No-one's going to deny the huge problem childhood obesity poses. But what's the solution?
I recently came across some interesting ideas from Pamela Cytrynbaum, in her article for Psychology Today.
She says, often when her daughter starts at a new place, she will write a short note, and place it into her lunchbox. It goes something like this:
Dear (teacher, day-camp counselor, somebody with enough training to know better):Thank you for taking such good care of Leah. This is her lunch/snack. The rule in our household is that Leah decides how much food she wants to eat. She mentioned today that at lunch/snack-time you required that she must eat everything in her lunchbox/bag. That is not a rule we are comfortable with. In following all of the most thoughtful and current research on kids' healthy eating habits, relationship with food, and causes of obesity, we want to be sure that Leah listens to her body to decide how much food she eats and when she is full. Pushing her to eat beyond her natural hunger is not okay with us. If she comes home with food in her lunchbox/bag, we're okay with that. Thanks so much for helping us keep Leah healthy and happy!
Teaching children to eat until they are full (not stuffed), and to understand what that actually feels like are important lessons to learn early in life.
My own daughter is only 10 months, but already I've encountered people who would try to make her eat just a little more.
This bothers me a great deal. I believe that she is very capable of regulating her intake, despite begin so young. Forcing her to take one more spoonful is not an option for us. This won't change as she gets older either.
What are your thoughts? Do you like Pamela's forthrightness? Would you consider doing this for your own son/daughter?