Teaching nutrition

Having an eating disorder in the house made food a difficult topic for a long time. Seeing the extremes of thinking made thinking about food difficult. In the years since, I've wondered how parents can be positive and nurturing providers of meals, and how to talk about food. Although in the eating disorder world we learn not to use the words "good food" and "bad food" and "healthy" we often wonder how the heck we CAN talk about food.

My friend, Katja**, has a great column on this:
Talking to Your Kids About Food:

"We teach nutrition best by serving and eating the foods we want our children to eat."

**For more on Dr. Rowell and her practice in Minnesota: www.familyfeedingdynamics.com and her blog at: http://www.familyfeedingdynamics.blogspot.com/


  1. It's hard. Nutrition is important, but kids can't really understand all that is involved, and when they don't it can be harmful.

    My sister's kindergarten class did a series about nutrition, sending home a food pyramid for them to use and everything. This resulted in a six-year-old trying to read labels and avoid fat and spending lunches with her 5- and 6-year-old friends discussing the fat and calorie contents of the meal.

    Anyway, good article.

  2. i think beauty is totally pain.
    how come to become beauty if she doesn't have nutrition enough to her body.. well i am not really agree if someone wants to be tiny and they wish to anorexia..

  3. As an anorexic in remission (or whatever you want to call "still having-those-thoughts-on-occasion-but-have-healthier-coping-skills-in-place-now") and as a mother of an almost three year old, I worry about this. As you said, I do not believe there is good or bad food and I refuse to call candy corn or jelly beans "bad food."

    I watch my daughter eat with amazement. I admire her. She knows what she wants to eat, how much she wants, and she stops when she's no longer hungry. Overall, she eats a very balanced and healthy diet when I let her tell me what she wants.

    Her intuitive eating has inspired me to nurture this habit for the rest of her life, and to aspire for this myself. Carrots and hummus for breakfast? Of course! (For some reason, this really shocks my partner. LOL.) We are born knowing what to eat, how much to eat...and yet somehow, I managed to untrain myself of this innate ability. It's astounding and tragic.

  4. Our whole society seems to be untraining itself on this ability. But in the case of an eating disorder I don't think it is the same thing - I think the brain takes over on autopilot blinding the person to appetite and satiety, complicating it with floods of cortisol, offering peace only in the form of more ED behaviors.

    The rest of us mess with our appetites at the peril of our health and enjoying life - people with an ED predisposition are at peril of their lives.

  5. Thanks for the mention, Laura. I have learned so much from your blog and FEAST forum. I'm sorry to hear about the Kindergartners comparing calorie counts at meals. Such a senseless loss of innocence, with no indication that those kids will be better off for the "knowledge" and some indication that they will be worse off! Contrawhit, I too watch with wonder as my daughter regulates perfectly well, without any thought to portions or nutrition. It is my job to support and nurture her inborn self-regulation, and not to mess it up!


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