Back in the day, I had a messed up relationship with food.
One of the reasons I ended up losing 100 lbs was because I didn’t want my son Logan to eat like me. I didn’t want him to ever struggle with his weight.
It was so important to me to raise a healthy eater. And I knew to do that I had to work on me.
That’s what today’s podcast is about.
I teach you…
* To be AWARE of how you’re handling food at home.
(What are the subtle messages you send to your kids when it comes to food? Are you only connecting when you’re eating ice cream?)
* To be MINDFUL about how food is handled on your plate.
(Do you tell your kids to leave food on their plate while you’re always bowing down to the Clean Plate Club and wiping yours clean?)
* How to MODEL behavior that works.
(Simply saying “I know I’m hungry now because I’m feeling…” Show them, don’t tell them.)
Don’t miss this week’s podcast. I’m sharing all the things that worked in our home to raise a healthy eater.
Corinne and Kathy chat a bit about how losing weight helps you to look younger. There’s also some interesting talk about loose skin and Corinne’s lady parts.
Corinne frequently gets questions from parents asking about how to deal with kids that are putting on weight and how to teach them to eat well.
Corinne struggled as a kid with being overweight. She did Weight Watchers with her mother multiple times. They’d have a last supper on Sunday, then start a diet on Monday. She associated eating all weekend with the way you relax and have a good time.
One of Corinne’s first reasons to lose weight was because she didn’t want to teach Logan to be overweight. She wanted him to have a better life than she had. When his first birthday came around, he refused to eat the cake and wanted blueberries instead.
She’s always offered him good, healthy food. They don’t label ice cream or chips as junk food. They didn’t encourage him to finish every bite of food. Food was talked about as almost boring.
Don’t feel guilty if your child is overweight. Serving yourself up with regret and guilt is never productive. Kathy lost weight after her boys were grown and for a while was worried about how she should have done better for her boys. You have to get over being ashamed of how you showed up.
If you want to teach your child better habits, focus on that, not any guilt that you have over the past.
Start with being aware of what your family does around food. There might be some subtle messages around food. If your family is in a rush and the only time you listen to each other is when you go out to eat, then the child may start associating eating out with the only time you listen to them.
To this day Corinne still has eating patterns that she’s working to make better. As an adult, when she wants to connect with Chris, she wants to go out for beer and wine. Instead, she’s had to learn to tell Chris that she wants to talk with him, to sit down and connect in a way that doesn’t involve alcohol. This started when she was a kid. Her mom was either rushing them places, working non-stop, or exhausted. The only time Corinne got to laugh and talk with her mom was when they were eating.
Moms and daughters tend to go get ice cream or some sort of treat when they’re trying to connect. There are other ways to connect with your child other than food.
Corinne doesn’t think there’s any harm in teaching kids about the four basics. It’s okay to make comments about how you know that you’re hungry. You don’t have to tell them to not eat when they’re not hungry, just teach them how to recognize when they’re hungry so they can figure it out on their own.
It’s okay to also let them know that hunger isn’t an emergency. If they wander into the kitchen hungry while you’re cooking, ask them “dinner will be ready in half an hour, do you think you can wait till then?” If they’re hungry, it’s okay to let them eat a little something.
Don’t try and put them on a diet without putting them on a diet. One thing not to say “you haven’t had enough to eat.” Let them lose interest in their food if that’s what happens. Eventually they’ll realize how much they need to eat to hold them over to the next meal, let them figure it out.
If you have a kid that mindlessly eats a lot, say “are you sure you’re hungry?” Not to tell them no, but to have them check in with themselves to make sure they’re actually hungry and not just bored.
Kids will model and watch. They don’t listen. They don’t care about what you have to say. They observe and if you don’t want them to be a part of the clean plate club, you can’t sit there licking your plate. It’s okay to leave a little food behind and say “I think I’ve had enough, I can tell because _________.”
Talk to your child a bit about planning their food. No, they don’t need a 24 hour plan. Moms tend to plan all the meals for the week, stop and ask your child what they may want for the week. What fruits do you want this week? Is there a meal that you’d like to have? Which vegetables would you like me to buy this week?
Corinne said that Logan overate the other night and he was shocked by it. She asked him if he ate passed his 2 and she had to explain what a 2 was and he said: “oh yeah, I’m way over that.” Then he said that he didn’t want to do that again. She let him figure out that it was uncomfortable.
Be subtle with what you say to your kids. Just be a great model for them.
If you change your eating patterns, the worst thing you can do is to say “I can’t have this food or that” or you being a jerk because you’re hangry. That sends a message to kids that if you’re going to be healthy, you have to be miserable. That is not good messaging. Don’t be a martyr and say things like “I can’t go to the party because I’m on my diet.”
Diet and healthy are often lumped into the same category. If you’re miserable on a diet, then happy eating junk, kids are going to associate junk food with happiness and healthy food with misery.
What messages could you be sending and if you don’t like those messages, what could you start changing in small ways to rewire this whole story?
If you have never fed your kids broccoli and you put it on their plate, don’t be surprised if they don’t touch it until they’ve seen it on their plate multiple times. Don’t force them to try it, but it’s okay to ask if they’ve tried it. Tell them that you’d love it if they tried it, but if they don’t to be surprised it keeps showing up to meals. Then talk up the food and the yumminess of it. Explain to them that you should try two bites of something, not one. The tongue will react strongly to the first bite and then sort of adapt to the second bite.
There’s nothing wrong with putting cheese, ranch, or ketchup on things. You can slowly back off on how much you put on it, but it allows them to get used to it.
Kathy used to have everyone in her house plan one dinner for the week, which allowed everyone in the family to be involved in the plan for the week. This works really well for some families. They kept it posted so everyone always knew what they were having that week.
If your kid only likes one or two fruits or vegetables, allow them to just eat those. Keep offering new options, but let them eat what the ones they like until they’re ready to try something new.
The end goal is for your child to have a normal relationship with food. To not feel like they need to eat if they’re happy or sad. To eat when they’re actually hungry. Teach them how to think about food in a way that will allow them to drive the bus later in life when they are on their own. Don’t rush them to eat. If they’re losing interest in food, they’re probably not hungry anymore.
If you’re throwing food away, you’re not wasting food. You get your money’s worth when your body is satisfied and you enjoyed what you ate.
Corinne didn’t want her child to go through what she went through by being overweight. She didn’t want him to deal with the bullying. He isn’t going to have to sit around and unwind his food thoughts like his mother has had to do.
We can teach our kids to have a respectful relationship with their bodies and their stomachs. Food should earn its place in your stomach. It needs to be worth it. It shouldn’t be something based on your emotions in the moment or something you hate to throw out.
If your kids are grown, it’s not too late. You can change at any age. There have been several tribe members whose grown children have started picking up on their good habits now that they’ve lost weights.
Reminder to go to www.pnp411.com and sign up for the free course.