Had a thought while answering Rae Rae J in my last post.
It was about how intuitive eating gets compromised pretty early in life - especially now with bottle feeding rather than breast feeding.
The breast feeding mother cannot force more into the baby because the baby turns his/her head and stops suckling when full. Breast fed babies usually require more frequent feedings because they are on their own schedule. The mother of a bottle fed baby can look at the bottle and see there is a half ounce or so left and continue "force feeding" until that last little bit is down the baby who has tried to stop eating.
We then enter the breakfast at 7, lunch at noon, and supper at 6 years. Remember when we weren't allowed to eat too close to a meal if we were hungry because it would spoil our appetites? This is a hard one. The family meal used to be when there was good conversation and all shared what was going on. Does anybody do that anymore? Is it better to just go ahead and eat when hungry or learn to wait - death is not imminent if hunger is denied for a time. The thing with intuitive eating is there can be no schedule. A schedule can be created because we can bypass hunger and wait for the meal. I remember our boys were allowed to have a morning snack at school in the middle of the morning before lunch. They were to bring something nutritious however. Is it realistic to make a growing child wait from noon until 6 p.m. to eat? We were always hungry when we got home from school.
What about the clean up your plate thing? There are starving kids somewhere whose plight will be worsened if the kid doesn't eat everything on his/her plate. Food is a reward for good grades or punishment (go to bed without supper) for bad behavior. Food is a celebration at birthdays, holidays, graduations, retirements, etc. Food is used as a bribe - clean up your room and we will go for ice cream.
When it was time to eat, everybody was to stop and come to the table. The food might get cold. Leftovers could not be allowed to spoil. It would be better to eat that last bit of mashed potatoes in the bowl rather than throw it out.
Is it any wonder we have trouble eating intuitively?