Babies are born intuitive eaters

Intuitive eating is a way of eating that is directed by a mind-body connection. Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD were the fearless pioneers behind this concept back in the 90’s. Today there are over 90 studies highlighting the benefits. 

If you’ve ever seen a typically developing baby eat, especially a nursing baby, then you’ve seen intuitive eating in its purest, original form. A nursing baby will signal hunger by putting fist to mouth, searching for a nipple, or crying (a late sign). If that baby is put to the mother’s breast, she will drink until her tummy is full and then will stop. That’s it. Neither Baby nor mom will know how much was consumed and we can’t get baby to nurse more if we try. Then, this will happen all over again in a few hours when baby gets hunger signals again. 

I cringe when parents tell me they were told to feed X Tbsp of solid food when baby’s start eating solids. Encouraging a certain volume of number of bites can cause intuitive eating skills to diminish. 

We were all born intuitive eaters. Some of us veered off course because of family food rules, portion “control,” weight regulation tactics, or other external controls on eating. Adults can work to get back to their default mode of eating by working to reconnect with their bodies (attunement). Adults with babies have an excellent opportunity to help them remain intuitive eaters through food and body language and feeding dynamics.

What to learn more about maintaining baby’s innate intuitive eating skills? Join me in an upcoming “Baby’s First Foods” workshop. I teach these classes approximately every 2 months in Newport Beach. Email me to find out about the next workshop if you’re interested in attending.