ARE WE UNINTENTIONALLY TEACHING OUR KIDS TO EMOTIONALLY EAT?
Most of us grew up hearing....
"Come on, eat something.... you'll feel better when you do"
"If you’re good, you can have dessert"
"You cant leave the table unless you clean your plate"
"Stop crying, and I'll get you some ice-cream/Candy"
For many of us it's hard to break these old habits. Times are different now. Our plates and portion sizes were much smaller when we were younger. When we were kids we spent most of there days outside running around playing, not sitting in front of TV's, IPods, video games, cell phones and much more. We as a society are getting lazy and it’s showing, not only on our waistlines but also in our overall health and now our children.
No one ever realized giving these type of unhealthy “motivational” statements to their children would ever have such an impact on our lifestyles now.
Food not only fills our stomachs when were hungry but it also satisfies our feelings (good or bad). Our emotions can trigger "feelings” of hunger.
So how do we know if we’re actually hungry or just feeding our emotions (we are all guilty of this by the way). Here are some tips, to help you, recognize if you’re feeding your feeling or feeding your body:
Emotional eating approaches us unexpectedly and immediate, Physically being hungry will come on at a slower more gradual rate.
Emotional eating will cause you to crave less then healthy foods like pizza, ice-cream, cookies, cakes, crackers etc....When your body actually wants fuel to keep going, your more likely to choose healthier foods (hopefully they are readily available, if not lets make them be)
We as a society need to realize rewarding our children with food is giving them the idea that these foods are superior to healthy foods.... Read the following out loud....
"If you eat all your vegetables, I will let you have ice-cream"
So what is this saying to them about vegetables? Remember they only know what we have told them....it sends the wrong message about vegetables.
Using food as a reward is also teaching our kids to eat whether their hungry or not.
I think Dr Marlene Schwartz; (PhD of the Rudd Center for food policy & obesity) says it the best. "Its like teaching children a lesson on the importance of not smoking and then handing out ashtrays and lighters to the kids who did the best job listening" After reading this it really puts things in perspective doesn’t it?
Next time we feel we need some motivation for our kids to do something we want them to do...... instead of saying "I’ll give you a cookie if you do good in school today" lets say
"Let's go for a bike ride since you had such a god day at school today" or walk or lets go the park, how about flying a kite, roller skating, play tag, etc.. FYI…..you’ll get exercise too, it’s a WIN WIN for all! Just sayin……
I’m not saying we can never give our children a little treat (in moderation of course) Just don’t use the treat as a bribe, making it superior to healthier foods.
So what do you think?