While we are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic, prevention is a universal thought and behavior. Protecting our family and ourselves (and having toilet paper) is uppermost in our minds.
Our children need some other protection as they are vulnerable human beings. It is on my mind that with all the weight and drinking jokes on social media lightening our moods with humor, that protecting your child’s body image and precious relationship with food is an essential service of parenting.
I see adults with disordered eating from numerous diets or “healthy” lifestyle changes and high levels of body critique. Stopping this with the current generation is a great vision. Healing NOW for adults and gifting children with a different environment.
Practice three Action Steps to pivot and prevention proof body shaming and dieting in children:
- Model healthy eating of proteins, fruit, vegetables and grains. Truly embrace that there are no bad foods but focus on what you and your children want to eat. Consistent bits of positive eating choices make dramatic difference.
- Eat as a family at the table. Serve everyone the same thing from toddler on up. Let the children decide whether and how much they will eat. The habit leads to joyful and peaceful mealtimes as you talk and connect over food.
- Healthy eating and weight are completely separate topics and conversations. Healthy eating is about nourishing the whole person and providing essential nutrients for brain and body growth. Passing comments about quality of food, quantity of food and weight set up children for disordered eating, eating disorders and internalizing of shame. Seek out a professional or speak to your child’s doctor privately about your concerns.
Enjoy all your meals – food is a beautiful gift!