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Child Feeding

Responsive feeding services for San Diego families. Courses, webinars, workshops and individual support available.

When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers. – Ellyn Satter

Family feeding is a huge passion of ours at Nutrition Instincts. There is a lot of information out there and it can be difficult to know what’s right for your family and child – especially when your child seems to be refusing quite a few foods or is showing concerning patterns. We believe whole-heartedly that parents are the path to peaceful family meals and we’re here to support you with helping your child in a way that NEVER includes forcing, coercing, tricking or rewards/consequences for intake/lack there of.

Our approach to feeding includes…

  • Responsive Feeding

    We stay abreast recent research, trainings and resources on responsive feeding practices. We learn from experts like Dr. Katja Rowell, Grace Wong, MSc, RD, CEDRD-S and Jenny McGlothlin, MS, SLP. Responsive feeding centers around respect for a child’s unique abilities and embraces their strengths as well as perceived weaknesses when it comes to intake (and beyond). Responsive feeding is about decreasing pressure, creating supportive and positive feeding environments and nurturing curiosity and exploration at the pace of the child – rather than based on expectations and desires of a feeding team. Instead of starting with exposure work or pushing for increased intake, we take a deeper dive into the nuance of eating and feeding with you, the parent, at the center of the team.

  • Division of Responsibility

    For decades, the “gold standard” in feeding families has been Division of Responsibility (DOR), an approach created and researched by the renowned Ellyn Satter MS, RD, MSSW. We continue to use the research and resources of DOR in our work at Nutrition Instincts. In the DOR approach, parents and kids have distinct responsibilities. Parents and caregivers are responsible for the what, when and where of feeding and kids are responsible for the how much and whether of eating. When parents feel good about doing their jobs and holding up their feeding responsibilities, children are able to feel calm and confident with their own eating responsibilities.

  • Weight Inclusivity

    We embrace all body sizes and types in our practice. We will never provide weight loss services to children or teens (or adults for that matter). We stand firmly in our belief that people come in all shapes and sizes and that all people deserve nutrition support that focuses on their needs and health over the idea that someone should be at a specific body size. Putting children and teens on diets/focusing on weight control has been shown to increase risk of disordered eating and eating disorders and does not even lead to “weight control” in the long term. If you’re interested, check out these videos & podcasts that dive into this topic more:  Poodle Science  Unpacking Weight Science

  • Parent Support

    Depending on the age of your child and their experiences, we may recommend that we work only with the parents for a portion of the nutrition therapy process. A large part of our family feeding process rests in providing parents with the support and tools they need to feel calm and confident with feeding their child/family and having a safe place to discuss their challenges, concerns, stressors, etc… Parents implement the treatment so it often makes sense to primarily work one to one with parents and caregivers. Again, this will depend on the age of your child and what you’re seeking support for.

Families & Kids We Can Help…

  • Selective Eating (Often coined "picky eating")

  • Overeating, Sneaky Eating, Food Obsession

  • Kids and Teens Who Have Been Told They Need to Lose Weight but Family Wants a Better Approach

  • Kids and Teens Who are Showing Early Signs of Body Image and Food Concerns

  • ARFID: Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

    We use a framework that adapts to each family and child and uses your child and family’s experience as evidence and guidance for next steps.

Please note: Family feeding coaching is provided primarily at our Rancho Bernardo office in San Diego. If you’re looking for a nutrition approach inspired by Family Based Therapy (FBT) for your child’s eating disorder we offer that too! Please contact us today to learn more!

Courses, Workshops & Webinars

Need a little support but not ready for individual sessions? Nutrition Instincts has been providing child feeding education to the San Diego community and beyond for over 13 years. Check out what we have to offer below and stay tuned for additional services coming soon!

For Parents

For Childcare Providers

Lindsay is an experience consultant to preschool and elementary school feeding programs. She has served as an educator to childcare providers and educators on feeding dynamics, Ellyn Satter’s division of responsibility, school wellness policies and more! To learn more about her trainings and services contact Nutrition Instincts today!

Stay tuned for self-directed resources and trainings for childcare providers coming soon!

Eating Disorder Recovery
Nutrition and Dietitian
Button for nutrition services for moms