Food Neutral Home
This episode is specifically for the Moms out there—moms who’ve struggled with chronic dieting or yo-yo dieting who’re now raising little ones. You want them to have a healthy relationship with food. You don’t want to pass down your struggle, or maybe you’re simply a mom who doesn’t struggle with these things but you want to ensure your child doesn’t face the food battles that are so common in our society. But how do we as moms approach this oh-so-important topic and create a truly food-neutral home? In this episode, I share my strategies based on my personal experience as a mom and my professional experience as a Registered Dietitian in hopes that it will help you decide what works best for you with your own home and family.
We can’t predict the future, but when we decide the things that are important to us and the values that we want to have in our homes, then we know that regardless of whatever struggles come up, we did the best that we could as parents—and that includes how we raise our children in terms of food and body image. When we take a proactive versus reactive approach to this topic with our children, it makes it easier to handle inevitable challenges and conversations when they arise and to feel really good about how we presented food or body image in our household when we look back one day.
In this episode, I share:
- How to have honest conversations about food and body image with your kids, even if you struggle with your own relationship with food and body image
- How to uncover messages that you may be communicating about food out of habit, without even realizing it—and what to do about it to create a home that’s truly food-neutral (versus establishing some foods as undesirable foods that kids are forced to eat while other foods or special foods that must be earned)
- Why I don’t talk about food in terms of good and bad with my own family
- How to move away from using food as a motivator for good behavior and empower your kids to self-motivate instead
- Examples of conversations I’ve had with my own daughter about food and how we choose to discuss foods in our own family
- How we can help our kids learn to feel comfortable with their own food choices so that comments and opinions from others don’t affect them and/or so they know how to shift conversations with peers away from food when necessary
- How a “food-neutral home” can help combat feelings of guilt or judgment or shame or deprivation that comes from labeling foods as “good” or “bad”, and help your family members feel at ease with food
- Why mealtimes don’t have to be a game of “finish your whole plate” and alternatives to this approach
- How to shift existing mealtime habits to bring a more food-neutral approach
- Strategies to ensure your kids eat a balanced diet without having to have the “eat your veggies” conversations