Hands up if you completely over indulged in chocolate over the weekend?
Yep, I’m guilty!!
For me, the guilt associated with the overindulgence is about the excess calories and food hangover I have as I sit here and write. BUT it’s also about the fact that I ate too much chocolate because it was Easter, it was there and I wanted to finish it before going back on the ‘straight and narrow’ today. Perhaps if I had enjoyed every mouthful and dropped the guilt, I would have listened to my body and stopped when I’d had enough instead of pushing through and basically punishing myself for being ‘bad’.
What has this got to do with children and parenting?
Children see everything and follow our lead. They are fantastic little observers and mimickers.
What sort of behaviour are you demonstrating around food?
Over the years I’ve done it all… from punishing myself with food to using it to relieve boredom and disconnecting myself from my body, ignoring cues that tell me what it means to be hungry and to be full.
Research has shown that fastidious calorie counting can affect the way children eat. I used to think that ‘good-ness’ and ‘bad-ness’ depended on how well I’d eaten and exercised in a day… and then I realised that this wasn’t quite the food value I wanted to instill in my kids.
I started becoming more aware of my own habits around food and thinking about whether I wanted my kids to develop the same ones..
After some careful reflection, I worked hard to model mindful eating and moderation in my diet. I don’t always get it right, but even then I try and use these situations as examples of how I practice self-acceptance and self-love in the face of my own imperfections.
Back to my chocolate regression...
As I practically forced my treat down my throat (sounds ridiculous, I know!), my children were given the golden Easter Sunday go ahead to eat as much chocolate as they wanted. The only condition was that they consume a protein loaded bacon and egg breakkie to fill their tummies first.
The result? All three of them ended their chocolate indulgence after inhaling about 100g.
Apparently they’re more in tune with their bodies than I am! Perhaps my guilt over my own behaviour yesterday is slightly unfounded and this is another opportunity for me to demonstrate self-forgiveness - both to you and my children.
How did you navigate the chocolate wonderland for yourself and your children? I would love to hear your stories on what has worked and what hasn’t when it comes to celebrations such as Easter, Christmas and birthdays. Do you children go crazy on sugar? Do they have an ‘off switch’ when it comes to special food days? Come and join the discussion in ‘The Village’ on Facebook!
In the meantime, this week’s download is a few tips that might help create better habits and attitudes around food. If you'd like a copy, drop me an email and I'll send it to you within 24 hours!