Your Child’s Normal Eating Starts With Your Normal Eating


Is this normal eating?  Yes, the fun way. 

Summer is almost over, a feeling of bittersweet thoughts. Time to return back to France. Back to normal routine, school, work and oh…normal eating again.  Not that we haven’t been eating “normally” here in New Jersey.  In fact, we have enjoyed soooo much good food that I already miss the crunchy New Jersey white corn, tomatoes, pizza, clams and we haven’t even gotten on the plane yet!  Normal eating is also enjoying fun foods.  Here on vacation in the States we have been loving the vacation foods:  ice cream to excess, too much soda, the burgers and fries, eating out a lot. But we cannot do that forever.  If we ate like this all the time our normal eating would become that:  eating what we want, when we want, as much as we want.  Maybe in America this is one of the main reasons for the overweight epidemic.  Society’s normal eating is eating to excess, because we can and it is allowed by society.  We accept the big portions in restaurants and fast foods.  Embrace the free refills on the sodas.  Frequent the “all you can eat” buffets.  Normal is excess because it is normal here in America to have the extremes.  It can be difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t lived in other countries.  But, really…it is not normal around the world to see the “largeness” everywhere, like we do here.  Largeness in open spaces, open roads, open opportunities. Largeness in cars, food and drinks.  Largeness in people and kids.  A challenging process to find a balance between teaching our kids not to eat in the extremes when we live in a society where extremes are accepted.  As a parent living in America only two months per year, already it is a personal focused discipline in knowing how can I let my kids eat within those extremes, while at same time not restricting them too much. What is normal in ourselves too?  Normalcy differing between various social, economic, cultural contexts.  How can we teach our children about normal eating living in this extremes?  One step is to start with ourselves.

Normal Eating is a Link Between Mental and Physical Factors

Perhaps eating normally has even more to do with making a conscious effort to exclude the mental factors that influence our food habits.  If we our “sane” with our own approach to eating, then maybe we can meet that good balance between eating simply and eating without extremes.  Think about your own eating style.  Do you eat mindlessly?  Eat while multi-tasking?  Feel guilty or bad when you are eating?  Check out this concise and accurate article from Melanie Greenberg, from The Mindful Self-Express.  Dr. Greenberg highlights some important mental factors that inhibit healthy and normal eating and gives suggestions on how to “transform your relationship with food.”  She emphasizes the outside influences on the media and society and how these play a role in how we picture our perfect body.  Do you think more of us need to stop pushing to be thin?  And why do so many of us have negative thoughts about our bodies so we feel guilty and bad whenever we eat?  September is just around the corner.  Changes back to the routine.  Time to focus and feel positive.  Hey, our kids are the future.  How can we “fix” or slow down childhood obesity if we don’t start being “normal eating” role models for them?  Are you a great role model for your kids?  Let me know what you do to keep them with a healthy attitude around food.  Shout out some feedback in the comments section below or send me an email to: mbrighton@brightonyourhealth.com

Tune in again soon. Will be continuing with a series on what is normal eating for children.  The next article will discuss how restricting our children’s food intake too much can result in some dangerous health outcomes.

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27 Responses to “Your Child’s Normal Eating Starts With Your Normal Eating”

  1. Mary,

    Thanks for this very thoughtful and heartfelt message. When I moved to the US more than 25 years ago, i remember being struck by all the eating out and large portion sizes. At the time, it seemed like a fun indulgence. Years later, we know the link to obesity. It is also a function of people having long commutes and less time to cook at home. i couldn’t agree more that we need to teach our children limits. Special treats aren’t special anymore when we do them everyday. Our expectations just get larger. Thanks so much for sharing the link to my mindful eating post.I will share your link as well on my facebook page, http://www.fb.com/mindfulselfexpress . Warmly, Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D.

  2. This is a great Web site and blog. Really enjoy reading the material. Keep up the great posting and news!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ava Parnass - August 24, 2011

    RT @drmelanieg: Your Child's Normal Eating Starts With Your Normal Eating – http://t.co/JOkDQzi #kids #weight #parenting #food

  2. Mindful Self-Express - August 26, 2011

    Your Child's Normal Eating Starts With Your Normal Eating – http://t.co/Yb2VFht #kids #weight #parenting #food #teens #culture

  3. Teen Eating Disorders: One Mom's Approach To Keep Normal Eating The Norm | BrightonYourHealth - June 20, 2012

    [...] When a mom has a good body image, eats healthy, has normal eating habits and exercises regularly, this can only be a positive influence on her children, do you agree? And if the opposite was true: a mom (or dad) constantly on a diet with abnormal approaches to eating and ways to control their body image and weight. Could this have a wide negative implications on how their children look at their own bodies, try to control their own weight and approach food and dietary habits abnormally? I think so. Parents that have a normal approach to eating have a higher chance to have kids with normal eating, even in a country like America where normal eating is becoming the extreme,”Your Child’s Normal Eating Starts With Your Normal Eating.” [...]

  4. Why the New Thin Is the Old Normal: Children Are No Exception, Part 2 | BrightonYourHealth - October 11, 2012

    [...] Throughout this whole process it is also important to know what to say to your kids if you feel they have a weight issue. This is a more delicate and important problem, especially with the rise in eating disorders, even among young children and boys. Two other popular articles published here may help guide you on this issue: “One Mom’s Approach to Keep Normal Eating The Norm” and “Your Child’s Normal Eating Starts With Your Normal Eating”. [...]

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