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Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook


This book by Ellyn Satter breaks the spell of negativity and fear that permeates our eating.

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This book by Ellyn Satter breaks the spell of negativity and fear that permeates our eating. Ellyn Satter empowers and inspires us to love - and cook - our favorite foods and teach our children to do the same. Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family helps us past the barriers to getting a meal on the table - and eating it. Kelcy Press, 2008, 292 pages, index, appendixes.



1. The Secret in a Nutshell. When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers.


Prologue. The eating competence model says to celebrate eating and take good care of yourself with food. It says nothing about what or how much to eat.

2. Adjust Your Attitude. Competent eaters enjoy food and eating. They feel it is okay to eat food that they like in amounts they find satisfying.

3. Honor Your Appetite. Appetite is compelling, but it can be satisfied.

4. Eat as Much as You Want. Essential to eating's rich reward is having enough to eat.

5. Feed Yourself Faithfully. To develop the meal habit, prioritize pleasure.

Epilogue. Eating competence is made up of the permission to eat food you enjoy in amounts you find satisfying and the discipline to feed yourself regularly and reliably and pay attention while you eat.


Prologue. Provided parents do their jobs with feeding, children eat as much or as little as they need and grow predictably.

6. The Feeding Relationship. Maintain a division of responsibility: Parents do the what, when, and where of feeding; Children do the how much and whether of eating.

7. Stuff to Know to Have Family Meals. How to have pleasant mealtimes: Orchestrate snacks; Make wise use of controlled substances; Manage family meals in restaurants.

Epilogue. When raising children, give it your best effort, find out if it works, then tinker with it.


Prologue. To celebrate eating and take good care of yourself with food, cook and keep on cooking.

8. How to Get Cooking. Build a foundation for being a good, fast, efficient, and wholesome cook.

9. How to Keep Cooking. Like eating, cooking can be an energizing creative act.

10. Enjoy Vegetables and Fruits. Eat vegetables and fruits because you enjoy them, not because you feel obligated.

11. Planning to Get You Cooking. Planning can be used or abused. Use planning to lower your stress level, not to pile on jobs.

12. Shopping to Get You Cooking. To plan and cook a meal - or to grab the ingredients to throw one together - you have to shop.

13. Choosing Food. Optimism, self-trust and adventure are good motivators. Negativity, fear, and avoidance are not..

Epilogue. Mastery in any of the three areas - how to eat, how to raise good eaters and how to cook - increases your mastery in the other two.

Plus 17 appendixes in all, including:

Interpreting and Using the ecSatter Inventory (ecSI)

What the Research Says about Meals

What Surveys Say about Our Eating

BMI, Mortality, Morbidity, and Health: Resolving the Weight Dilemma

Energy Balance and Weight

Select Foods That Help Regulation

Nutrition Education in the Schools

Children and Food Regulation: The Research

Children and Food Acceptance: The Research

Iron in Your Child's Diet

Diet and Degenerative Disease: It's Not as Bad as You Think

Children, Dietary Fat, and Heart Disease: You Don't Have to Panic

A Primer on Dietary Fat

Sodium in Your Diet Interpreting the News Eating Competence and Feeding Dynamics Resources

What Others Say

This book is full of practical advice and solid nutrition information, supported by scientific research. Satter is one of the world's foremost authorities on feeding children, and her new book makes an important contribution to sound nutrition, emotional health and positive family relationships.
Healthy Weight Journal

I love this book! I just made another fabulous dinner for my family using the recipes from Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family. Ellyn tells you how to get started the night before, how to cook and even how to involve your child. Who knew cooking and eating a balanced dinner could be so fun!
Jennifer Hoots, parent

I just wanted to say thank you so much for researching and thinking through what is valid in eating behavior concepts that I always felt in my gut, but didn't have the time to verify. Now I can just refer to you. You're my hero (even though one of my friends says it is pretty weird to have a dietitian for a hero)!
Lisa Van Dyke, Nutrition Educator

Additional information

Weight 13 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 11 × 12 in

1 review for Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook

  1. Erin

    I wish I would have found this sooner.

    I’m sure you receive these emails all the time, but I had to reach out to thank you. I just finished Secretes of Feeding a Healthy Family on the recommendation of my health care provider. I’ve struggled with eating and attitudes towards food since childhood. Since implementing the tips in the book, I feel freedom for the first time in my life. Freedom to enjoy food and look forward to food. I’m early in my recovery and journey, but i’m hopeful for the first time ever. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I only wish I would have found this sooner.

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