Hi everyone! Thanks for reading! This is week 8 of 12 steps to a healthier lifestyle!
I still want to continue with the subject of emotional eating. For this week, try and work on not making food comments to anyone – including your family and friends. What do I mean? How?
Let’s start with the Division of Responsibility, created by dietitian, social worker, and author, Ellyn Satter. You are responsible for what you put on the table, a meal for your family. All family members are responsible for WHAT they eat and HOW MUCH. Please remember this : children are still learning to get in touch with their hunger and fullness signals. This starts as soon as they are a baby.
The more you try and intervene (and I know, best intentions) the less the children will learn to trust themselves and their body. For instance, if your child takes too much food and cannot finish it, you will need to accept the losses (wrap it and save it) and know that when they say they are done, their body is telling them they are done. If a parent intervenes and states, “Can’t you eat a little more” or “you took all that food, now finish it” fullness signals get ignored.
Ways to resolve this? (I know, not easy to not make these comments- but it is all a work in progress- do your best!). Serve everyone family-style. Let children learn to trust how much they may eat (gentle reminders are ok- “don’t take more than you think you can eat”…etc. ) That way they can get used to how much they will eat. It won’t be perfect every time. From time to time, everyone takes too much! At least there is such thing as leftovers!
Remember no one is perfect. As a parent, we are all tired after a busy day and can say things about eating that we may regret. The important thing is that you develop an awareness to these comments. You can work to improve. Not every meal will go smoothy but some of my tips should certainly help!
On the same note, try and not make food comments to other family members and friends. It is not your job or responsibility to monitor what they put in their bodies (i.e., “You’re really going to eat all that?” Or “why don’t you eat more food- you are so tiny! “ “I can’t believe how much you can eat”. All these comments do is upset the other person so please try your best to refrain from making inappropriate food comments . This can give you an opportunity to be mindful with your own eating and trust your own hunger/fullness signals.
The takeaway for today? Remember food is meant to be enjoyed by everyone! The best conversation you can have is about everyone’s day at school, at work, at home, etc.