It is always best that we view “feeding” as a “line of development,” as the scholar Anna Freud described.  Anna Freud’s line went from feeding to rational eating as a specific developmental progression.

How do we learn rational, intuitive eating unless our children are able to explore foods and help themselves?  The more a young child can select on his/her own meal portions, the more responsibility is taken in making independent food choices.  Try not to pile food on your child’s plate and see what happens when the child begins to take responsibility for food at mealtime – make this a two-week experiment.

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Parents, when you begin independent choice eating, set down a simple rule – one serving spoon (tablespoon) size helping from each serving platter/bowl at first and then seconds of any food are encouraged.  Your child is guided gently to finish his/her plate commitment as it was set up as child-driven in selection.

And please, no promises of desserts when a plate is finished; there is too much emphasis on sweets as a reward thus removing the interest from the regular food pyramid dishes at meals.  Just give a dessert naturally, family style, as a matter of fact – not as a bribe or a negotiation.


About Judith Bin-Nun, PhD

Judith Bin-Nun, Ph.D. MA, LMFT, LPCC, Child Development Specialist, Educator, Artist

Ph.D Clinical Child Psychology, LMFT, LPCC, MA Jewish Education, MA Psychology, MA Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, BA Cum Laude UCLA, Lifetime California Standard Teaching Credential K-9, BJE Principal’s License, APT Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor, RJE Reform Jewish Educator from National Association of Temple Educators, Delta Society Pet Partners/Animal Assisted Therapy: UCLA PAC (People Animal Connection) AAT Team, R.E.A.D.Program, Paws4Healing LA Chapter, Delta Pet Partner: Volunteer-Locked Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Unit UCLA NPI, Wadsworth VA locked psychiatric ward, Alzheimer/Dementia patients at OPICA (drop off adult daycare center) and with developmentally disabled adults at Exceptional Children’s Foundation.

Services: Play Therapy, Individual or Couples Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Anger Management, Attachment Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Eclectic and Spiritually Based Therapy, Behavior Therapy (CBT), Educational Consultation, Parent Guidance, Recreational Therapy – Studio Art and Cooking Therapy Groups, Social Skills Therapy, Social Skills work for Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and Couples and Family Counseling, Individual and Family Work.