This is the final post in my How to Raise a Mindful Eater Series
After a year of writing, interviewing, researching and re-writing, How to Raise a Mindful Eater: 8 Powerful Principles for Transforming Your Child’s Relationship with Food, is here.
The goal for 2016 was to have at least two books published but instead, I have one. I realize that I can’t rush the process. The book highlights 15 experts, a dozen or so stories, and contains 185 references. I’m proud of it because as far as I know, it’s the only book that approaches a child’s relationship with food from so many angles.
Inspired by Questions
For the last seven years, the most frequent question I get isn’t about picky eating, but children who like food or sweets too much. In almost every one of these cases (except one), the family provides healthy food. In fact, most of the time these are ultra healthy homes with oodles of fruits and vegetables.
Most parents are surprised that food alone hasn’t solved eating-related issues. The reason, which I detail in How to Raise a Mindful Eater, is because it’s not about food but a child’s relationship with food. When people search for answers focusing solely on controlling food (something I call The Food Framework), it can harm the child’s food relationship causing more problems. But when people adopt a Mindful Framework — utilizing the 8 Principles in the book — they learn to problem-solve their child’s eating and get to the root cause.
More About The 8 Principles
If you’ve been reading my blog and other books some of what is in the book will sound familiar. How to Raise a Mindful Eater focuses on an internal approach to eating such as structuring meals, listening to hunger and fullness, and paying attention while eating (Principles 1 and 2).
The rest of the principles deal with all the factors that get in the way of maintaining an internal approach to eating. Parents often write to me saying they tried to let their child honor his feelings of hunger and fullness, but it didn’t work or it was too hard.
This is why Principles 3, 4, and 5 focus on helping parents manage kids’ natural inclinations with food. Most kids will enjoy sweets more than adults do because of their growth and development. They are also more motivated by taste than health and typically take a while to warm up to nutrient-dense foods like vegetables. You’ll find a plethora of strategies to neutralize the power of goodies, make nutrition more rewarding, and eating an enjoyable experience for the whole family.
Principle 6 centers on teaching children body appreciation. According to the AAP, half of teenage girls and one-quarter of boys are dissatisfied with their bodies, and body dissatisfaction increases the risk of unhealthy weight control behaviors. You’ll learn how to teach children to care for their bodies instead of focusing on weight and looks. It also helps you have much-needed conversations about size diversity, weight stigma, and the media’s thin ideal.
The last two principles, 7 and 8, deal with stress management and staying connected to kids. These are the most overlooked reasons kids act out with food. Parents don’t always realize that when tension rises due to food or other problems, it can create an invisible wedge between them and their child. This can actually drive the child deeper into their problematic behavior. Finding ways to deal with stress, connect with children, and communicate effectively can go a long way. Strong family bonds are also good for everyone’s health!
The 8 principles in the book are designed to help you raise a mindful eater, someone who eats for nourishment and enjoyment, listens to their body, and naturally eats in moderation. Whether you’re looking to prevent eating problems or find a resolution (or both), this book has everything you need.
For more on adult’s mindful eating see this article from the Enlightened Eater: What is a Mindful Eater and How to You Practice Mindful Eating
Print Version of From Picky to Powerful
I also have a new edition of From Picky to Powerful available, with two new chapters. Over the last two years, I’ve gotten requests for a print version so now that’s available for just $9.99, along with the e-book.
Thanks for sticking with me this year through all the changes. I have amazing things planned for 2017. To stay in the know on new offers and posts, sign up for my email newsletter.
Happy New Year!
How to Raise a Mindful Eater Post Series
1. Obstacles and Benefits to Raising Intuitive/Mindful Eaters
2. The Importance of Self-regulation and Stress Management
3. Myths About Food Addiction That Keep it Alive
4. The Real Reason Children Crave Carbs
5. The Power of Paying Attention at Meals
6. How to Build Your Child’s Self-Control Muscle
7. How to Keep the Weight-Obsessed Culture from Harming Your Child’s Relationship with Food
8. My New Book: How to Raise a Mindful Eater