Kids, Body Image, and Intuitive Eating

Kids, Body Image, and Intuitive Eating

Hello! Happy Wednesday. We just got back from Mexico and I can’t wait to share more about it with you. If you aren’t following me on Instagram, go ahead and follow me here to see all the stories of my first trip with Selah.

Recently on Instagram, I asked you all what you would like to hear from me, and you asked what I would like to teach Selah when she’s older about intuitive eating, and how to approach body image in parenting.

Firstly, I want to touch on how I want to approach intuitive eating. Ever since we got Abby, our dog, I knew I wanted to feed her intuitively. I wanted her to know that she would always have food and water, and she would have that level of safety with food around us. So whenever her bowl is empty, we’ll fill it back up again. That way, when she is hungry she will eat, but when she is playing or having fun, she will leave it alone. She knows that she will always have food, and she trusts us to know she doesn’t need to eat all of the food at once. Abby was sort of practice for me for when I had Selah, and I knew that I wanted to feed Selah intuitively as well.

After having Selah, I noticed that she eats different amounts and at different times. I try to feed her every 3 hours unless she is showing hunger cues earlier. However, during those feeding times, she will sometimes have a lot, and other times she will just not really want to feed, and I trust that she knows what she wants. She is equally as happy during both situations, so I know that she is satisfied.

In the future when she is eating solids, I will try to bring snacks with us whenever we go out, that way she always knows that she will have food if she is hungry. I know that this is such a privilege, and I am so grateful that we can have this available for her. I want Selah to trust that she can eat whenever she would like, and won’t feel the need to eat even when she isn’t hungry.

Secondly, my clients have asked me how to be intuitive with sweets for kids. This is from my experience only, but my mom was so great at letting us kids have sweets intuitively. She encouraged me to think about how sweets would make me feel, but I never had any restrictions on when or how many sweets I could have. This allowed me to experience eating too much sweets at once and to learn at a young age how that made me feel. Because of that, I became a kid who didn’t really want sweets all that often, because I knew it was always available to me. My goal is to do the same for Selah.

I do not want to ever force Selah eat all of the food on her plate or guilt her into why she needs to eat all of her food. I want her to learn that she can eat exactly what she wants and how much. I want her to experience eating in her own way. Even if that means she wants to diet, I am not going to shame her for it, but will instead let her experience it and learn in her own time, and just be there to encourage her and give her information she wants to know.

I know not everything will go perfectly, but my primary goals for her are to present her with options for food, and to allow her to just listen to her body. I want to be there to empower her to make her own decisions, and to be an example of what intuitive eating looks like. I want her to feel safe to have conversations with me about her body image, diets, etc. and that I will be able to give her the information she needs, be an example of a positive body image, and provide her the space to form her own opinions and decisions.

I hope this was helpful and you can use this with your own children! I go more in depth on this week’s podcast episode, so if this resonates with you I encourage you to go listen.

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Love, Paige

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