Are you a parent who is perplexed about feeding your small human? Worried whether or not they are getting enough nutrition? Frustrated by picky eaters or little food fits accompanied by throwing vegetables across the room? Stay calm. Leah Hackney is here to help you.
Hackney, a registered dietician with a passion for helping families, saw that a lot of families were experiencing food-related stress while working at a children’s hospital in Texas. She realized that a lot of the problems these families were having could be prevented or reversed if parents learned some basic information about food and how to talk to their children about food. So, Hackney created an Instagram account in order to help them.
“My Instagram feed is a judgment-free place where you can find easy tips on how to help your child add variety to their diet, implement mindful eating behaviors, mealtime strategies, and relevant information on feeding your infant, toddler or adolescent,” Hackney told Bored Panda.
“As parents and guardians, we can guide kids in preserving their ability to listen to their bodies’ needs around food. This starts with baby-led feeding techniques where parents can respond to their babies’ feeding cues. After the baby is weaned, the parents’ role in feeding is to decide when the food is served, what food is served, and where it is served,” Hackney said.
“This common feeding philosophy is known as the ‘Division of Responsibility’ and was created by Ellyn Satter. It has proven to support kids in learning their body’s hunger and fullness cues, which leads to being able to eat intuitively as adults.”
“One of the biggest mistakes parents make in wanting to raise intuitive eaters is thinking that letting kids snack all day and giving unlimited access to any and all foods is ‘intuitive eating’. Sometimes ‘grazing’ just happens because of life, right? This is especially true on summer breaks, vacations or most recently because of a higher number of people staying home due to COVID-19.”
Here are some of Hackney’s best tips and strategies for helping children (and parents) have a better relationship with food.