We were recently at a wedding, sitting at a table with lots of families and one of the mother’s commented on every child’s eating at the table. Often I find, parents tend to talk over their kids as if they do not understand what is going on. I often wonder, what a child really thinks when this is happening.
As a dietitian, I often cringe when people ask me what I do, especially when we are eating. It is very common for someone to make the comment “what do you think of how I am eating?” or “what are you eating? You should eat healthy.” It’s as if, my occupation should dictate my life, (which I have not allowed.) As a parent now, I often feel like I am also getting judged by the foods I provide my little one as well. Not comfortable situations that I enjoy.
For many parents, there is a preoccupation on children’s food intake. These parents are constantly watching other kids at meals, as if comparing them to their own. I cannot stress enough how erratic kids eating can be. Watching a child at one meal is not representative of how they eat. You can catch a child during a growth spurt or when they are ill or when they are hungry or when they are not. Let them follow their body’s signals and to self regulate their intake. Making a child self conscious of what they are eating is not a positive experience for them. Enjoy the moment and the meal and the child will too.