As parents, we hold the power to set our children up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits and a happy relationship with food and their bodies. The eating habits we enforce now, from the very beginning of their relationships with food, can determine how they will eat for the rest of their lives. But sadly, in this country (and pretty much only in this country), parents are set up for failure almost from the get-go with bad eating habits that have become the cultural norm when it comes to feeding babies, toddlers, and kids.
In my holistic nutrition practice, all of my weight loss clients have one (or more) of these three bad habits in common: snacking, emotional eating, and eating on the run. So much of the struggle with losing weight and keeping it off comes down to breaking these three bad eating habits, but when you’ve been eating that way all your life, or when you come from a household where those habits were the norm, it is much, much harder to move past them. Growing up with bad eating habits can set you up for a frustrating years long battle with weight, dieting, stress eating, body hatred, hypoglycemia, and in more extreme cases, even type 2 diabetes!
Thankfully, it’s not too late to break these bad eating habits, even if your child is no longer a toddler! But it takes commitment, and a bit of going against the grain. These bad habits are so deeply ingrained in our parenting culture that it can feel weird to be the one parent who’s kid isn’t attached to a cup of Goldfish or Cheerios. But I promise you, it is so, so worth it. You will save yourself and your child so many power struggles, tantrums, and frustrations around mealtimes. And down the road, you can feel proud that your kids have healthy eating habits and are set up for a lifetime of healthy weight, strong bodies, and efficient metabolisms.