Of course, we ONLY ate out on vacation, so it was extra special, but I am very aware and appreciative of food. I could not comprehend “forgetting” to eat a meal. I don’t like feeling hungry. Other people, like my husband, are the opposite.
This can be a problem in the feeding relationship, for example when feeders and kids are opposites in their interest, joy and experiences around food and hunger.
One mom I worked with could forget to eat, was naturally thin and didn’t mind being hungry. Her daughter had a hearty and emotional appetite. She was joyful when eating and tantrummy and scared when she didn’t eat. This child needed lots of structure and predictability with her food, and Mom struggled with that. Mom didn’t remember snacks sometimes and was perplexed and even worried about her daughter’s relationship with food.
They ended up doing well. It was enormously reassuring to Mom to hear that her daughter’s interest and experiences were normal and healthy, not an obsession or indication of “overeating.” She was better able to plan and prepare and provide what her daughter needed when she empathized with how her daughter felt when she was hungry or scared she wouldn’t get enough.
If on the other hand you LOVE food and eating and it’s something you look forward to and your kid could care less, that can be challenging too. Still provide the structure, support and yummy food, but don’t take it personally if your child isn’t bouncing up and down in her chair over Gramma’s spaghetti sauce.
Are you tuned in or out to food? How are the people around you with food? Does it cause conflict? Got one kid who loves to eat and another who could care less?