The Satter Eating Competence Model for the autodidact

Prepared by Ellyn Satter June 2013

Watch the ESI website for training opportunities. At some point we will offer a four-day training in primary intervention. We also regularly contract with sponsors for workshops and we will post those. You may be able to attend a workshop in your area, or you may be able to interest your agency in sponsoring a workshop.

Reading and study on you own. Here is a listing of basic reading and work you can do on your own (or in a study group with colleagues) to help yourself understand and properly apply ecSatter. In addition to the readings listed, I would encourage you to subscribe to and read the monthly Family Meals Focus newsletters as well as as well as ESI Facebook conversations. Both publications address trends, programs, and thinking that are consistent (or inconsistent) with ecSatter (and also the Satter Feeding Dynamics Model, fdSatter). If you find yourself stumbling on research, issues and questions, raise them on Facebook, as that supports mutual help with others who are also bringing themselves along with the models.

CEU credits for RDNs. Since we can’t test your understanding, we can’t support you in getting credits for Sponsored Independent Learning. You can, however, use this self-study activity as Professional Reading, or join with at least two other people to have a Study Group or Journal Club.


  1. Take ecSI 2.0. Score it. Read about what your score means. 
  2. Read the short statement about ecSatter. Check out the references. 
  3. Read the fundamental articles on eating competence definition and research.
  4. Read all of the short website articles about eating, which address eating competence principles and family meals.
  5. Use each of the short articles about eating as a self-tutorial, which is how they are intended. These topics and hyperlinks start out general and superficial, then take you into a deeper understanding of eating competence.
  6. View Barbara Lohse's webinar, The evidence base for the Satter Eatng Competence Model. Note correlation between ecSI, increased activity, better sleep, better parenting, and more. 
  7. Understand and apply ecSatter principles. Read Satter EM. Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters and How to Cook. Madison, WI: Kelcy Press; 2008.

Part 1: How to Eat

Chapter 13: Choosing food
Review other chapters. They all contribute to your understanding of the model.
Read and understand Secrets Appendixes:
C: What surveys say about our eating
D: BMI, mortality, morbidity and health
L: Diet and degerative disease
N: A primer on dietary fat
O: Sodium in your diet

  1. Read Satter Your Child’s Weight: Helping without Harming, especially chapter 7, Optimize feeding: your adolescent.
  2. Read the 8-part newsletter series on ecSatter staring with Family Meals Focus #21.  
  3. Study the Satter Eating Competence Model Webcast Series on CD. This explains eating competence in practical, accessible terms. Gives live demonstrations of applying ecSatter principles to typical adult eating issues: lack of interest in nutritional guidelines, picky eating, weight problems. Find out what Ellyn Satter means by nutritional judo.
  4. Keep up on the PennState needs site with the exciting ecSatter research as it evolves. Note correlations with increased activity and with improved cardiovascular biomarkers.  And more. 

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