or Connect
Mothering › Child Articles › Feeding Your Children Part I: Exploring Your Own Relationship To Food!

Feeding Your Children Part I: Exploring Your Own Relationship To Food!


Getting our children to eat healthily is a hot topic. Many hands are raised during my toddler workshops when the subject of food comes up, and parents are anxious and concerned. “They refuse to eat vegetables.” “They only want to snack.” “They are not getting enough protein.” Well-meaning parents find themselves trailing their child on the playground with a fistful of organic turkey, counting bites at every meal or bargaining with rewards and punishment at the dinner table, all in the attempts to fuel the machine.

There is another way that will reveal itself after you have unearthed your own relationship with food, done your emotional housework, and created clear intentions for your children. I will offer a series of posts dedicated to this topic.

The first step is for you, the parent, to get in touch with your own relationship with foodDo you love it? Are you overwhelmed by it? Do you hate it? Do you fear it? Are you angry at your cravings? Are you resentful of foods’ effect on your body? How was food used in your family of origin? Was it a reward? Was it a punishment? Did you stifle emotions with food? Did you grow up hungry? Did you grow up stuffed?

Carve out some uninterrupted time for emotional clearing between you and your historical and present connection or lack of connection with food. Dialogue aloud with food, by yourself, and speak about your experience. Or, write a letter to food, and get in touch with your beliefs and what you are bringing to the table emotionally.

Begin to release unhelpful patterns by naming them and saying aloud or writing, “I release…” Fill in the sentence with all the ways your connection to food is not serving you. If you can identify your true feelings about food you will see what is yours from the past and this will help you from unconsciously passing unwanted attitudes onto your child.

After your release work, begin to imagine yourself in relation to food in a way that feels rejuvenating, inspiring, and nourishing. Visualize yourself thriving in the kitchen, eating with a relaxed smile, with pleasant company and with an expansive sense of time to digest and enjoy.

Set the stage for your child by growing food, shopping for food together, cooking with eager anticipation of a delicious meal, and then truly savoring the meal together. Your children will imprint this template and it will set them up for their own healthy lifelong relationship to food.

Stay tuned for the next step.



www.LoveParentingLA.com Coaching for more joy in parenting and life.

www.LoveParentingLA.com Coaching for more joy in parenting and life.

Jessica Williams

About Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today's progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.

Comments (10)

It is so apt that we need to do our own "emotional housework," about this topic and so many others. If I may quote myself from my book: What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children: "Mealtimes can be pleasant, but not when there are battles over food."
Yes. Please don't talk to young children about nutrients. These are invisible ideas that can't be tasted or seen. Why create fear about something mysterious such as "lack of protein". Instead offer a scrambled egg or almond butter on toast. Serve good food, eat good food, talk about how things grow and taste. .-= Cynthia Lair´s last blog ..Thai Coconut Chicken Soup =-.
This post is timely for me, given my recent struggles at mealtimes with my toddler. He is 17 months old, and I've spent the past few months fluctuating from concerned to stressed to accepting when it comes to his poor eating. I plan to do this homework! I would love to link to this on my blog and do my homework publicly there. :)
Thanks, Sarah! I checked out your site; looks great. Best, Jessica www.LoveParentingLA.com
Thanks, Cynthia. I think the "eat good food" part is great to remember: when kids see you, the parent, getting down and totally loving some curry broccoli they register that you aren't faking and you're eating it because you want to. Cheers, Jessica
THanks, James, I'm glad it was timely for you. Yes, link to this post on your blog as you do your homework. I will be posting some real-time remedies and applications in this series so stay tuned for help with your 17-month old. Best, Jessica
My three year old is a very "picky" eater but we don't really stress about it. We've found staple foods he will eat, apples, oranges, peanut butter on whole wheat toast, yogurt, scrambled eggs, green beans. These are available to him everyday and he only gets milk to drink. He sits at the dinner table with us and we give him a plate of whatever we are having plus greenbeans! He usually only eats the beans but occasionally he'll nibble on the rest. When he get a little older he'll be required to more of a variety at dinner just like my older kids, 12,9&8, but for now this works for us. .-= Eve´s last blog ..Lets go Couponing!!! =-.
This is a wonderful topic! Thank you! I have recently just decided to tackle my sugar addiction because I don't want my little one learning from my own habits. Food has such an emotional charge for many of us. It's sometimes hard to stay conscious about such an everyday act such as eating. The other day I caught myself giving my son a teething biscuit when he started being fussy, not because of teething, but because he loves those biscuits & I wanted to stop his fussiness. At that moment, my own relationship with food became pretty clear & so were the signs I was giving my son. Time to clear that stuff out for good!
Good heavens Jessica, what were you doing in my head? Gathering topics for your blog? Uuugghhhhh... Really? Do I have to address myself again? Yes yes and yes. We do talk about protein bites, we do (but didn't used to) talk about what must be finished on the plate before more of something else is had. Although I will say that lunch today was a screaming success - blueberries, orange slices, and moz cheese for A.; orange slices, moz cheese and tuna for F.; hot dogs (organic grass fed, I promise!), orange slices, cucs and blueberries for M. Everybody happily ate what they wanted and only once did I tell she needed to finish her protein. I didn't realize how out of whack we were until I read this. I know *I'm* out of whack, got that one down, but didn't realize how off we were. Thank you, very timely. On my way to read part II Connor .-= Connor´s last blog ..Tea with the Queen =-.
Delectable and nourishing Dog Biscuits will provide your pet dog shinier hair, healthier bones in addition to a far healthier and happier heart.
Mothering › Child Articles › Feeding Your Children Part I: Exploring Your Own Relationship To Food!