As I dive deeper into my work as an Intuitive Eating Counsellor, the more I’m convinced that the philosophy of Intuitive Eating is a total game changer for anyone who’s ever struggled with their relationship with food (read: most humans living in our diet culture).
I’m also more and more convinced that it is a brilliant strategy to help kids develop a positive, healthy relationship with food so they don’t ever have to fall in the traps of diet culture and we can end the cycle of dieting in our culture for once and for all.
One of my FAVE spring/summer mealtime strategies is BOWLS. They’re not only easy and quick to pull together (winning), they’re also a great way to help encourage autonomy – one of the keystone philosophies around intuitive eating!
What is autonomy?
It’s the belief that we as individuals are the best authority when it comes to decisions around our body (ie. how to honour our hunger, respect our body and make nutrition choices that serve our greater well being). In opposition we have diet culture and mentality in which typically include a set of arbitrary rules that determine what, how much, when and how we eat (with no reference to our unique individual differences, our variable energetic needs, wants or desires). The practice of Intuitive Eating returns us to our innate capability to notice and honour our hunger, embrace satisfaction, and also honour our health with “gentle nutrition.” (you can learn more about the practice here).
How bowls increase autonomy:
I pull out a variety of “fixings” everyone pulls their own bowls together. I give the kids some basic education about why they may want include a variety of veggies, dried fruits, whole grains, proteins, fats, etc. but I leave it up to them to determine how much and specifically what (of the things I’ve provided) they’ll eat!
Get the recipe concept here.
Note: it doesn’t have to be “bowls” – this is just one example. The goal is to give your kids (and yourself) a choice when it comes to food. To release the reigns on the “food rules” and make nutrition choices that reflect your individual needs and desires. And before you jump into the “but if I just let them choose whatever they want they won’t eat anything healthy…” argument. I get it. I feared that too. But trust me, they’ll settle into it. And they will settle into choosing foods that best serve their bodies!
If you’re interested in exploring the philosophy of Intuitive Eating, book a complimentary 15-minute Discovery Call. We will discuss whether this approach is something that might serve and support you.