Picky eating: know it, read it, do it, cure it

By April 17, 2012Notes from Alexis

I have returned home from my visit to India feeling blessed, humbled and inspired. There is so much life in India, it is hard to take it all in. The same is true here, but in a different way. I was struck when I arrived back at our house at how good everything in the garden smells! Also how nice it is to have everyone drive in a straight line on the streets, and stay inside the lanes! Naturally, it is wonderful to drink clean water and breathe clean air, which we have in abundance. I am deeply grateful for my trip to such a different world, for the gratitude it brought upon my return, among many other gifts. I am back and so eager to practice what I learned from the masters in Mumbai. I feel a deep shift in my ability to see and connect, and I look forward to working with each of you in that way. I continue to be confident in the beautiful and elegant healing power of homeopathy and my life’s purpose to relieve suffering through homeopathy.

Homeopathy notes:
I was inspired this month by a book I am reading. It is about children and eating. Such a complicated subject. There are picky eaters, ravenous appetites, unusual appetites (only sushi?), and children who seem to subsist on a single saltine cracker a day. I am frequently asked for advice on what to do about the eating habits of children, particularly picky eaters.

I have dealt with my share of food dramas in my own home, and I feel the most important shift comes from the parents. The first thing that must happen is that the parents must shift their expectations. In this world, where we buy “kid food” and order from “kids’ menus”, children are not expected to eat adult food. This is the first thing to shift. Children can and should be expected to try and eventually eat food that adults eat. It can be done. The second thing to do is to stop any snacking. This creates a hungry child that is more likely to eat a meal you cook for the family. Third, cook and serve a meal, sit down to eat together, without offering anything specially made for the kids. Eventually your children will eat the food you are serving.

Since this is my standard advice, I was thrilled to read about a book called, “French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters”. This book is amusing like many travel-abroad- for-a- year books are, ie; “A Year in Provence”, but with hope and practical advice for American parents who are tearing their hair out with the fish-stick crew. Run down and get it from your local bookstore, and gobble it up. I promise it is a good and helpful read.

Picky eating is a bad habit that can be un-learned. Constitutional homeopathy can help with this annoying habit. Homeopathic remedies have very particular pictures, and I thought I would share some food pictures of remedies this month. These are for reading interest, and not for prescribing purposes. Please see a professional homeopath to address these deeper issues of a child’s state.

Saccharum Album:
In the larger picture of this remedy, a child will typically desire “dainty” things, in small amounts, will not eat normal sized portions, will pick at their food, and will crave sugar intensely. There is typically hyperactivity, and also a strong desire to be connected to the parents, often driving a child to demand the parent stay in the bedroom until the child is fully asleep. It is a remedy made from white sugar.

This well-known remedy has a very particular symptom of “easy satiety”. It means that you feel ever so full after eating ever so little. If your child eats two bites and then says he is full, this is an important remedy to consider. Especially if there are other common Lycopodium symptoms, like bloating, gas, and bossiness at home but timidity outside the house.

Natrum Muriaticum:
If your child craves potato chips and pretzels, and eschews the cookies, that is a keynote symptom of this remedy. There is an intense craving for salt that cannot be denied! The remedy itself is made from sodium chloride, also known as salt! Natrum Muriaticum children can be quite serious, reserved, and perfectionistic.

If your child has a ravenous appetite, but is thin in spite of eating you out of house and home, this could be the remedy. Phosphorus is a vivacious, sparkling personality, that seems to make friends wherever she goes. Chidlren needing Phosphorus dislike warm food, and crave ice cream and cold, sparkling drinks. The very essence of this remedy is effervecence!

Calcarea Phosphoricum:
In this very common remedy, there is a distinct craving for smoked meats. If you have to ask, you don’t have a child that demands bacon, ham and sausages – morning, noon and night. You know who you are! The typical Calc-phos child will also have a quality of dissatisfaction, discontentment, and some hard core temper tantrums. Teenagers can have well- developed ennui. The most unusal thing about Calc-phos is the desire to go out when they are at home, and then the desire to go home when they are out! That is not an easy child to please!

Book note:

  • French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters by Karen Le Billon.

Nutrition note:

  • Stop the snacking!

Practice note:

  • Refer a friend to my practice for a constitutional visit, and receive 15% off your next visit. Make sure your friend mentions your name!