The division of responsibility is a way of feeding your child that takes the battle out
of meal times.
- From birth until your child is between 6 months
and 1 year old, you are responsible for what your child
eats, and your child is responsible for how much and
how often he or she eats. (Infants are fed on demand.)
- As your child starts eating solid foods, you become responsible
for what, when, and
where your child eats, and your child is responsible for
how much is eaten, and even whether he or she eats.
How you and your child decide on food
| Child's age|| Your responsibility|| Your child's responsibility|
|0 to 12 months|
|1 year and older|
When (how often)
Infants are born with an internal hunger gauge that tells
them when they're hungry and when they're full. When we try to control how much
children eat, we interfere with this natural ability. Using the division
of responsibility helps your child stay in touch with those internal
Responsibility changes as your child grows. By the time your
child is about 1 year of age, you become responsible for when your child eats by providing routine meals and snacks.
You also decide where your child eats, ideally at home,
at a table for as many family meals as possible. Doing this lays a foundation
for the decisions your child will make when he or she has more freedom to
decide what, where, and when to eat.
It helps for you to be a good
role model. Your own eating and lifestyle choices are a powerful teaching tool.
Your child sees the choices you make and follows your example.