We all want our kids to grow up as confident eaters, enjoying a variety of nurturing foods and being comfortable in their bodies. We are aiming to equip them with the tools they need to navigate themselves through the food jungle once their time is ready.
It is a big and important task, but one not to stress out about. Kids are very receptive, they look up to you, copy you and want to grow up to be exactly like you. So, naturally, giving kids confidence in their own body starts with you and your own body confidence.
Mindful eating and body positivity
Feeling good about your own body and enjoying foods without emotional detachment is not always easy for us. Depending on our past relationship with food and our body shape, we all have different associations to eating and body image. Have you been going through diets since you were a teenager, or maybe you have been trying to lose weight since you gave birth to your child? Or are you just thinking of losing a few pounds in time for the big summer holiday you have coming up?
90% of women over 20 years have been on some kind of restriction diet in their life and to break out of the diet culture is not an easy task, but one that will pay off – not only for yourself, but also for your kids. Mindful eating is a way of tuning in to our own hunger and fullness cues, loosing feelings of guilt or shame about food and appreciating your body.
Talking about food
Keep a neutral language around food. There are no good foods or bad foods – food is food. Some food helps us grow strong, like dairy and proteins. Other foods give us energy to play, run and have fun, like carbs. And other foods help us focus, concentrate and come up with lots of clever ideas, like fats. Cookies and cakes are part of enjoying a birthday party and making memories. Some foods we need more of, some foods we don’t need a lot of, but generally all food is food.
Talking about body shapes
Helping kids understand that all bodies are different and beautiful really helps them build confidence and feel happy in their own bodies. Some kids are bigger and stronger, others are slimmer and faster, some are tall, some are small. Everyone has their own body shape and all our bodies can do wonderful things like running, jumping and dancing. Regardless of the shape!
Loving, appreciating and looking after our bodies is one of the important lessons to teach our kids.
For more body positivity for grownups, check out these books:
Just Eat It – Laura Thomas
Land Whale – Jes Baker
Health at Every Size – Linda Bacon
For more body positivity for your kids, check out these books:
Giraffes Can’t Dance- Giles Andreae
Your Body is Awesome – Sigrun Danielsdottir
What I Like About Me – Allia Zobel Nolan
Brontorina – James Howe