Food is such a huge aspect of our day-to-day life. When there are battles to be fought between parents and children about food, it is a very trying experience because parents know that their children’s health is largely dependent on the food they eat.
There are SO many directions I could go with the topic of food and parenting, but I am not going to be covering what you should or should not be feeding your kids… I am going to touch on something that is far more gut wrenching for you parents out there…
Your child not eating they way you know they need to eat; despite your efforts.
There are really two directions that your child can take… eating too much and not eating enough. I WILL be covering BOTH topics over the course of this month, but today will be discussing the overeating aspect.
I have heard parents fret over their children eating for more than they should be and not knowing what to do about it. This may involve kids getting food or treats at school, from friends, trading lunch items, spending money, or sneaking food from home. And some of you parents may have children who are binge eating and may or may not also be purging.
Please note that if your child has an eating disorder, your approach will need to be different as there is a major thought disorder in conjunction with their eating. If you are unsure if your child has an eating disorder, let’s chat. Schedule your free 20 minute consultation now (click here).
Let’s discuss 3 points to hep curb your child’s overeating… so we can save your grocery bill!! LOL… and your child’s health. ♥♥♥
- Is your child getting proper nutrients?
Many of us are nutrient starving despite having PLENTY of calories. If your child is overeating, it does not mean that they are getting all of the nutrients their body needs. Not all calories are created equal! In fact, those snacks they are drawn to… high sugar, high fat, processed, and well… YUMMY foods are often the most devoid of nutrients! Your child’s body may actually be telling them that they are hungry because their body is desperately in need of those nutrients… nutrients not calories. Let’s be honest, your child is probably not overeating veggies! Hard to get them to eat the right foods? Find a quality source of nutrients for them that they will enjoy. Let’s be honest, it is hard to get kids to take pills/vitamins… give them a delish chocolate or strawberry shake! Half a serving of THIS will get them on track with their daily needs.
- Start examining what messages you are sending about food.
Our day-to-day habits communicate so much more than we realize to children! What are your comments and behaviors surrounding food communicating to your child? Is food portrayed as comfort? Maybe your child is then using it as a coping skill for their emotions. Are certain foods described as “evil” or “bad”? Maybe your child’s rebellious side desires to seek them out. Do you only celebrate accomplishments or life events with food? Perhaps your child doesn’t know of alternative ways to respond with excitement or joy. Do you micromanage their eating? Maybe they want to take back control of this aspect of their life. Do you minimize or criticize those who prioritize or value healthy eating? Maybe your child has no idea what proper eating entails. Your child trusts you and believes that you are an expert on life… WOAH… take that in for a second… Whatever you are teaching them, actively OR passively, they are believing 100%. Take a look at the messages you are sending your child.
- Lack of information and guilt.
Perhaps you have been telling your child that they are eating too much or have reprimanded them for sneaking food, but have you told them why this is such a problem? Do YOU know why this is such a problem? This is where I think some guilt can come in… do YOU feel as though you have a problem with overeating and don’t really have any “right” to say something to your child? Giving them restrictions when not having your own self-control may feel a bit twisted or hypocritical! I truly believe that proper knowledge fuels motivation. Perhaps it is time for you to seek out information about why your eating habits… and your child’s eating habits… are so important! What impact does it have on your health? What impact does it have on their health? How much is truly enough? Remember that your children are learning from you and developing potential life-long habits, beliefs, and even food addictions/attachments. You surely want to set them up well! I encourage you to find a doctor or nutritionist that can help you BOTH to learn together. Then you can tackle this struggle together. When kids are involved in their own food experience, they are far more likely to follow through. Let them in the kitchen with you; even if it means meal prep takes longer. It will be worth it in the long run! You will also LOVE the time you spend together and the deepening of your relationship!
If I did not touch on an area of why you think your child is overeating, please feel free to comment below to add to the discussion. I would also love to answer any questions you may have regarding this topic. And stay tuned to catch the flip side of this problem in 2 weeks!… under-eating.