Your kid comes home from school and says she feels fat- what do you do?
You tell her she’s not fat, that she’s beautiful, and that kids are mean. Right?
Here’s the problem: by you telling your kids that they are not fat, they are beautiful- you are reminding them that “fat and beautiful” are antonyms. The issue is not that your child is perhaps on a higher weight trajectory, but that somewhere down the road she learned that being fat is bad.
Let’s flip the script- YOU feel that your child is overweight or eating “too much bad food.” You being to scrutinize what they eat & how much they eat. Food suddenly feels scarce to them, like a point of contention. Something to be counted, obsessed over, and maybe even hidden from you.
Let’s flip the script again. You use dessert to entice your children to clean their rooms, to do well in school, to not misbehave in public. Surface level, it sounds incredibly harmless. Turns out, you’re just teaching your kids that food is something that is used as a reward.
You tell your children they cannot have ice cream until they finish every last bite of food on their plate.
You tell them that sugar is bad, and they cannot eat it for breakfast.
It’s all coming from a good place. I am not doubting that your intentions are to raise thriving, healthy, perfectly functioning humans. But, without you even realizing it, you’re setting your kids up for a world of hurt. You are teaching them diet culture. You are teaching them to fight with food in some way. You are teaching them a morality around food that will take decades for them to sift through and eventually work their way out of.
Megan of Feeding Littles joins us on episode 78 and teaches us what we need to know about feeding our children and exactly how to present foods of any and all types to our kids so that they never have to end up where many women are at this very moment: obsessed with their weight, obsessed with restricting food and ultimately bingeing on it as a normal biological response to chronic dieting.