Eat Like a Kid — Guest Article from Donna Fish

My col­league Donna Fish is a social worker who spe­cial­izes in eat­ing dis­or­ders and help­ing par­ents fos­ter healthy eat­ing habits and healthy body atti­tudes in their children.

Her blog Real Food for Real Life is well worth a visit.

She’s gra­ciously allowed me to repub­lish one of her arti­cles — Eat Like a Kid.

Eat Like a Kid

Just yes­ter­day I was giv­ing a talk at a New York City school, and the room was filled with car­ing par­ents who all wanted to make sure that they were doing their best to ensure that their chil­dren could have the best eat­ing habits possible.

At one point, a mom raised a ques­tion that brought me to the goal I always have in my work with not just kids, but also adults: To be able to “Eat Like a Kid”.

Now when I say that, I don’t mean only that you eat candy, or chips, and don’t ever feel any of the after­math that we strug­gle with in adult­hood, like hmmm, bloat­ing? (Any­one see Jamie Cur­tis in the film where she is sud­denly in her daughter’s body and she’s eat­ing fries like crazy and say­ing: “Hey, no bloating!”)

In any case, what I do mean, is what all those books on Intu­itive, or Mind­ful Eat­ing refer to, and have as their goals; to basi­cally Eat When You’re Hun­gry, and Stop When You’re Full.

Hey, not so easy, right?

From a fairly young age, we get a bit side­tracked from our body’s basic sig­nals and our head starts to over­ride those mes­sages. We “think” our­selves out of those signals.

A cou­ple of things that can deride our con­nec­tion to our body:

1) An idea that you need to lose weight and there­fore, need to limit par­tic­u­lar foods from your diet

2) Some­one else or mes­sages from the media that lead you to believe that cer­tain foods are going to be ‘bad’ for you this or that par­tic­u­lar year, and they are foods you love.

Basi­cally, in a nut­shell, begin­ning to think that you need to eat in a way that is dif­fer­ent than what is your habit, and/or intuitive.

So, this does not mean that you have to ignore some of these real­i­ties, but rather that they need to be re-thought.

1) Make sure that your approach to eat­ing is real­is­tic and that do-able.

2) Be mind­ful of your ten­den­cies; Do you wait till you are starv­ing, or tend to repet­i­tively eat till you are totally full all the time? Exper­i­ment with eat­ing ear­lier, sooner, rather than later, to stave off emer­gency hunger, (which leads to stuff­ing), and play around with eat­ing less, but remind­ing your­self that you can have more later

3) Even though you might believe that some foods have con­trol over you vs. you con­trol over them, pick one or two to exper­i­ment with: Have access to them at all times, keep them with you in your hand and decide:
Do You need this now, or can you Wait, 15 min­utes, 30 min­utes, one hour, maybe tomor­row, cer­tainly the next day. Don’t cut your­self off of the food think­ing that you CAN’T have it.

These are tips to find your way back to an eat­ing style, that can incor­po­rate some real­i­ties that are nec­es­sary, but per­haps can free you up to Eat Like a Kid!


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Donna Fish’s book Take the Fight Out of Food

“My eat­ing was out of control!”




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