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Division of Responsibility at Mealtimes

This week we had Registered Dietary Nutritionist, Jeanne Petrucci, from Living Plate present in our Parent Education Series on Raising Competent Eaters. The parents in attendance received some practical and very Montessori-friendly, advice including learning about the research-based method of feeding children endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics called Division of Responsibility in Feeding.

Like with the Montessori Method, the adult is responsible for providing the environment and choices that are acceptable for the child. The adult is the role model for good behavior and sets clear expectations for those behaviors. 

In Division of Responsibility in Feeding, the parents are responsible for:
·What food is served
·When eating occurs
·Where eating is allowed
This means that the children are responsible for:
·How much to eat
·Whether or not to eat

The Division of Responsibility in Feeding method eliminates all need to cajole, bribe, threaten, or manipulate children into eating certain foods or amounts, methods that research has shown to actually worsen poor eating habits.

If you missed the presentation and would like more information, there are many resources available to learn about this method, including:

Satter EM. The feeding relationship. J Am Diet Assoc. 1986;86:352-356. – See more at:
USDA, FNS. Maximizing the message: Helping moms and kids make healthier food choices. FNS-409. 2012 . – See more at:

The joy and smiles of our children strengthen our commitment to a Montessori early childhood education. Westmont, an accredited school with the American Montessori Society (AMS) and Middle States Association (MSA-CESS), stands as one of the premier Montessori schools in NJ. We welcome you to discover Westmont.