What Is Normal
From the book How to Get Your Kid to Eat
... But Not Too Much
By Ellyn Satter, R.D., A.C.S.W.
From Radiance Summer 1991
Normal eating is being able to eat when you are hungry and continue
eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and
truly get enough of it-not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is
being able to use some moderate constraint in your food selection to get the right food,
but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods. Normal eating is
giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just
because it feels good. Normal eating is three meals a day, most of the time, but it can
also be choosing to munch along. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know
you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful
when they are fresh. Normal eating is overeating at times: feeling stuffed and
uncomfortable. It is also undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is
trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of
your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your
emotions, your schedule, your hunger, and your proximity to food. ©
ELLYN SATTER, R.D., A.C.S.W., is also the author of Child of Mine:
Feeding with Love and Good Sense,
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