One of the most important aspects of raising kiddos with healthy attitudes and relationships with food is to model a healthy relationship with food. As a freshman in college, I found myself spiraling headlong into patterns of disordered eating at a rapid rate. Having grown up in a home where food was a healthy, balanced part of our lives, my new-found food obsessions and fears where a far cry from the norm of my childhood. And it scared me. One day, I heard in a class that many young girls with eating disorders, in essence, “inherit” these disorders from their mothers. I did not want this to be a new legacy that I left to my future daughters and decided then and there that I would get the help I needed. It was one of the best decisions I have made; to kill the thing that was hurting me and could one day hurt my kids.
As parents, it’s pretty natural to think about what’s best for our kiddos and to fight for it. It’s less obvious to recognize that what’s healthy for us is often the very thing that will grow health in them. As you seek to raise healthy eaters, don’t fail to take the time to examine your own history with food:
Do you have a history of disordered eating?
Are you anxious around food?
Is the idea of gaining weight terrifying for you?
Are you constantly dieting?
Do you eat to avoid certain emotions?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need to take some time to get some healing with your relationship with food. Talk to a counselor or a Registered Dietitian that is familiar with disordered eating. You may also want to consider taking my course on eating intuitively (click here for more info).
We can’t really give anything that we don’t have ourselves. Make sure you have a healthy relationship with food so you can model it and pass it on to your kids.
How is your relationship with food?