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Week 8 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Posted on 4 March, 2014 at 11:17 Comments comments (0)

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.        


Kids Won't Eat Dinner? Fear Not, Try These

Posted on 29 November, 2011 at 12:04 Comments comments (3)

It's such a common complaint I always hear:  "No matter what I do my child won't eat any vegetables at dinner".  "My child won't eat anything but chicken nuggets"!  

Here are some "rules" to go by:

1.  You are not the short order cook of the house.  You make one healthy meal and offer it to everyone.  What if it's a new food or an ethnic food that your child is skeptical of?  Put something else on the table they are familiar with and already like, like a whole grain bread, veggies or fruit you know they like.  Continue to serve other regular things, like milk or water with the meal. 

2.  Do not say "You can't have your dessert unless you eat all your broccoli (vegetables)".   Why?  You have now indicated to your child that the vegetable is not as good as the reward, dessert.  If you tend to offer dessert, offer it no matter what was eaten.  Some even suggest that you serve it with the meal, if at all.   Another idea- make desserts healthy- unsweetened applesauce, fruit, 100% fruit juice popsicles.  Save the ice cream treats and/or cookies for the weekend.

3.  Do not join or have a Clean Plate Club!   Children naturally are equipped to stop when they are full (something many of us need to work on).  Why ruin this natural instinct?  Children will finish when they are done.  

4.  Encourage enjoyment of all foods!  Offer meals family style- give them a spoon to serve themselves. If they take it themselves it puts them in control of their eating.  Watch your comments!  Just offer!!!

Hopefully these tips will help lead to a more pleasant mealtime.  Isn't that what it is supposed to be- a pleasant time to sit together, eat and talk about everyone's day?