Feeding kids isn’t always easy. Parents never seem satisfied with their kids’ eating habits. Either the kids aren’t eating enough or it’s impossible to curb their appetites. A recent virtual seminar with dietician Rachel Goodman on the ABCs of eating intuitively provided tools to help parents at mealtime sans the power struggle!
Eating intuitively: What is it?
Eating intuitively is described as a style of eating that follows personal cues for hunger and fullness. Research has shown that restricting yourself in the food department will lead to lifelong struggles with food. This applies to adults and kids alike! Check out these helpful hints to encourage positive attitudes surrounding food and healthy body image.
Used with permission from @kids.eat.in.color
▪ The Words We Use. Food is neither good nor bad. It provides people energy to go about life. This can and should be explained to kids! When parents say, “You can have a cookie when you finish your chicken,” they are essentially conveying that the cookie is better than the chicken and it is something to be earned. Instead, parents can offer a cookie with their meal. This exposure removes the fear that something sweet won’t be available to them. Now, they can happily enjoy their food with the confidence that they’re allowed cookies too. See some other ways from nutritionist Jennifer Anderson to address sweets.
The Family Effect
Mealtime with the whole family has many benefits. When kids see their parents enjoying food it will spark conversation around different types of food and an interest in trying new things. Additionally, if a child is interested in cooking, getting them involved in an age-appropriate manner will create positive moments between parent and child and good feelings around food.Parents want their children to get all the vitamins and nutrients that are in food. When the pressure to eat a specific food or an exact portion size is removed, then children can be at peace with food and with themselves. Here’s to raising happy and healthy humans!
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