05 Sep

Book Review: My Child Won’t Eat, by Carlos Gonzalez

After enjoying Gonzalez’ Kiss Me! so much, and with a long standing interest in the subject of solid food, I looked forward to reading My Child Won’t Eat, and hoped it would have some useful information that I could pass on in my Introducing Solids Workshops.

The book is sensibly divided into Causes, Solutions, and Prevention, and uses a rich selection of anecdotes to illustrate the points made in each section.

Gonzalez’ basic premise is that babies and children can be allowed and trusted to regulate their own appetites; and that it is the parents’ expectations that are wrong. If parents stop worrying about it or trying to force their children to eat, they will still eat the same amount, but it will all be much less stressful. They won’t eat any more than they did before, but they won’t waste away either.

This premise is entirely sensible and based in the science relating to appetite control, and Gonzalez uses the perspective of the child to argue that mealtime battles are confusing and unhelpful when it comes to creating a positive attitude to food.

The book includes a large section on breastfeeding, which, as the author acknowledges, is likely to come too late for the parents of babies or toddlers eating (or not eating) solid food, at whom the book is targeted. Perhaps this would be more useful for health professionals and other people supporting those parents.

I found some of Gonzalez’ recommendations to be highly directive and some of his language is really quite judgemental. On the subject of introducing potential allergens, he writes:

Before one year, introducing many different foods only means buying more tickets for the allergy lottery.

which is sweepingly dismissive, and not in line with current recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, whose review of the evidence concludes that there is currently no clear indication that early (or late) introduction of certain foods either prevents or triggers allergies.

I am not sure I learned anything new from My Child Won’t Eat, but the book gave me plenty to reflect on, and has helped to develop new perspectives and different ways of explaining things to parents.


To order My Child Won’t Eat! with a 25% discount, just follow the link and use the discount code KH25 at the checkout.

One thought on “Book Review: My Child Won’t Eat, by Carlos Gonzalez

  1. I found the book really helpful for some ammo to deflect the harmful but well meaning comments from, say, friends and relatives regarding the quantity consumed by my daughter. It didn’t change my attitude to her eating habits, but it allowed me to better challenge unsolicited advice and negativity.

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