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Dieting Mentality and Impacts on Kids

Parental Dieting Impacts on Food Anxiety in Children | Play with Food

I filmed this video live on the Facebook group that I co-administer with Jo Cormack, Parenting Picky Eaters.

It was definitely something that I realised afterwards, was more of an issue for parenting in general.  Having the right food language (even if we are not dieting) is important in reducing food anxiety for all children. Our food legacy (ie what we have learnt about food over our lives) is difficult to leave checked at the door. For everyone. So Hard. Food legacy rears its head when you are stressed about what kids are eating. Painful memories. Sometimes.

So, towards the end of this video on how parental dieting can impact picky eaters, I started to give a few examples on what could be done instead of having a weight loss resolution. So many alternatives! The main thing I suggest is looking at your own eating competency. And then also how well you are catering for your families food needs. Working on these goals will in turn lead you to raising healthier eaters. Nutrition is a long-term game.

Therefore, you could take on a new habit to improve mealtimes.  Like: Meal plan 3 days/week. Exercise with the kids for 5 mins before dinner 3 nights/week. Bake once a month and freeze ahead your own “snack foods” instead of buying them all.  Try a new type of food together as a family each fortnight. Make one new recipe each week.

Do you like the tip of the habit chain from the video?

Making a resolution that teaches your child to demonize foods or have them see you judge your own body, is not going to result in them having healthy body images. One of the most soul destroying messages we can give a picky eater / fussy eater, is that their “safe-food” is bad. They directly correlate the bad food with meaning “I’m bad”.

Here are the links to the research articles that I talk about in the video.

Ellyn Satter’s Eating Competency Model

Ellyn Satter’s Hierarchy of Food Needs

These are the words that I put in my “DIET brainstorm”:

  • No Joy in Eating
  • Lonely OR Comparison – remember comparison is the thief of joy!
  • Separate meals for different family members
  • Preparation work increases
  • Effort increases
  • Hangries
  • Yucky foods
  • Displeasure
  • Anxiety
  • Failure
  • Body Image
  • GUILT

What other words could you put on this list?

It’s not just me saying it …

Nerdy Girl Nutrition: 10 non-diet new years resolutions for 2017

Choose Nutrition: The Sun is Out and so are the Merchants of Body Hatred. Mums, Let’s Fight Back

Get the tools:

Positive Food Talk with Kids – My video with Meg McClintock (APD) discussing how to talk about food with kids so they get the right message, are encouraged to learn and feel safe with new foods.

The Happy Mealtimes eCourse – Module one is dedicated to exploring your eating competence and then we go into family meals, meal planning, fussy eating, shopping for foods, packing lunchboxes and healthy eating on a budget.

What goals are you making in 2017?

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