One of the things I still haven’t figured out is how to teach this concept of intuitive eating to my children (especially since I only have a tenuous grasp on it myself). Already my kids are bombarded — from school, from PBS Kids, all over the place — with this dichotomy of “good food” and “bad food.” This seems wrong to me, for them to be taught to make moral judgments about food in their preschool classrooms; but on the other hand, their teachers are right, that candy bar isn’t good for their teeth.
But putting intuitive eating into kid-terms for children who are already programmed to think of food as either good or bad is eluding me. For that matter, I’m still trying to defeat my own knee-jerk reaction to classify food as such: broccoli good, pasta bad. But my goal for my kids is for food to be just not that big a deal, and that’s going to mean a rejection, to an extent, of the things they’re being taught about food outside the home — and in the home, a more intense focus on modeling healthy attitudes toward food.
This post on the blog Spilt Milk provides a good framework for shifting my kids’ beliefs about food, although her daughter hasn’t already been taught the conflicting messages about food that my kids have learned. I’m having trouble finding much about this topic of shaping kids’ attitudes about food from a HAES perspective, though.
What do you think? What do you teach your kids (or what would you teach your kids, if you had them) about food? Or, have you found others writing about this topic that I’ve missed?