita
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has helped me in the midst of my feeding battle with my second child (which after this book I know it's not a battle worth picking) The gist is: Don't pressurize them to eat nor praise them when they do, give 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, don't faff about the amount of food they eat, we're only responsible for WHAT food and WHEN to serve.
Bridget
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
To be honest, I didn't read the entire book. I read what was applicable to my current child's age. Having said that, the book has one main piece of advice (for what I read of it): parents choose what to offer & child chooses how much. I've started doing this, and it is kind of hard. However, others have done it before me & it's been fine. A decent read.
Jessie C
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read for professionals and parents, though I think some information may be dated and could benefit from a update with newer studies. Still great choice for any parent, especially with any feeding issues.
Hualei
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Separation of responsibilities. Simple as that and does the charm.
Moon
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much valuable information
Ashley  Brooks
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ellyn Satter gives brilliant, no-nonsense advice on feeding your child from infancy all the way to the teenage years. Her suggestions are simple and easy to understand. Satter gives a heaping dose of common sense wisdom and basic parenting advice that can apply to just about any tough eating situation.

I really wanted to give this book 5 stars, but I had to leave one off for the following reasons:

1. It was written before I was born. Though most of the advice stands the test of time, it would be
...more
Chelsea
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was just planning on reading the section about Elijah's age, but got intrigued by a lot of her parenting philosophies and ended up reading the entire thing. I love her idea that it is up to the parent to decide when and what the child will eat, and it is up to the child to determine how much and whether they will eat. You provide structure and give them choices within it. It was definitely not a solve-all, but she talked about applying that same parenting style outside of just eating and I ...more
Nadine
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
This book was recommended to me by a friend who is a dietician and said that pediatric dieticians consider this book to be their bible. I can see why. It focuses more on the parents' behavior and the parent/child relationship than nutrition, so if you're looking for nutrition information I'd look elsewhere. But if you're looking for ways to improve your child's relationship with food, this book is just fabulous. I checked it out from the library but I actually think I'm going to buy my own copy. ...more
Karen
Apr 24, 2014 marked it as to-read

This book provides wonderful insight into children and their behaviors..wonderful information regarding the developmental stages of children, their attitudes, and why they approach food the way they do at different ages. Every parent should pick it up, find the chapter that applies to you and read. I especially enjoy the chapter on Toddlers - are they jerking you around at the table? However there is much more practical information than just your child's eating habits.
I also recommend Child of
...more
Megan
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book offered straight forward advice on how to establish healthy eating habits with kids. Oh, drat, how do you do that for your kids when your own relationship with food is so out of whack? It was straight down the center about food - giving the rule that parents are responsible for providing healthy food, and kids are responsible for what and how much they will eat. I kept thinking about "Fat Girl" whenever the author mentioned how pushing a diet on kids will cause them to crave food and ...more
Kristylemmon
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love this woman's advice because it makes sense and is really simple. Also she has lifted the guilt I have felt for so long about my daughter's food preferences (or lack thereof). It's not a book you can read cover to cover because not all chapters apply to your situation. But each section is full of good info and strategies. I have not made Abby a separate dinner for 6 weeks now. And the other day she licked a piece of chicken. These may sound like small changes but in our house they are ...more
Kristina Hoerner
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Though this book is older (1992), it did have helpful pointers. The biggest is that parents are responsible for the food that comes into the house but it is up the the kid if they will eat and what they choose to eat of what is offered. I have been so frustrated with Ella's limited palate but I have not been consistent enough in offering better choices and healthier eating arrangements. I also really need to clean up my eating choices to set a better example.
Mariah
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm reading this for my maternal and child nutrition class and really enjoying it, actually. it isn't rocket science, but explains how withholding, excessively controlling, or forcing food on kids always does the opposite of what you intend. I checked this out from the library but think I'll actually buy a copy of it to have around whenever kids happen. It opened my eyes to one of the most important parts about raising a child and how to try and do it well.
Andrea
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good book to check out if you're having any feeding issues at all with any of your kids at any age. I didn't read cover to cover, but just stuck with what was relevant to my situation. Great for the new mom to the seasoned one. It made me feel good about my parenting skills, which is always a plus when reading book like this.
Nick
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: baby
Read this quickly through the toddler section. As usual with parenting books, way too many anecdotes, and too few pieces of actionable advice. But I liked the focus on absolving parents of the responsibility to get their children to eat, and the emphasis that any kind of pressure on the actual eating part of a meal is probably counter-productive.
Heidi
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
A friend recommended this book, as I am always looking for ideas for my picky middle child. While a lot of the suggestions were made for children with more severe problems or for babies/toddlers, I liked the general message of not pressuring our kids and letting them discover new foods on their own/gradually. Nothing earth-shattering, just common sense.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, cook-books
My son was very picky about the foods he ate as a toddler. A friend gave me this book and it offered some nifty ideas. The main thing this book taught me is that the parent is responsible for presenting healthy, well-balanced, appropriately portioned meals/snacks and the child is responsible for how much (or if) they eat.
Elsie
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Basic message: parent provides the food, child decides how much. By making regular meal and snack routines the child will eventually eat what is available. Don't cater to special needs but do make sure there is something on the table that finicky eaters like. Lots of good information about parenting in addition to eating. I found the advice I needed, only wish I had read it 10 years ago.
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Readers say that Ellyn Satters books transformed their lives. Satter writes not only about food, eating, and feeding, but about emotional health and positive family relationships. Satter gives her blessings to all food, and to you for eating it, by sharing her conviction that you and your family are more important than your diet. Satters research confirms that your positive feelings about food and ...more

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