Is losing weight one of your New Year's resolutions? Perhaps you or even your child need to shed a few pounds. If so, shifting the focus away from "weight loss" to making healthier choices will likely get better results.
Healthy eating isn't obsessing about calories, carbs, and fat. When children and teens think of foods they have to limit, feelings of guilt, insecurities about their bodies, and sneaking food can result. Instead, talk about the healthfulness of food and the benefits in academic and athletic performance, mood and energy levels, immune system functioning and sleep.
Ellyn Satter, registered dietitian, family therapist, and author of Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense says to encourage children to eat at set mealtimes without restriction to the amount. Children naturally have an ability to regulate their intake and they need to get in-touch with this aspect of themselves. They may overdo it initially, but stick with it and they will learn to trust their ability to eat-to-appetite. Her rule of thumb: Parents decide the what, when and where of meals. Kids decide how much they eat. Visit Ellyn Satter's website to learn more about her positive approach to eating.