It’s that time of year. Summer is almost here and many of us are planning vacations, special events, celebrations, trips to the beach and some down time. While you’re making plans, consider some changes.
If you’re struggling to help your family eat healthier or have an overweight child, take a second to think about how many of your activities revolve around food. Do you regularly take family trips to food-themed amusement parks? Are special high-calorie foods a regular part of your vacations? Do you throw all your healthy eating habits out the window when summer comes?
Even though these things may seem like fun, they create a dangerous pattern, giving certain foods a “fun label” while making healthier ones “boring.” Doing this occasionally may not affect your child but if this is a regular pattern then it could be contributing to the health problems of your family.
In the first chapter of my new book, Why Can’t My Child Stop Eating?, I talk about the ways we as a society have developed unhealthy relationships with food and how these behaviors can be changed.
The most important step you can take immediately is to separate emotions from food. Make a concerted effort to plan vacations and activities that do not involve food. Organize a family walk to the park or the beach. Play a game of softball or take a family outing to a local museum. Take a hike or visit the local water park. Show everyone in your family that you can have fun without using food. When you’ve done this, you will have taken an important step in improving the health of you and your family.