This morning, I had the amazing opportunity to see Ellyn Satter, a guru of the nutrition world/a well renowned Dietitian known for her expertise on feeding. It was a bit of a fan-girl morning since she was always referenced in my nutrition courses at UBC, plus she’s always talked about in the Pediatric nutrition world. The takeaway I got from my courses – Division of Responsibility, the parent is responsible for what, when and where the kiddo eats while the child is responsible for how much and whether they eat.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the session and really thought it would be very Pediatric based. Yes, it was primarily about the tiny humans, but she also integrated “feeding” and nutrition counselling strategies for those of us working with adults (especially in the outpatient setting). Her focus isn’t about making sure someone is eating “healthy” but really about the relationship individuals have about food, developing structure with their meals (schedules of when to eat, etc) and allowing the “healthy” choices to come as time passes, with the individual to make the food-based decisions on their own. One of the take-away tidbits I got from the session: 1) Accept their food choices (even if what they eat is not considered “balanced” in the eyes of a dietitian”, 2) Trust them to learn/grow (trust that the individual will come to the understanding that maybe there are areas they can improve on with regards to lifestyle choices – they’ll come around!), 3) Give it time (it’s not something that will happen over night!)
I’m so glad I was able to attend the session. It was such an amazing morning of learning and “ah-ha” moments. Plus, I was able to reunite with MANY dietitians I had not seen in a long time! Thank you BC Dairy Association and all the other sponsors for making this event a success (and accessible to all the dietitians that attended) – it was a worthwhile experience!
For more information on Ellyn Satter, check out her institute’s website at www.ellynsatterinstitute.org.