As a mum you wear many hats and educating your kids about healthy eating habits is no exception. As if parenting wasn’t already challenging enough, right?
Many of the mums we work with in our 50 for 5 program have goals for their own health and weight loss but also for setting the best example for their kids.
How do you communicate in a way that teaches your kids about healthy eating but without destroying their positive body image or going down the path of food obsession and fad dieting?
Here are our 3 expert tips for talking to your kids about food & nutrition in a healthy way…
1. Let them decide portion sizes
Kids are naturally very mindful eaters, something that is extremely helpful for weight management. The ability to recognise when you are satisfied (rather than full) is strong in young kids and becomes harder to recognise as we grow into adults. Unfortunately for our mums on 50 for 5, they have to re-learn this once natural instinct. Nurture your child’s ability to know for themselves when they are hungry or not. As well as when they have eaten enough, even if there is food left on the plate or they are asking for a second portion.
2. Don’t label foods as “Good” or “Bad”
Food labelling in this way has become such a normal part of life for many experienced dieters that we can fail to see the potential harm it can do to our children and our own health. Instead of categorising foods in this way, it’s helpful to see all foods as equal. Food is just food, nothing is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than the other. Yes, different foods have different nutritional value and provide varying health benefits but this doesn’t make one a ‘good food’ and the other a ‘bad food’.
Instead, try using terms like “sometimes foods” and “everyday foods” that relate to the recommended frequency of consumption rather than if they are ‘good’ ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ choices.
3. Focus on health instead of weight
When you are losing weight yourself it’s often the main thing you’re thinking about each day. Following meal plans, making mindful choices, focusing on eating slowly and with intention however try not to let this cross over into conversations about food with kids.
Instead of focusing on weight as the reason for food choices, shift the focus to health. Understand the health benefits of different foods so that you can share that instead of talking about calories, energy density and weight.
If you would like us to help you implement this while showing you how to lose 5-10kg in 6 weeks, our online 50 for 5 program is for you! Click here to learn more