I received this email last week, that sparked a conversation between me and my colleagues and ultimately a petitioning a new FED UP campaign that I want to share with you. Share this post among your friends and peers, to prevent our children from learning from this program that labels foods as "good or bad" and sets the stage for eating disorders and low self-esteem.
When my friend Esther told me that her kids prefer broccoli to pizza, I knew we had to talk
some more. Esther is a mom to three children under the age of five, and she is also one of the
most relaxed, serene individuals I know. I’ve chosen her as one of my “role model moms” (I
collect them) and the way she feeds her children is just one of the many things I admire about
her. I’ve asked Esther to share her techniques for raising healthy eaters. Here are her tips!
Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.
Don't you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk
about your new diet. In fact, don't go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy
food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your daughter
should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to
shame about yourself.
So you may recall my disclosure in a previous blog, sharing that my son is anything
but a fruit lover. He politely refuses whenever offered any – whether it’s the
sweetest, most amazing strawberry, or the crunchiest red apple. When he has tried
the occasional bite, his eyes water, he gags, and just can’t move beyond it.
What an amazing example of why it is so important to trust your child’s gut. Next time your child has a stomach ache, suffers from gastric distress or digestive issues, consider that their body is trying to communicate something important that they may not be aware of.
I’m learning that the only predictable part of this process is the work I put in. I’m going to keep doing what I can to ensure that the girls get the best possible start, but I realize that that’s all I can do – set the stage. My babies will eat the way they want to eat and grow the way they’re destined to grow. And while they’re busy experiencing new tastes and flavors, their mom is savoring the sweetness of stepping back and letting go.
I think from all the Mommy RD stories here on Mom Dishes It Out, you now know that RDs have their fair share of food and nutrition conundrums. But like you, we need to separate our emotional-selves and work with our child. This is probably the hardest part. Being an objective feeder is quite the challenge. Don’t despair, your kids may surprise you..