“My child has always been big. She was born bigger, and loved to eat. Now she’s in pre-school and I don’t know what to do. I try buying low-fat foods and limiting carbs, but it’s making it worse. She talks about food all the time, and eats much more than her older brother.”

“She doesn’t seem to have a stopping place and always wants seconds. She is obsessed with food. Her classmates are starting to tease her. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. Why does she eat so much? Must I try stop her? I am so scared she is going to be teased and the effect it will have on her life. How do I protect my child?”

“He always wants seconds. His clothes are tight and they are three sizes too big for his age. My extended family keep making comments. I worry about his health. He’s fatter than all his friends. I don’t want to make an issue, but I need to do something.”

“My child eats emotionally. We recently had a hard time as a family and since then he eats when he is bored or angry. I struggle with emotional eating, and don’t want this for my son.”

Having an overweight child is exceptionally worrying and stressful for some parents. Parents want their children to be happy and healthy, and when they eat “too” much, parents freak out. They try help things. They don’t want their children to be teased. They don’t them to suffer. Unfortunately, conventional medical advice and well-meaning suggestions from family and friends may, and often does, make the issue worse. Instead of helping, we often end up doing real harm.

Research shows that making an issue of your child’s weight, restricting their food, and feeding them differently to their siblings actually increases the risk of: –

  • long-term weight gain
  • eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating
  • poor body-image and low self-esteem

According the American Association of Pediatrics: –

Researchers found that the negative effects of parent encouragement to diet created a cyclical pattern that can compound over time, affecting not only the person directly receiving the messages, but also generations to come. The study showed that young adult parents whose own parents encouraged them to diet in their teens were more likely to be overweight/obese, engage in dieting, binge eating and unhealthy weight control behaviors, and have lower body satisfaction as adults.

Any form of dieting, food restriction or comments about your child’s weight actually increase chance of weight gain and do long-term damage.

LEARN HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD’S WEIGHT WITHOUT HARMING

The best chance for your child to grow into the body that nature intended, have a healthy relationship with food, body and movement is to follow the the Satter Feeding Dynamics model (known as the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding).

Signs that your child needs help with eating: –

  • He eats very quickly or doesn’t chew is food
  • He regularly overeats to the point of being uncomfortable
  • He can’t seem to get full no matter how much he eats
  • She hides, sneaks or begs for certain foods
  • She always asks for seconds, and asks if there is more in the kitchen
  • She seems anxious that there won’t be enough
  • He seems to be ready to eat whether he is hungry or not

Signs that you need help with feeding: –

  • You have started hiding, not cooking and not buying certain foods because of your child’s weight
  • You constantly watch what your child eats
  • You use sneaky methods like saying you have “run out” or “forgot to buy” a food to control how much she eats
  • You are embarrassed of how much your child eats and his or her body
  • You feed your child differently to his or her siblings
  • Parties or any places where unlimited food is available make you nervous
  • Your child’s weight is an issue in your home and is affecting your relationship with your child
  • You don’t believe your child has a “stopping place” and believe he cannot regulate himself around food
  • Your child’s appetite and love of food scares you
  • Your fear your child is an emotional eater

PERSONAL COACHING FOR PARENTS

Eliana offers parents private coaching for parents struggling with weight and eating concerns in their child. Sessions are held with both parents present over skype of in-person over several weeks. Additional reading and listening material is provided and it is highly recommended that both parents engage in the process. Between sessions, Eliana offers regular whatsapp and email support and is 100% committed to supporting your success in all ways.

As a parent, you will gain the following:

  • A clear understanding of the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding (sDOR) and how it applies to your family
  • Clear understanding of predictable growth and why some children are larger than others, and different stages of growth in children
  • Why you have arrived in this situation, and why normal “treatments” have made things worse
  • Understanding food pre-occupation and why it occurs within your context and how to address it
  • How to talk about weight, body and nutrition without doing harm
  • Addressing EAH – Eating in the Absence of Hunger
  • How the family feeding style can and will influence the health of all family members, not just the ones with weight gain
  • Meal structuring and how it helps
  • How accepting your child’s body will lead to improved eating behaviors
  • Explore your own weight beliefs and how they affect your child
  • Measuring healthy weight independent of BMI
  • Why negative things will happen if you carry on trying to get your child to eat less and lose weight

What your child will show: –

  • Progress signs of healthy relationship to food and body
  • Being relaxed and normal even around “junk” foods
  • Eating less and not being obsessed with food
  • Calm around food
  • Forgetting to eat at certain times
  • Self-regulating by eating according to their hunger levels
  • Turning down foods at times
  • Not finishing their food at every meal

Testimonials

“Thank you Eliana for bringing this invaluable work into our lives! If we had kept on the same eating trajectory with our daughter she would of ended up feeling deprived and out of control around food. As a result of your coaching, we have seen incredible results in a very short period of time. A new autonomous being is emerging: one who knows when she is full, and is starting to make healthier food choices. Mealtimes have become celebrations when before they were critical, controlled and very unpleasant. Your course is a game changer and you are an incredibly thoughtful and sensitive facilitator who gracefully manages delicate terrain.”

Mother of overweight 5 year old girl

“Having an overweight daughter is not easy. Everyday is a battle. Not with your daughter-but within YOURSELF. After doing Eliana’s course it gave me hope and encouragement that it’s not only about the now. It’s about your daughter’s whole life-and her relationship with food. I’m so grateful that I did the course before I messed her up- as my job is NOT to make my daughter thin-it’s to make her have a good self-esteem and a healthy body.”

Mother of overweight 10 year old girl

FROM THE BLOG: UNDERSTANDING CHILD OVERWEIGHT

How to help your overweight child gain confidence
Many parents ask: “My child has put on weight (or has always been larger than her peers),and now it’s affecting
Read more.
IS MY CHILD AN EMOTIONAL EATER?
What to do if your child is an “emotional eater”? I get this question A LOT. Parents who ask this
Read more.
My daughter has suddenly gained weight. What am I doing wrong?
I hear this all the time from parents: “My daughter (or son) was always so skinny and could eat whatever
Read more.
Without this one thing, feeding will always be a battle
Working with parents who face many different feeding challenges, I have been wondering where it all starts. How do the
Read more.

Contact Eliana to find out about helping your child become a normal eater