It seems that we’ve raised a few generation of people with eating problems and a bad relationship with food. As I think about my own pregnancy and how to prevent or deal with a picky eater, here are some connections I’ve made with childhood diet and adult weight gain.
- Finish your plate. This is the worst lesson for kids. It tells them to stop listening to their body; simply keep eating even if you’re full. Now as adults, we all finish our plates and overeat especially since the typical American portion is obscene. Adults: no need to finish our plate.
- No dessert until you finish your plate. This just tells us that dessert is awesome and we just have to get through the proteins and vegetables in order to get to the good stuff. Celebrate all types of food. Now, when we are down, we eat treats (desserts) and when we’re celebrating, we treat ourselves to dessert. Dessert becomes a reward for all circumstances. Adults: use non-food rewards.
- Let kids graze all day. It really teaches bad eating habits, typically not getting enough calories for kids since they end up skipping main meals. As adults, we end up overeating by grazing all day and eating unbalanced meals. Focus on main meals. If your kids get very little during meals, tell them there won’t be food for another 3 hours or so (some exceptions for younger ones, of course). Adults: enjoy proper meals and don’t graze all day.
- Sit down. Sit at the table for all meals. Don’t multitask. You can’t listen to your body if you multitask. Kids can learn to sit until everyone’s finish and enjoy the eating experience. As adults, let’s enjoy and not rush through such a beautiful, delicious time.
- No negative talk at the table. Teach your kids to describe the food to be too salty, strong, or sour instead of “this is gross or stinky.” As adults, I hear all my clients refer to food as good or bad. By labeling our food “bad”, we have given it power and a prize to claim. Adults: don’t label your food. Enjoy and learn how to actually enjoy the food that’s also good for you at Happy Food.
The dinning table is a happy place where parents don’t breakdown in defeat. And as adults, we end up with a great relationship with food where we don’t turn into food Nazis and simply enjoy the deliciousness of real food and how it nourishes
This is how we work at Happy Food. Learn nutrition for the body and mind to help you reach your goals with ease, positivity, and life-long maintenance. Stop dieting and get a free health consultation to see if this is the right match for you. www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. Do what truly works in the long run for you and your family.
~Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Health Coach
San Diego, CA