Setting Food Boundaries For Kids

The reason we as parents need to set food boundaries for kids is to train them to be conscious eaters. We want them to understand that there is a difference between the food that sustains us (i.e breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks or desserts. Desserts are for celebration. 

My mother-in-law was recently in town and she made a Swiss braided bread with the girls called Zopf. It was a treat that my mother-in-law used to make for her kids on special occasions or on Sundays.  

Training our children to understand the difference between truly nourishing foods vs foods we enjoy on special occasions is paramount for them to make good food choices throughout their lives.

How we train our kids to eat

Often before our kids get a homemade cookie or dessert, we tell them to run so many laps, burpees, jump ropes, squats or some other physical activity. Or sometimes they have to get the house back in order before enjoying the tasty item they want.

Many people have messaged me saying that they let their children have treats because they don’t want them to end up with an eating disorder. What I believe many are failing to recognize is that training our children to eat things that are not food such as, food coloring, corn syrup, Cap’n Crunch, Capri Suns, Costco cake, and Skittles is creating a nervous system disconnect and an overload of emotional confusion.

Training is describing to them what a real food is, where it comes from and what is does for their body and conversely where those little orange fish and Ritz crackers will do to their body. 

Training is you and me eating real whole food over and over in front of them. 

How to prevent eating disorders

It us putting real whole food on the table at dinner. Also, we do not tell them don’t eat this because it will make you fat.  That is exactly how you create eating disorders.  Fat is relative. We do not want our children gaining confidence or self worth based on external validation.

You instruct them on how some foods make us weaker, some foods makes us stronger, some foods help us think and remember better, some foods make it hard to concentrate and have a good attitudes, some foods help us get faster and run longer, some foods make us tired and not be able play as long.  

The difference between real foods and pseudo foods

Our kids trust us, they know if anybody has their best interest in mind it is me and their mother.  So when we say we don’t eat food coloring because it is not real food and hurts our health, they go ‘okay’ and when food coloring shows up a the birthday party they pass on it.  They don’t make a big fuss because that is not something we participate in as a family.

When snacks are passed around at a soccer game they come and ask me if it is healthy.  If it is orange slices they don’t ask because they know orange slices are real food.

The people that love and care for them the most are willingly permitting them harm. Yes, these pseudo foods are harming them.

The companies producing these fake foods aren’t thinking about you and your family’s lives, health, vitality or ability to fulfill your dreams.

They are thinking about their financial bottom line.

Food is medicine. We have it everywhere 24/7, so it is imperative that we consciously instruct our children what is and isn’t food. You can do this. Your kids are worth it! For a better understanding on how to eat according to food hierarchy, check out this post.

How have you set food boundaries for your kids? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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