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Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, Revised and Updated Edition Paperback – March 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Confused about feeding your baby or toddler? Child of Mine, by noted nutritionist Ellyn Satter, is an essential guide for every new parent concerned with nutrition and appetite. Satter's advice is thorough and straightforward: "You can't control or dictate the quantity of food your child eats, and you shouldn't try. You also can't control or dictate the kind of body your child develops, and you shouldn't try. What you can do, and it is a great deal, is set things up for your child so she, herself, can regulate her food intake as well as possible, and so she can develop a healthy body that is constitutionally right for her."

Child of Mine provides information on all aspects of feeding, from pregnancy through the toddler years. Satter begins with historical and social perspectives on infant feeding, describing how formula was developed and discussing the social movement that lead to accepting a child's input into his or her own development. Nutrition during pregnancy, infant feeding, introducing solid foods, building positive eating relationships, and avoiding eating disorders are all discussed. The sections on breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, and on the regulation of food intake (particularly the relationship between parental attitudes and children's eating habits) are especially recommended.

Satter provides specific nutritional information (including charts, diagrams, and nutritional breakdowns) interspersed with a no-nonsense, experienced perspective that will help you establish good eating habits that your children will benefit from long after they're out of diapers. --Ericka Lutz --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"An excellent source of solid nutrition information. . . . it espouses a philosophy of moderation and common sense that fosters good health, good eating habits, and, most of all, a loving relationship between parents and children. —Washington Post

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Bull Publishing Company; Revised edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0923521518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0923521516
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellyn Satter, MS, RD, LCSW, BCD is an internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding. A family therapist and feeding and eating specialist, Satter has a private psychotherapy practice in Madison, Wisconsin. Her books, journal and magazine articles, teaching materials, seminars and media interviews have made her well-known to the lay public, professionals and the media as the leading authority on nutrition and feeding of infants and children of all ages.

Satter's stated mission is to revolutionize feeding and eating. Her unconventional advice? Do what comes naturally. "As long as adults do their jobs with feeding, children do a good job with eating. They intuitively eat the right amount of food to grow well. They naturally push themselves along to learn to like new foods. We did too, at one time. We did, that is, until it was educated out of us by well-meaning adults and misguided, puritanical rules about eating." Satter knows whereof she speaks, given her 40 years' experience helping people of all ages with their eating and with feeding their children.

Satter's clear and vivid explanations of normal and distorted eating and feeding have made her a popular interviewee and speaker. The author of the Division of Responsibility in Feeding (parents are responsible for the what, when and where of feeding, children are responsible for the how much and whether of eating), Satter has led nutrition, health and mental health professionals as well as the general public to adopt wise and emotionally healthy approaches to feeding and eating.

Satter's books are valued by both professional and lay readers as authoritative, practical, humorous and entertaining. Your Child's Weight: Helping Without Harming (Kelcy Press) recommends solving the problem of children overweight throughout the growing-up years by "doing the opposite of what seems right...feeding children rather than restricting them." Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense (Bull Publishing) helps parents observe and understand their children and translate that insight into good feeding. Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family (Kelcy Press) teaches fast, efficient, delicious and nutritious food management for the "thinking cook." How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much (Bull Publishing) details feeding and solving feeding problems, birth through adolescence.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So there you all are, the five of you, finally sitting down at the dinner table. You, the mother, have managed to deliver a hot (or at least warm), nutritionally balanced (there is something green on the table), and home cooked (or close to) meal. Carefully, and with a sense of well-being, you dish it out and cut it up and place tidy plates of food in front of your first-grader, your pre-schooler and your toddler. Your husband helps himself. And as you, yourself, raise that first forkful to your lips, your first grader begins to push his food aimlessly around the plate, your pre-schooler shovels huge bites of pasta into his mouth, then pushes his plate away and announces he is waiting for desert (without having touched his broccoli), and your toddler throws all her food on the ground and screams delightedly, "uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh." Your sense of well-being vanishes, and you wonder, with your head in your hands, what, on earth, you've done wrong.
If this scenario recurs almost daily at your house (as it does at mine), then you should BUY THIS BOOK. It is one of those rare parenting books that actually gives you answers. It delivers them up in a friendly, no-nonsense style, based on the author's experience as a mother of three and as registered dietician/clinical social worker. Ellyn Satter has seen it all, and we can all benefit from the wealth of her experience. After reading this updated and expanded edition, I have learned to let my children serve themselves from the serving dishes on the table, and then to sit back and not worry about what else happens. Satter's philosophy regarding feeding is that it is the parent's job to determine the what and when of feeding: what food gets offered and when.
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Format: Paperback
I wrote a review of this book in 2011 stating that I had tried Satter's method for two years and was still on the fence about it's longterm prospects. It's been 3 more years, I've had another child (which always gives you a different perspective), I've spent a considerable amount of time around children at play dates and school settings, and I feel I have a better assessment of Satter's ideas and kids eating in general. Below is the gist of about 4 years worth of observations:

*You probably don't need to BUY this book. The core of Satter's ideas are laid out on her website, albeit it's kind of a circular journey going from link to link to link.

*This book's (or Satter's website's) overview of how children grow and how their appetites can change from age to age is invaluable. Kids aren't born with instruction manuals, and I know it made me feel better to learn that it's perfectly normal for a baby to self-wean and become more food-fixated at 9 months (not all are like that) and that it's not out of character for a 2-year-old to become a pickier eater.

*Satter's overriding premise (her "division of eating responsibility") - that the what, when, and where of eating are up to the parent and that the choice of how much (if any) to eat is up to the child - is a sane one and, if followed in a positive, easy-going manner throughout a child's development, leads to long term healthy eating habits. Satter's system has prevented me from becoming that parent who a.) anxiously follows her child around with a forkful of spinach, begging her to "eat healthy" or b.) caters to her kid's every food whim and therefore becomes a slave to the tastes of a 3-year-old (or ends up cooking 2 or more dinners every night). Satter's way is a nice middle ground.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading "How to Get Your Kid to Eat . .. But Not Too Much" and found this book to be redundant. The book itself is good, but if you read Satter's other books, you don't need this one.
In addition, I found "How to Get Your Kid to Eat" to be more concise with basically the same information. Busy parents can get the same help with feeding their children in a much shorter book.
This book focuses heavily on infant feeding, both breast and bottle, as well as starting solids. As a breastfeeding mom, I found the chapter on breastfeeding to be average. You're better off with a good breastfeeding book, as you'll need one anyway. The bottlefeeding information presented is very important, as it is tempting to try and control your child's eating when you use a bottle. This book helps you avoid that. There aren't many books on bottlefeeding. Again, though, the important facts about sharing control with your child while bottlefeeding are in her other books.
I highly recommend Ellyn Satter, especially to parents with eating issues that they don't want to pass on to their children. One of her two other books is a better, more comprehensive read, though.
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By A Customer on March 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is the best I've ever read on the subject of infant and toddler feeding. The advice on breastfeeding, starting solids and feeding finicky toddlers is practical and down-to-earth--unlike some books which insist on rigid meal plans and servings-per-day which are just not realistic when feeding toddlers. The author emphasizes the loving relationship between parent and child, and discourages letting food become a battleground. She stresses a healthy attitude toward eating such as allowing kids to listen to their bodies in order to regulate intake, rather than forcing them to "clean their plate" or making them feel bad about eating when they tend toward overweight. All in all, its a very readable book with lots of usable information.
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