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NEEDs for Tots resources

Explore these resources to learn about and practice the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding and the USDA Core Nutrition Messages for Child Feeding. The information, tips and strategies provided will help you respond positively to your child’s eating behavior, trust your child to manage his or her own eating, celebrate eating, and put the focus on liking to eat and the enjoyment of being fed.

Ruder EH, Lohse B.  

NEEDs For Tots: A Teacher-Ready and Parent-Friendly Curriculum Focuses on Principles of the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding.  J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017;49(4):357-359. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.12.011.


Magnet and Coasters 

Everyday objects remind us about children’s jobs with eating and caregiver’s jobs with feeding.


<i>NEEDs for Tots</i> Magnet


<i>NEEDs for Tots</i> Coasters

Contact NEEDs Center to order refrigerator magnet and coasters

Growing Plant


Videos on Family Mealtime and Digital Programs 

From Ellyn Satter Associates. . .Videos of parents and children in their own homes show what to do—and not do—with feeding.

No-cost digital programs (English and Spanish) are easily downloaded to computers or transferred to memory cards or flash drives for display on digital photo frames, television or computers screens.


Educator and Parent Handouts on Child Feeding 

Now approved by ESIEating Competence
Find out what it means to be a competent eater.

Eating Competence WebKit

download  Eating Competence (646 downloads)
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Now approved by ESIMealtime Moves and Countermoves
Ideas for how to stick to the division of responsibility at mealtime and to let children do their jobs with eating and caregivers’ do their jobs with feeding.

Mealtime Moves and Countermoves

download  Mealtime Moves and Countermoves (612 downloads)

Now approved by ESIWords and Actions that Hinder or Help a Child’s Eating
Young children have strong opinions about eating. Caregivers’ words or actions can hinder or help a child’s eating.

Words and Actions that Hinder or Help a Child’s Eating

download  Words and Actions that Hinder or Help a Child’s Eating (677 downloads)


Survey on Division of Responsibility

View a tested survey that measures adherence to Division of Responsibility in feeding young children.

Feeding Your Child Survey

download  Survey on Division of Responsibility (409 downloads)

Contact the NEEDs Center


Children’s Storybooks 

Four books used in NEEDs for Tots lessons convey the messages of

  • joy of eating

  • family mealtime

  • cooking and being together

  • colorful foods to taste or not taste
Bee-bim Bop

Bee-bim Bop

Let’s Eat
(A Comer)
Let’s Eat (A Comer)

Eating the Rainbow:
A Colorful Food Book
 Eating the Rainbow: A Colorful Food Book

The Cow Loves Cookies


peekinside2Peek Inside to see lessons that use these books.

Kit Bag

NEEDs for Tots Kit

A preschool curriculum comprised of 6 lessons, 4 storybooks, take-home child-parent activity pages, parent handouts, magnet and coasters, and supplies for food-tasting.

<i>NEEDs for Tots</i> Kit Bag

Ordering Options

Contact NEEDs Center

For more information or to purchase NEEDs for Tots contact NEEDs Center by email, using the form below,
or if you prefer, call 814-880-9977.








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