Feeding Children

Some Topics

Organizing Diet Revision

Mother is often the leader when a child needs help and mother needs education, reassurance and support. Even if mother is well motivated and has identified a need for change, she will still have doubts about what she should do. She may want to try minor changes or will look for easier solutions than complete diet revision.

She will be discussing options with family, friends and professional advisers and have collected different, contradictory opinions. Often there is conflict in the family about what is wrong with the child and no agreement about the right way to manage the problem. Since complete diet revision involves hard work and extra expense, it will often be the least attractive option even if it is the best option. Professional advice is often not helpful or hostile and may add to conflict and confusion in the family.

Children from 2 to 22 are remarkably attached to their food preferences and will seldom cooperate with diet revision without persuasion, rewards and the persistence of a well-motivated parent. Children require sustained persuasion, rewards, and opportunities to express their anger and resentment when they feel deprived. Punishment never works to motivate children to change their food preferences.

The most cooperative are children who are chronically and seriously ill. Their suffering transcends other concerns and they will cooperate once they have felt the relief that diet revision offers them.

The least cooperative are children with behavioral problems. Many children with food allergy and restless and unhappy who will behave like addicts and fight to keep their food fixes; the older the child, the more persistent the addictive resistance. Dysfunctional teenagers are almost unreachable and are not likely to learn the self-management skills they required to be healthy and sane until they reach mid to late 20's. The sooner you start diet revision, the better.

Alpha Nutrition Program

The Alpha Nutrition Program works well for children, but change is difficult and each child has individual needs. The task is to find the best-fit food choices for the child's special biological requirements. Alpha refers to the optimal diet, optimal nutrition and the center of a state of well-being; Alpha also refers to health recovery by returning to a resting place and eating simple primary foods that restore health.

The Alpha Nutrition Program is kindly motivated and intends no harm. Understanding and compassion are the right responses to this natural resistance to change - never confrontation or punishment. We encourage each parent to review his or her own feelings towards food as entertainment, comfort, and reward. You have to re-think and change discipline strategy. Normal parents get angry and children can be difficult and defiant. We want to give medals to conscientious mothers who make a big effort to prepare proper, nourishing meals and are rewarded by food refusal by a petulant child and anger from her husband who demands to know if it really worth it to get the child to eat properly.

Most of us grew up with rewards and punishments based on offering or withholding food treats and continue this tradition in the management of our own children. When you realize that a child's food selections may contribute to illness, behavioral problems, or learning dysfunction, you adopt an entirely different approach to eating. Food is no longer recreational and no food is offered as a reward, and no food is withheld as punishment.