Fotolia

10 Things Body Positive Moms Say About Food

Ad failed to load

As moms, we know that our kids learn more from the examples we set in our day-to-day behavior and conversation, than the lectures we give or the lessons we try to teach. In turn, we know that if we want them to be body positive, it’s important that we send body positive messages about food.

Body positivity is the belief that all bodies are worthy, not just the thin, able-bodied, usually white ones that contemporary American popular culture holds up as "ideal." Body positivity is about recognizing that all people deserve to love and accept themselves as is, and that people should pursue their own health and well-being because they deserve to be healthy and happy, regardless of whether that results in them having a “desirable” body type. Many body positive moms have spent a lot of time unlearning negative messages about our bodies that we grew up with, so we can set a better example for our little ones. We know that our children are watching us, and they’re learning how to feel about their own bodies by how we talk about and treat ours.

The same goes for how we talk about food. Instead of constantly going on and off of diets and talking in ways that suggest we’re at war with our bodies, we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle overall, eating things that make us feel good, moving as much as we can, and resting as much as we can. Instead of talking about foods in terms of rewards and punishment, or quipping about which pantry items will “go straight to our thighs,” body positive moms know that while it’s important to eat to keep ourselves healthy, it’s also totally OK to indulge in foods purely for fun, sometimes. So, with that in mind, here are ten things body positive moms say about food, and that makes it much easier to follow through with action:

Ad failed to load

“I Feel ______ Inside After I Eat ______"

giphy

Talking about how our food makes us feel models for our kids that there is a connection between what they eat and how they feel. That’s key to helping them discover how their particular body responds to different foods, and ultimately to helping them make their own choices about food.

Body positive note: we don’t say that a particular food makes us feel “fat” because 1) fat is a visual descriptor, not a feeling, and 2) if it’s said in a negative way, it sends the false message that fat is inherently negative.

“There Are No ‘Bad’ Foods”

giphy

If your children spend any time outside of your protective bubble, they’re going to encounter messaging that suggests certain foods are more or less "moral" than others. Indeed, this is one of the hardest ones for many of us to unlearn, given how prevalent these messages are. However, moralizing food sets us up for problematic relationships with food in the future, by distracting us from making food choices rooted in our health and well-being, while luring us into making food choices based on what we think of ourselves as people. All sorts of body shame and emotional issues follow from there, so it’s a path best avoided altogether. Foods aren’t categorically “bad” or “good,” but some foods absolutely make us feel more sluggish, more energized, queasy, etc. than others. Noting that helps us and our little ones make choices that serve us, not some outdated cultural norm or another.

“Let's Eat Something That Will Make Us Feel Good”

giphy

Instead of being the "Food Police," pressuring kids into eating certain foods while banning others, body positive moms try to focus on helping our kids understand how our bodies feel and react in response to our food. This helps kids value their own sense of well-being and stay in touch with how they feel, as opposed to external messages (advertising, peer influences, etc.) about what they should eat.

Ad failed to load

“Let’s Try This!"

giphy

Understanding that eating a variety of foods helps us feel our best, body positive moms try to expose our kids to lots of different things, rather than restricting what they “can” eat. We also model open-mindedness around food, instead of fear.

“Let’s Cook Together”

giphy

Spending time in the kitchen together, learning and preparing food, is a great way to bond and develop an appreciation of and for different kinds of foods (as well as the effort that goes into preparing a meal). It’s also a great way for kids to develop a sense of accomplishment, which helps them appreciate yet another thing that their amazing bodies can do.

“I Love....”

giphy

Rather than shaming ourselves for the different things we eat, we openly enjoy our food, and revel in what tastes good and feels good to us.

Ad failed to load

“Eat Until You Feel Full”

giphy

Body positive moms say, “Eat until you feel full” instead of “Clean your plate,” because the former focuses our attention on our own needs, instead of external cues. That reinforces the body positive message that we can trust our bodies to tell us what we need to know to be healthy, and that we are in control of what we put into it.

“Eat As Much As You Need To”

giphy

Our bodies do a lot, so they need energy and nutrition to keep going. Being body positive means respecting our bodies’ needs, not restricting ourselves or setting arbitrary rules for how much we eat based on a desire to have a certain body type.

“Eating [Insert Certain Food Here] Reminds Me Of...”

giphy

Body positive moms embrace the social aspect of eating, as well as the memories and traditions we associate with certain foods and occasions. We eat for pleasure, not just to stay alive.

Ad failed to load

“We Need To Eat So We Can _____”

giphy

Modeling how food contributes to our overall lifestyle helps kids develop a positive understanding of how to care for their bodies, and how to make food choices that align with what they want to do and how they want to feel.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}