Could it be that food is our first vice? That all the other indulgences and restraints, addictions and imbalances stem from early eating?
We give our babies milk so that they may grow. But we also give milk for a whole host of other reasons, for comfort, for sleep, for agitation, for distress, for knocks, for illnesses.
And then we give our small toddler food and treats as an easy means to stem their upset, frustration, stubbornness, rigidity, anxiety and more.
We use food so readily in response to matters that are far from hunger.
What if we used food differently? Without using food to reward, to swallow up feelings. Without withholding food as a means of control.
What if food really was simply food? The way we see in nature. A means for growth, an anchor for health, a sensory delight for our appetite.
Food is powerful. For our children and for us. The menu for lunch can dictate whether my child enjoys her school day or not. The welcome home treats are just as important.
But what would happen if we stopped using food to coerce our children? What would happen if we made a separation between food and feelings from an early age?
Can we teach our children of balanced eating, can we model such eating for them to witness? Can we listen to their outpourings long enough to get under and overcome their anxiety and upset?
Children want only to be good people. They don’t want to overdose on sugar and then show all kinds of off track behaviour.
They are born with bodies in perfect harmony. The digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system and more all working, cooperating together. The innate wisdom of their young bodies is to maintain this beautiful homeostasis.
It is us who disturb the equilibrium. With the excess sugar and more that society dictates.
But we can rise from our homes and kitchens and combat the strong pull of emotional eating.
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