• Shalyn Yamanaka MS, RD

Trusting Your Child's Ability to Self-Regulate


Summer is a time of travel, holidays, and lots of playtime for kids. With the potential change in schedule, eating schedules and kids’ appetites can surprise you. During these times, you have to hold strong and steadfast trusting you child’s ability to regulate themselves.

Often, parents have the concern that their child is eating too much or their child is not eating enough (usually of a certain type of food). Add in jet lag or lots of playtime which effects a child’s intake and it is enough to make a conscientious parent go crazy. Trusting that your child knows when they are hungry and full and that their diet will balance out over the course of the week is hard for parents, but if you can build this trust, it will make your life much easier and less stressful.

We had dinner the other night with some friends and their 4 year old had so many pieces of pizza, no one knew how many…it was in the range of 5-6 pieces. This little 4 year old, ate more than any adult at the table!! She had been at school and then was playing non-stop with the neighbourhood kids all afternoon into the evening. Potentially add in a growth spurt and her needs are really high. A child’s needs can astound us sometimes, so as parents, you sometimes need to let go of any expectation. Fostering autonomous eating, and allowing a child follow their instinct to self-regulate is the best gift you can give your child.


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