We’ve all been there…
You’ve taken the time to prepare a nice meal for your family,
And your child only wants to eat the bread, and nothing else.
Or your child refuses to touch the veggies you’ve made,
But happily gobbles up dessert without batting an eye.
There are countless other scenarios around feeding your child that can make you feel uncomfortable.
You’re not a bad parent for getting triggered by your child.
In fact, triggers can be your personal “check engine light” warning in your body connected to a part of you that could use a little more TLC.
Your trigger responses aren’t actually in your control, either.
You may not be able to help how you feel,
But you CAN control how you respond to your triggers.
Triggers often cause discomfort, and this is where it can be helpful to examine – what are you doing with your discomfort?
The default reaction to your discomfort around your child’s appetite, food preferences or body size may be to shift into the role of the “food police”.
You might have the urge to micromanage your kids at mealtimes, especially when you’re uncomfortable with how/what they’re eating.
I get it.
But here’s the thing…
That discomfort is YOURS to manage and not project on your child.
It doesn’t mean something’s wrong with your child.
More often than not, it’s unrealistic expectations at play (influenced by diet culture, our own relationship with food/body, etc).
You have permission to let all that go to focus on feeding the child in front of you.
Because when kids are being micromanaged at mealtimes, they start to disconnect from their innate cues that guide their eating.
They start to lose their ability to self-regulate, and with that, trust in their own bodies.
YES, what your child eats at any given mealtime may not look “balanced”, and THAT’S OK.
This isn’t a criteria for raising a child that has a healthy relationship with food.
You know what’s healthier for your children than getting in bites of their veggies or trying to get them to eat in a certain way?
Having POSITIVE eating experiences. Connecting with loved ones over food. Learning to trust that food is reliable and safe, and that they can listen to and trust their bodies.
This means more to the long-term health of your child than anything they could possibly eat in one meal.
I understand how tough this can be to trust, and I know you want to learn how to work through your triggers to better support your child.
Because truly, a key to raising intuitive eaters is respecting your children’s autonomy and offering unconditional acceptance of their appetites and body sizes.
Don’t fret, mama – we’re talking all about this on the podcast this week.
Tune into the newest episode below to learn more about:
Why you feel so triggered by your child’s behaviors around food or their body size
The ways your trigger responses are showing up at mealtimes
How you can learn to manage your triggers effectively to protect your child from internalizing your discomfort
Don’t forget to give yourself grace for the journey, too. Feeding kids is HARD. You’re doing a great job.