How often do you use food as a reward for your kids? Maybe they have a booboo and are being brave, so we reward them with a lollipop. Or they’ve finished their chore chart and get rewarded with ice cream. Sounds familiar? And what’s wrong with that?
When food is often associated with making yourself feel better, then as an adult when you have a booboo in your heart; feel pain, sad, down; you may (and probably will) turn to food for comfort as well. Better yet, take the family for ice cream just because, or as part of a family day outing. Some non-food reward ideas are having your child pick a new book or toy, giving them some special alone time with you, doing a special activity together, or a fun outing.
Try to be mindful of your kids associations with food now when they’re young, to help them have a healthier relationship with food as an adult. Patterns and habits are hard to change, but when we start young, it’s a lot easier to develop healthy routines.
Tips for the week:
1. What activities can you replace food with; in rewarding your child for good behavior, good grades or comforting them when they’re in pain?
2. When you, the adult are having crazy cravings and are not getting satisfied, try to dig deep and figure out what’s really bothering you and find ways to heal what’s on your mind or heart without drowning it in food. It can be via mediation, a hot bath, a good book, writing in a journal or anything that eases pain and stress for you, aside for food.