You know the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” When it comes to our eating habits, quite often this can be true. The way we grew up and our emotions around food usually are taught from our parents. If you are having any struggles with your eating habits or your children’s eating habits, it’s a good thing to take a look back at how your childhood experiences influenced your current views. This being said, whatever negative habits or emotions around food that you’ve developed can be changed for healthier ones. Even more so, we can set the stage and improve the future of our eating and our children’s eating by bringing awareness to our patterns. We all want to live happily, so adding healthy eating patterns to our life can really make a difference in how much energy we have and our mood. Knowing YOU are in charge of your emotions around food and letting go to BE PRESENT at the table will make the difference.
Let’s start with our kids; do you have anxiety over what your kids are choosing to eat?
- Most parents would say yes, and that’s because kids go for flavor, cravings and taste before they use their minds and think nutrition. This is where we come into play by not letting them see or notice our anxiety by offering healthy alternatives and turn eating the healthy alternatives because we like them and they fuel our bodies and mind. If the children see you react, then they think it’s forbidden and want it more. Save the lecture and explain the difference of having a healthy snack such as fruit and yogurt versus a cupcake.
- If snacking gives you anxiety then break them down to mini meals. Chances are if you or your children are hungry, you need to eat. By saying no to a snack you are only suppressing your metabolisms and creating negative emotions around food. By eating a mini meal (aka real food) you will know if you or your child is actually hungry.
- Set a designate time for meals. By having breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same time, your body and mind will have a natural rhythm and this may help avoid unnecessary snacking. If however you or your child were particularly active or had irregular sleep then the body may need more food before the designated time. As long as you are aware of such activity you can make arraignments for a healthy snack or earlier mealtime.
By approaching food with awareness and listening to our body we can teach our children and those around us how to have a healthy approach to food. Listening to our hunger signs and making healthy choices is really the key to controlling anxious or emotional eating.
The Take 3 method from my Tabata Bootcamp training is what I use when I am not sure if I am making a healthy decision.
- Am I hungry?
- Is it smart?
- How much do I need?
Those 3 questions can bring awareness and control so you can feel confident you are making the right choices for your healthy diet. If we are going to change how we eat, then it starts with changing how we think.
“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” – Hypocrates
I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below!