In the past few posts we have opened further the concepts within the Division of Responsibility.
A quick recap:
– Parents are responsible for the where, what, and when of eating
– Kids are responsible for if they eat and how much
These concepts also apply to each of us as individuals. Let’s take a further look at the parent role and how that relates to us:
You are responsible for choosing where you eat, what you eat, and when you eat. What helpful ideals have you learned from Creating Peace with Food that optimize these responsibilities?
Where: A table and without distractions. Why? It is important for us to tune into our food and our experience around food because we are more mindful eaters in this context. We actually taste food this way versus being tuned into a TV and not even realizing we are eating. We are better able to tune into our hunger and satiety cues. Without these cues, we do not know when to give ourselves permission to eat and permission to stop eating. And this ties into the child’s responsibility of choosing if and how much to eat; we will venture this way next week.
- We do not need to be afraid of focusing on our food experience. We will not overdo it. If this is a fear you have, for example: ‘I eat and read at meals because if I don’t I will eat too much.’ This is an area to work on with us. What is happening, is you are not allowing yourself to feel or give permission to your hunger and satiety cues. This happens for a variety of individual reasons and is best explored in a session.
- Also, focusing on the food does not mean obsessing over food. We sit down, we eat and enjoy, we are done. There is no need for really long focused meals.
- If you are struggling with an eating disorder, these ideas may seem impossible; however, they are opportunities to discover, explore, and heal your areas of vulnerability to your eating disorder. These principles will set you up for success for recovery.
What: A well rounded meal. 1/2 our plate vegetables, 1/4 of our plate starch, 1/4 of our plate meat or meat substitute. With some fruit, dairy or dairy substitute, and a treat available at times of the meal, we will definitely be providing ourselves with an array of satisfying food. Remember, the point is to make these foods available. If they are not available, we never have the choice of whether we eat them or not. Having foods available and creating countless opportunities for food exposure increases the likelihood that we will expand out palates, just as kids do.
And snacks- some combination of carbohydrate and protein or fat when protein is not available. For example, a fruit and dairy (yogurt and fruit); dairy and starch (cheese and crackers), fat and starch (nut butter on toast), meat and fruit (hard boiled egg and fruit). This principle greatly affects the child’s role and therefore affects each of us as individuals as well. We will take a closer look next time.
When: Within and hour of waking and every 3-4 hours until retiring. This creates a steady stream of fuel throughout the day for optimal energy levels and the development of appropriate hunger and satiety cues.
Next time, we will take a look at the child’s role and how it depends on the principles above and applies to each of us.