The way we talk about food in front on kids and the way we act around food around kids can have a huge impact on the development of their relationship with food – they learn through modelling behaviour.
So before you set your new year resolutions and before we are all made to feel bad about our bodies with the influx of diet culture messages set to arrive in our inbox come Jan 1 2022 I wanted to jump in with a food important reminders. Because not only should we not be saying these things in front of kids, we shouldn’t be saying them about ourselves either – we are more than our weight, our size, and more than the food we eat.
5 Phrases to STOP using this New Year:
“I’m feel fat”
Fat is a description, not a feeling. So when you say you feel fat, what you usually mean is that you feel gross, or overly full or bloated. And that is not being kind to yourself or anyone around you! It is alright (and completely normal) to not always feel your best or not feel good about your body on a particular, but stop your self from focusing on weight or fat as the bad thing here!
“That food is ‘naughty’ ‘bad’ or ‘guilt-free”
Food is more than just fuel for our body and its doesn’t have a moral value. But when we talk about food as good or bad foods, it creates an association that we should ‘feel’ bad when we eat the bad foods. Speaking about food in this way is how kids can learn to have a negative association with foods as they grow up!
“I need to go to the gym after that piece of cake”
First of all, do you? Do you really need to earn every bite of food you eat? Nope! If going to the gym or exercising in some way makes your feel good, than that is great. But stop linking that with how much food you can eat! No one needs to ‘earn’ the food they eat through exercise! This is again creating that negative association that certain foods should make us feel bad about ourselves.
“I need to lose weight”
This is one that easily gets confused within diet culture. If you want to lose weight that is your choice and your choice alone. But before you do, check in that it is not coming from a place of negativity where you feel you ‘have to’ to fit with societies ideals. But with this one be especially careful when you talk about it in front of your kids. How you talk about your body and weight in front of your kids can have an affect on how they feel about their own as they grow up.
“you lost weight, you look great!”
Diet Culture loves to tell us that losing weight is a good thing and we ‘look better’ when we do. But that is simply not the case. What diet culture doesn’t account for is how or why that weight has been lost, it could be due to depression, or an eating disorder, or an illness. There’s just no way of knowing. So if you are seeing people this holiday season that you haven’t seen for a while and you notice a change in their weight – don’t comment on it! Instead if you want to dish out complements complement people on how happy they look, or their outfit!