Have you ever heard about a kid stilling food from the family kitchen or an insulin dependent kid with a sugar peak from eating candy hided in the backpack without the parent consent?
Weight management education starts when they are infants.
Again, another article related to weight loss management and young kids caught my attention. This time it was about babies and young kids. The article claims that a recent study demonstrates that babies with more appetite will lead more easily to be overweight which may be linked to genetics. It urged the parents to keep an eye on them and start hiding snacks and control food when they got older.
The article, the study and the findings are not very clear, but it made me think about it and I would like to give you my reflection about infants and young kid’s relationship to food.
I have been interested in weight management since I was 14 years old, and I am a parent of a 7 and a 12 year old girls. I have observed a lot of kids and parents with a lot of interest, and I have paid a very close attention to my own kids.
I have shared several times how my passion for weight loss management started after being an overweight kid and discovering the key to manage my weight as a teenager. I almost ended on the other side of the fine line with an eating disorder. Having been there, I have always kept a very close eye on that issue, especially with my own kids.
Both my husband and I love food, and we eat probably more than necessary. I manage my weight be following my 32 Mondays Weight Loss Management Method and my husband with a mix of my method and extra exercising.
It is therefore understandable that our kids LOVE food too and probably eat a bit more than necessary too. They always did and I accept it, because they eat healthy food and they exercise a lot. Plus, how can you say no to a kid that is hungry or a kid that is enjoying a piece of a healthy treat?
If you make kids associate food with guilt or prohibition, they’ll grow with an unhealthy relationship with food and later on when they are teens they can develop an eating disorder, which will become a yo-yo dieter as an adult.
They can also steel food from your kitchen when you don’t see them or eat whatever they want outside home. I have seen both scenarios, even an insulin dependent kid with a pick of sugar denying having eaten anything but his parents finding candy in his backpack. Of course this is a totally different scenario but it shows you how they can find the food they want whether you like it or not.
Don’t do that. Don’t hide snacks to kids, just have healthy snacks at home and discuss with them when it is time for a snack or if they need to wait a bit. Teach them the difference between being hungry, feeling like hungry or just wanting a treat. Teach them when to have treats, when to eat, and of course, what to eat. Instil in them the same passion for food as you would do for reading, soccer or ballet. And help them grow a healthy relationship with food.
My kids were always in the chubby part of the doctor’s curve, always taller and heavier in the curve. But I was never worried. They have learnt how and what to eat and they have enjoyed food as much as we do.
They started to lose the baby fat and tummy gradually and they are entering the “older kid” stage with a great and healthy body. They know now how to manage their relationship with food and their own taste has developed towards the healthy food alternatives.
So, again, as I always say, go through the weight management education process, as if any other subject of your kids education.
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Here is the article if you are interested in reading it: Clues of obesity found in infants.