Childhood obesity continues to make headlines, with dire predictions of obesity risk from studies based on questionable presumptions that continue to feed hysteria about the subject. As a mother of two with my own history of weight worries, I’ll admit it was hard at times to just support my kids as they went through the stages of growth that changed their bodies, sometimes making them not the societal ideal. I definitely didn’t want to implant any attitudes or behaviors that would spur lifelong struggles with eating. And I knew better than to worry. But sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, on a sleepless perimenopausal night, I might find myself thinking negatively. With all the noise out there on this subject, it’s hard for even someone who is supposedly knowledgeable in the area to always trust herself.
If you find yourself relating to my story, there’s help just a mouse click away. Ellyn Satter, widely renowned for her sensible advice on feeding kids well, maintains a website designed to help parents and professionals approach the issue of children and weight without creating more problems than they solve. She has written a variety of wonderful books, but for immediate help, she posts newsletters that provide commonsense guidance on helping kids eat well to promote health, healthy weights and general well-being.
”Halloween candy presents a learning opportunity. Work toward having your child be able to manage his own stash. For him to learn, you will have to keep your interference to a minimum. When he comes home from trick or treating, let him lay out his booty, gloat over it, sort it and eat as much of it as he wants. Let him do the same the next day. Then have him put it away and relegate it to meal- and snack-time: a couple of small pieces at meals for dessert and as much as he wants for snack time.”
If you’re perennially confused about how to handle times like these, or just feeding your child (or grandchild or niece or nephew, etc.) in general, check out Ellyn’s writings. They offer peace for both child and parent.