How To Teach Your Kids Intuitive Eating
One of the most important relationships caregivers foster in children is their relationship with food. Helping kids develop a long-lasting positive relationship with their body and food can lead to long-lasting positive self-worth. And as we know from the almond mom trend on TikTok, giving off negative messages or setting negative examples about food and nutrition can have negative effects.
One popular, anti-diet philosophy that’s all about positive messaging is intuitive eating. In this type of eating, you trust your body’s judgment and hunger cues to “tell” you what, when, and how much to eat. And these days, more parents are interested in raising intuitive eaters, as a way of pushing back on the type of diet culture that permeates so much of the messaging we get about food and nutrition.
But how to raise intuitive eaters can be a little confusing, or even intimidating. After all, it’s also a parent’s job to also ensure that little ones are getting adequate nutrition and meeting growth milestones. So when considering intuitive eating, a common concern that comes up is whether you can really trust your kid to not eat only cookies or chips.
But as daunting as it seems, raising intuitive eaters is worth it. “Creating a curiosity-based approach to eating, instead of shame-based one, creates a platform for healthy eating that will extend into adulthood,” says Jessika Brown, MS, RD, CSSD, CEDRD-S, a registered dietitian, health industry expert, and creator of the Fuel Her Awesome podcast.
And starting to explore intuitive eating can be as simple as having a few catch phrases in your back pocket. Here are three to get you going.