The Satter eating and feeding models

Satter Feeding Dynamics and Eating Competence models 

People are healthier in all ways when they eat and feed with practicality and enjoyment, based on the evidence-based, clinically tested, and highly effective Satter Feeding Dynamics Model (fdSatter) and Satter Eating Competence Model (ecSatter)

Feeding Dynamics


The Satter Feeding Dynamics Model (fdSatter) illustrates what happens when parents follow the Division of Responsibility in rearing their children:  Their children grow up to become eating competent, sensible and joyful eaters.

What can eating competent children do?

  • Feel good about eating and have the drive to eat.
  • Naturally eat the amount they need and grow in the way that is right for them.
  • Follow a predictable trajectory of development that guides feeding practice.
  • Apply their drive to grow up to learning to eat the food their parents eat.
  • Enjoy family meals and learn to behave well at mealtime.

Learn more about fdSatter

Eating Competence


The Satter Eating Competence Model (ecSatter) describes what a good relationship with good looks like.  Eating Competent individuals are confident and comfortable with their food choices and know how to feed themselves well.  

Eating competent people eat healthier and are healthier

  • Have better diets.
  • Are more joyful and positive about eating.
  • Are more trusting and capable with themselves and other people.
  • Have the same or lower BMI.
  • Have better physical self-acceptance.
  • Are more active.
  • Sleep better and longer.
  • Have better medical profiles and lab tests.
  • Do better with respect to feeding their children.

Learn more about ecSatter

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When you do your jobs with feeding,
your child will do his with eating.  
~ Ellyn Satter

Division of Responsibility


When it comes to meals and snacks, everyone has something do. Ellyn Satter has coined the expression division of responsibility (sDOR) to describe who is in charge of what at meal and snack time.  The term has come to be recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a best practice. 

Division of Responsibility is about people doing their jobs and the other people trusting them to do their jobs.  When children are infants, they have all the responsibility knowing when to nurse, and they trust the adults who care for them to respond to their needs.  As they develop and become more regular in their eating patterns, their parents take on more responsibility for deciding what, when, and where their children will eat — and they trust their children to intuitively know which foods to say yes to and how much to eat.  

The division of responsibility in feeding applies at every stage in your child’s growing-up years, from infancy through the early years through adolescence.  Throughout, parents maintain the structure of family meals and sit-down snacks throughout the growing-up years.

Learn more about sDOR

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