Weaning Support

Division of Responsibility: Childhood through Adolescence

Division of Responsibility: Childhood through Adolescence

One of my favorite Ellyn Satter quotes is “when parents do their jobs with feeding, children do their jobs with eating”. It is certainly apparent that infants and toddlers need their parents to play an active role in helping them to form happy relationships with food. But it’s important to remember that older children (even adolescents) still need their parental involvement.

Division of Responsibility: Toddler Feeding

Division of Responsibility: Toddler Feeding

The most predictable thing about toddler eating is that it is unpredictable. Variations in appetite will occur and while there will be days when your toddler only wants to lick, taste, or nibble, there will be other days when the volume of food consumed is unfathomable. Trust that your toddler knows how much to consume at each eating opportunity. 

Division of Responsibility: Infant Feeding

Division of Responsibility: Infant Feeding

Growing Independent Eaters embraces and utilizes the feeding principles developed by Ellyn Satter. We use them because these principles have been validated through research to improve mealtime experiences in the long-term. And that’s what we want for your child: a life-long, happy, trusting, healthy relationship with food. And that kind of long-term success starts by implementing some really important principles, starting in infancy.

Why is My Weaning Child Waking Up at Night?

Why is My Weaning Child Waking Up at Night?

Weaning your child from a feeding tube can be stressful and exhausting for a number of reasons, one being that often, a weaning child can begin to wake up at night, crying for reasons that they can’t quite articulate. And while 3 am is sleepy time – especially for us parents! – there are some good ideas for helping you to get through.

The Eating World of Toddlers

The Eating World of Toddlers

 Unpredictable, but typical, toddler behaviors around food can be stressful for families weaning their tube-fed children. But rather than pulling your hair out, I want to offer a few suggestions for how to navigate the two most typical (yet frustrating) mealtime behaviors that toddlers exhibit.

Why It’s Time to Put the Sticker Chart Away

Why It’s Time to Put the Sticker Chart Away

Children are not “good” for eating, and “naughty” for not – and this is especially true for those who have been tube fed for all or most of their lives. For this population, “not eating” is a strangely appropriate response to being tube fed.

Gimmicks and Gadgets

Gimmicks and Gadgets

Every caregiver I’ve encountered has travelled down what I like to call the “weaning worry spiral.” And we travel it because weaning can trigger incredible stress – stress that leads us to try anything and everything to just get our kids to take one, big bite! 

Weaning and Weighing

Weaning and Weighing

Starting a feeding tube wean can be scary for parents because the idea of cutting calories to establish hunger regulation often leads to some initial weight loss.  And setting your child up to lose weight is counterintuitive to everything we have been focused on since birth! 

Weaning and Whining: What to Expect from a Weaning Toddler

Weaning and Whining: What to Expect from a Weaning Toddler

Weaning is a long, hard, and exciting journey for everyone, but is possibly truest for families working to wean their toddlers: children gaining newfound independence in all ways, but especially with food. This independence likely comes with behaviors such as refusal, pickiness, short attention spans at the table, tantrums for no apparent reason, and possible plate throwing.

When Your Weaning Kiddo Gets Sick…

When Your Weaning Kiddo Gets Sick…

Stomach bugs, strep, colds, coughs, pneumonia, and flu season – every childhood illness can prove to be quite intense for many families, but perhaps most for those whose children have recently weaned (or are in the process of weaning) from their feeding tubes. So if you fall into that category, and you're navigating the world of sick kids who are mid- or post-wean, we have a few tips that might be helpful. 

How to Foster a Safe Eating Dynamic for Your Weaning Child

How to Foster a Safe Eating Dynamic for Your Weaning Child

A safe eating dynamic is one in which no one feels pressured, neither caregivers nor kids. There is room to explore food, to enjoy it, to be heard and respected when you say "no thanks" and when you say "yes, please." In a safe dynamic, your eating is not the focus of people’s attention, and no one is trying to impose any agenda beyond having a relaxed meal.

Food Families: How to Connect Preferred Foods to New Ones

Food Families: How to Connect Preferred Foods to New Ones

There is little that is more frustrating than when your child only accepts 5-6 foods – especially when most of those foods don’t contain enough nutrition to function as pillars of a caloric, nutrient-dense diet. But there are ways to help your child to expand his or her repertoire, and one way to do that is to identify foods that are related to the preferred food, and to offer them together.

Staging Your Meal

Staging Your Meal

Mealtime staging is an intentional method of food presentation that takes into account 1)
nutrition, 2) efficiency, and 3) skill development in order to optimize each meal to meet the needs of the child in that moment. So, as we wean, we pay good attention to a child’s eating age (calculated based on the time the child became an oral eater), while remembering that oral motor skills develop over time: kids learn to eat by eating.