When we choose to reward children with food we set up a pattern in the brain that wires it to believe food makes everything better … a cure all.
If you reward children with sweets, snacks & desserts then they quickly learn to associate these foods with feeling better. Food can distract an unhappy child, in the moment, offering instant gratification. As adults, our lives are not this simple & we cannot find instant gratification in food.
Overeating is a search for security – a need to recreate the secure feelings we experience as children when we were held & fed, when life felt easy. By eating foods that are similar to the foods we ate as children, we are looking to find the feeling in food but its a search that ends in excess weight linked to a whole list of health comprising ailments.
Modeling a healthy relationship to food is an excellent way to encourage healthy eating choices in your children. Keeping lines of communication open to let your children know that you are there for them when they want to talk. Establishing a habit before or after sharing dinner together to open up about what you feel most grateful about that day is a wonderful way to focus on the positive and bring in great feelings around sharing food together.