We read headlines all of the time about scary things about food and kids: apple juice with arsenic, dangerous levels of pesticides and other oddities in chicken, plain old tap water with nasty contaminants....all of these stories make us rethink the food we give our kids.
However, one of the main food-kiddo issues in the news is obesity. It is a huge problem, and I recently ran across a story about how obesity may be linked to a not-great mommy-toddler bond. The study evaluated the relationship of small children and their mothers, those with secure attachments versus those that didn't have as good of a bond. It showed that even at a very young age - think two years old - kids will turn to food to find comfort if they don't find it with a mother figure.
Now, part of me thinks, well, here we go again, blaming moms for everything wrong with a child, but I see some validity with this article. Look at our own relationship with food and eating and body image -- we know it isn't just about a simple choice of eating a cookie (or four) rather than a carrot. Eating, at times, is emotional, it is psychologically tied to our lives. Think about how we view celebrations that are centered around a dinner or eating, like Christmas dinner or that birthday cake. Think about when we use food as rewards or punishment, like an ice cream treat for being good or not allowing dessert if our kids don't finish their veggies.
This article is really interesting and brings up good food for thought (no pun intended) on how we can, at a very early age, start teaching our kids healthy ways to view food and its role in our lives. It is hard...as it also means we need to examine our own relationship with food.
What do you think? Do you have a healthy relationship with food, or do you sometimes use it as a comfort? Do you use treats as rewards for good behavior for your children?