Let’s talk about raising kids who have a healthy relationship with food…
First of all, can I say that I am not an expert in this area? But whether you are like me and you have a history of a poor relationship with food, or you have never had issues, I think this is a topic that benefits all of us! Here are 3 things that I practice with my 5 kids that have been helpful:
- Don’t talk about food as good or bad. We immediately tie shame to food when we start saying, “This is bad for you.” We feel righteous when we eat good food and guilty when we eat bad food.
Instead…talk about nutrition. Food contains nutrition that fuels our bodies in different ways. No foods are bad, they just contain different nutrition that will affect our brain and energy levels in different ways.
- Try not to use food as a reward. Food as a reward becomes not about hunger or fuel, but it connects emotion with food, so I eat to feel good, I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I do something hard, etc.
Instead…focus on relationship! I.e., We will get our chores done and then read books together. Or…we’ll go for a bike ride after school is over. Or…Let’s talk through our sad emotions vs getting out a tub of ice cream.
- Don’t force them to clean their plate. This teaches them to ignore their hunger and fullness cues.
Instead…serve them a variety of nutritious food and let them eat what they like. I will have my kiddos try new food, but I don’t force them to eat when they are already full.
Have questions? I’d love to hear! Have something that’s worked well with your kids? I’d love it if you shared that, too! 🤍