How did you parents teach you about food? My sister struggled with an eating disorder growing up, and I’ve always been fascinated by how children’s early experiences with food shape the way they view it for the rest of their lives. My parents were pretty neutral when it came to talking about food, but it seems like kids can internalize anything and everything, from a loaded word to using weight as a determination of self-worth to even a seemingly harmless comment such as, “I feel so fat today.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been immune to the fat trap. I’ve had my fair share of body-image issues over the years (like my ugly duckling days…), and I can’t help but feel like all those experiences and times of self-doubt have given me such a unique perspective. It’s sort of armed me with a play book for raising my own children some day.
“And so, from the start, my husband and I have promoted the idea to our girls that it is healthy and necessary for children to grow and gain weight. At this point in their lives, our girls view stepping on the scale as a chance to see how much they have grown, not as a grim moment of judgment about their self-worth. People come in extra small, small, medium, large and extra large. This is a fact. Let’s not muddy it with opinions. Just accept it and get to know the soul living inside the body.”
Goldman and her husband have even taken steps to promote healthy associations with food, opting to talk about food in terms of energy instead of calories. How refreshing is that? It gives me hope for the next generation of young girls.
How was food viewed in your home when you were growing up? In a positive way or something to be feared? How will you raise your children to view food? xoxo
P.S. Goldman’s wisdom on aging: “Bodies change. It is proof of life, of flux, of the waxing and waning of our cells. It is okay for the body to soften, for the skin to slacken. It is the beauty in us that allows us to change.”
[Photos by Amy McMullen]