How to help them eat well and still have fun?
How do you honor your Fun-Loving Type 1 Child’s need for social interaction and random fun while also ensuring they’re learning table manners and eating enough healthy food?
In this episode, Carol and Anne take a look at what a Type 1 child’s natural eating tendencies are. You’ll learn tips to help them (and you, if you’re a Type 1 parent!) have a pleasant, uplifting mealtime together.
This episode’s Parenting Practice
Apply two of the tips, one for your child, and one for you (if you’re a Type 1) to your food experience. What can you tweak that’s going to make it a more supportive and positive experience?
Transcript of podcast episode
Carol: Welcome to “The Child Whisperer” podcast. I’m your host, Carol Tuttle, author of the best-selling parenting book, “The Child Whisperer.” I’m with my co-host, Anne Tuttle Brown. We’re starting a series that’s been requested. Actually we’re updating it because they did it years ago. But we’re putting a fresh new look on this, and what are the eating tendencies for each of the four types of children. And we’re starting with our Type 1 child. And as a refresher, that movement is upward, light, more random, buoyant, they have that bright, fresh quality to them…
Anne: Think the social child.
Carol: Yeah, this is the social child. We’ll talk about how your natural movement will either be disruptive or supportive. And you knowing this will help tweak things. And I’m gonna bold underline the word tweak because this is not meant to suggest that you’re going to have, if you have all four types of children in your family, for example, you’re gonna have to support for different eating experiences. That’s not the goal. The overall goal is to create an experience as a family, especially at dinner time where that’s honored first. And then within that bigger goal of a family experience and what supports your family and your meal times, is what can you tweak with each of these four types that supports their natural movement behavior. So you’re enrolling them to want to eat healthy, to want to have consistency, and what supports their ability to choose…you know, develop the habits to have a great diet.
Anne: And as a parent, as you learn this more specific information, you already are familiar with their tendencies, how do we apply it with food? As you become familiar with that, then you’ll kind of have your toolbox full and ready to go. So at snack time or meal time, if there’s frustration, you’ll know…you’ll be better equipped at how to handle it. You’ll say, “Oh, yeah, remember, their random, light, social, how can I make this more fun? Or what do I need to tweak?” Like you mentioned. So that’s what’s…yeah, we don’t need to revamp everything.
Carol: And you can see that picture, you’ve got your Type 1 child running around, snacking out of the bag, the Type 4 rolling their eyes…
Anne: Eating the same thing every day.
Carol: …eating one… Yeah, a selection of five items they’ll choose from. It’s like, “No, I don’t think that’s reasonable.” You can tweak…
Anne: And you can get a really good.
Carol: You can tweak things.
Anne: Yeah, you can. And we’ll also talk about tips for the Type 1 parent. At the end, we’ll cover a couple questions, and that will be one of them. But you’ll get a really good idea, too, about your family’s overall energy and what needs that you have as a whole family. So let’s get started with the first question is, what is the Type 1 child’s conduct at the table? And do they stay at the table and eat? Which is a, you know, an interesting question, considering not a lot of people are even asking this question.
Carol: Yeah, I know.
Anne: But we do have a specific response for every type. And let’s remember their keywords. Random, animated, buoyant. So Carol.
Carol: So that would suggest that long sitting times at a table is a challenge for them. And they’ll wanna disengage. Connect is one of the movement patterns they have, connecting with something, disconnecting with it, being distracted easily. And if they’re bored, if things feel heavy, if it’s too serious of an event, an experience, they want to disconnect from it. And so you kind of look at the overall atmosphere. And let’s just take dinner time is typical for people, we’d hope you’re sitting down as a family on a routine basis to have your meal. Or if your child is eating breakfast, maybe they’re on a barstool for that meal, do they get up? Are they connecting, disconnecting a lot? And if your support…if you’re frustrated about that, and trying to just…how you’re approaching it is to just get them to sit, forget what can you do to engage them in the experience so they don’t choose to disconnect and leave that space.
Anne: And the tip is, ask yourself, “How can I create interest?” And it doesn’t need to be a, you know, a game or toys at the table, but conversation, asking fun questions together, even letting the kids kind of lead the conversation. We’ve heard from a lot of parents that their child will be anxious to get up and to move on, but when they’ve engaged the child and been able to, you know, have a conversation at the table, then the time passes more quickly for them and they’re more pleasant.
Carol: You go to a restaurant, they have coloring mats and crayons for children to keep them engaged. You could have that at your home. You know, you wanna balance it with that they are eating while they might be coloring something.
Anne: Yeah. I have a strict, like, no toys at the table policy, and it’s got to be our food and our conversation, because I think even with high-movement children, I’ve got two Type 3s. If you have a Type 1, like, I think it’s important to learn those manners, and that we’re sitting together as a family. And this is the experience they’ll have.
Carol: What if they’re just eating breakfast, sitting at a barstool?
Anne: Well, those meals pass much more quickly. You know, it’s just get the food and let’s move on. Where dinner, I like…and we’ll talk about this, we have a podcast that will come after this series about family dinner tips, but about creating that experience, and it will last a little bit longer. And so we even have a joke book that we’ll pull out sometimes and take turns reading jokes. And so just having simple ideas where it’s about talking together and creating moments and some games, but not, you know, card games, it’s just more conversational.
Before we go on, we have a brief message you’re going to want to hear.
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Anne: The next question is do Type 1s have a favorite food or specific requests about their food?
Carol: Well, I have a series in our lifestyle content about what foods we’re each naturally drawn to, based on our own natural movement. And the key words here are light and crisp. That they do like things to have a lightness to them, where they might not enjoy heavier foods, like lots of meats and pancakes, maybe.
Anne: Or in the morning, like a heavier, more savory breakfast, something like just maybe some fruit or toast. Definitely, like, when a Type 1 has cravings, it’s gonna be for chips or something crispy or something sweet.
Carol: That’s why they like snacking so much. A lot of your snacks are light and crisp. And they come in cute, little bags. It’s more fun, it’s playful. So the good thing about this, a lot of your vegetables are light and crisp. And you can do creative things…
Anne: Fun sauces and dips.
Carol: …with veggies, and cut out shapes. And your child can, once they have child-friendly knives and cutting tools, the children can learn to get involved in the preparation, which I think a Type 1 child would be more interested in eating what they’ve helped prepare.
Anne: And I know a lot of Type 1s and they’ve got…they have a strong, sweet tooth. So that is something where, you know, maybe replacing those, if there’s a lot of sweets, replacing those with healthier options. Like instead of fruit snacks, maybe some fruit leather, and you can even cut that up into shapes and… Or fruit, you know, raspberries that you can put on your finger and make a fun, little game out of it. And another key word here would be variety. And so maybe when it comes to snack time, you have some different options that they can choose maybe to have, and it can kind of mix and match each day a little bit differently. And so just creating, rather than so much routine and restriction, a little bit of freedom in those areas of… That’s where I like to give my kids a little more freedom, is in snack time, or dinner time or eating what I’ve prepared. Same with breakfast. Lunch, they can kind of choose between a few things, but I think that’s good to provide that little bit of flexibility where they can make their own choices.
Carol: You made some changes recently to your snacking experience because if your child’s snacking all day long, that’s disruptive to eating, you know, well-rounded and consuming what you want them to consume during meal times.
Anne: Yeah, I used to have breakfast and a morning snack, then lunch, and then an afternoon snack, and it was…I felt that it was a lot of snacking, and there wasn’t really a routine time, it was just when the kid came up and said, “I’m hungry.” ‘Okay, let’s grab a snack.” And now we just, we’ve eliminated the morning snack. We get a hearty breakfast, we have an afternoon snack at 3:00, and sometimes they’re hungry when it comes to dinner. But they know the time.
Carol: Yeah, snacking can be disruptive to children wanting to eat and consume food at mealtime. And we’ve got some great tips in our fifth podcast in this series, which is your meal tips and planning, because so often, parents will just, if a child says, “I’m hungry,” a parent will comply.
Anne: I think as a Type 1, it’s something fun, it’s something to look forward to. It’s something to distract, like, “I just want a little snack.” And so, having…
Carol: But it can then…the child may not want their meal.
Anne: Yeah, yeah. And then it overflows to, “Oh, they just had a bunch of snacks all day,” and not like a good meal. And so I would create some structure around that, as a parent. And this will kind of lead into our next tip when we’re talking about Type 1 parent tendencies when it comes to eating. But being able to have those designated times of mealtime and snack time, and then allowing the child that freedom within those times, you know, with some healthy options. So let’s talk now about a Type 1 parent’s tendencies when it comes to food and eating, and meal prep.
Carol: Well, they like variety, they have that disconnect…connect, disconnect, which plays out as inconsistency, and a lack of structure, when it comes to meals and prep. Having healthy snacks available because you’ve taken time to prep them. Meal prep, so that you’re not just picking up fast food at the last minute, that you’ve got a plan that you actually have prepared yourself with what you need to be consistent. Preparation helps us create consistency. So if you’re just meeting each meal with the next…
Anne: I think that’s the part that gets so heavy for Type 1s, that I know so many, but I’m thinking of my mother-in-law, and two of my best friends are Type 1s, and they have never been into the meal, like they… And then, like my friends are moms and they’re like, “I hate mealtime. I hate dinnertime.” Like…
Carol: Well, that’s because their…
Anne: …the prep and planning and the…it’s such a heavy thing for them.
Carol: There’s a way to do it as a Type 1, that you’d say, you know, “A couple times a week, I’m gonna just…we’re gonna do takeout or we’re going to mix this up.” So it’s not like every meal is a lot of work.
Anne: Yeah, so maybe you choose…
Carol: You’ve got to cook variety and how what…preparation is just planning ahead, thinking it through, because you’re not gonna eat as well, when it’s just last minute, typically, especially with children. And you’ll just default to frozen things, and things that are in boxes and, you know, prepared foods or…
Anne: Or snack foods, you know.
Carol: …or takeout or drive-throughs. And you’re not getting whole, healthy foods that are fresh. Because always, whole, healthy, fresh foods take a little more forethought because…
Anne: Time, money, and energy… [crosstalk 00:12:25]
Carol: …you have to clean them, peel them, cut them, cook them.
Anne: Well, they have food meal services, you know, where you can get all the food sent to you…
Carol: Yeah, they can incorporate, see it’s that variety. Maybe the meal service so many time, and then three of the dinners this week. I’m mean you’ve got to mix it up and make it pleasant and fun.
Anne: And maybe you have a…
Carol: But I know a Type 1 who’s your sister-in-law…
Anne: Yes, I was going to mention her.
Carol: …who’s excellent at this.
Anne: Yeah, Julia [SP]. She’s Type 1. And she has this fun thing that she just goes all out with her meals. Like, she’ll buy the fun extra ingredients. I was telling her the other day, I was like, “I really admire, like, how you, like…” She may, you know, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, she’ll get the corned beef and all the fixings.
Carol: Yeah, she has fun. She makes it more of a…
Anne: And like when I do my grocery shopping, I’m more practical. I’m like, just by the repeat stuff, but she’ll buy like the fun extras that make a meal really special.
Carol: And she lets herself do DoorDash and she lets herself go, they’ll do a couple meals a week where they’ll either bring it in or go out. She mixes it up a lot.
Anne: Yeah. And she creates her meal prep as something to look forward to. She’ll look up something on Pinterest and it looks fun to make. Or she’ll see something…
Carol: She tries new things all the time.
Anne: Yeah, she does. And there’s so many websites now. We actually, we subscribed to one of the same, like, this Recipe Girl, Julia and I, and so we’ll often find we’re making the same thing during the week. I’m like, “Oh, you got her email too.” There’s a lot of inspiration to get ideas.
Carol: You can download, you know, there’s plenty of bloggers out there that are doing the work for you, where they do the meal plan for the whole week.
Anne: They have so many options and it’s just kind of like…
Carol: Yeah, you got to find someone that you relate to.
Anne: …finding your sweet spot of what is fun and keeps it light. And maybe it lasts for two weeks and then you do a week of takeout, and then you reinvent your planning, you know. My Type one sister, she’s got four boys and so she kind of goes back and forth of this, like, “What do I wanna make? What will they actually eat?” And she, for a while, was just doing repeat: Monday night we have this, Tuesday we have this, Wednesday we have this, and for a whole month, just kept it really simple and easy. And so there’s lots of different options.
Carol: It’s not going away, you’d best to change…
Anne: Unfortunately, I know.
Carol: It’d be best to change your attitude and just find a way that works. And you don’t have to love it, but you can make it more pleasant and make it workable, doable. It’s just a function of raising a family…
Anne: And I saw a meme…
Carol: …teaching good habits.
Anne: …that said, “We have to eat dinner, but we already did it yesterday.” It comes around again.
Carol: That’s kind of how I felt… [crosstalk 00:15:04] Do you know how many dinners I’ve packed my life, I’m still cooking them. But it’s okay. I don’t mind, and you find your way with it. And you’re always going to eat healthier with some prep. That’s just the way it is. When you’re just resorting to last-minute decisions, what’s fast and convenient is…unless you’re willing to just eat a lot of raw veggies, you know, it just typically isn’t your healthiest food options.
Anne: Keywords here to remember for both the parent and child and the Type 1 eating experience, keep it light, and even social. Like one more tip, they have a lot of like, at least in our area where you can go and make the meals ahead, like 30 days of meals, and you’re with your friends while you’re making it. That’s a social experience.
Carol: Well, you used to do the meal exchange with Julia.
Anne: Oh, yeah, yeah, you can find…and I know Jenny, my sister, Jenny, has done that, where you find maybe another family in your neighborhood and you take some meals of the week and they take some meals of the week and you just swap…
Carol: And you just double up on what you’re doing.
Anne: …yeah, and you’re making double.
Carol: And you swap.
Anne: Yeah. There are so many ideas.
Carol: We’ve gotten together before you’ve had…when you’ve had times where you’re having new babies, and we’ve done the meal prep for, like, you know, 30 frozen meals. You do that with the group. We’ve done it with a paid service. We’ve done it at my house.
Anne: And along with that keyword, social, again remembering to keep dinnertime and mealtime engaging with your kids so that it becomes a pleasant experience. And keep it flexible. I think that kind of goes along with the word random, keeping it flexible within the structure. Because I do think that having those good meal times and snack times set, really, is good for the body, and for just overall structure in the home.
Carol: This week’s parenting practices to apply two of the tips that we’ve given you, one for your child, and one for you, if you’re a Type 1, to your food experience. What can you implement, tweak, that’s going to make it more supportive and a more pleasant, positive, uplifting experience for your Type 1 children, and if you’re a Type 1 parent, for you?
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