Whether you realize it or not, some common phrases we say to kids can have a negative impact on their relationship with food and eating.
What you say might not sound so bad or mean in the moment, but if it’s said enough, it can lead to kids potentially falling into the world of dieting or eating problems.
Kacie Barns (@mamaknowsnutrition) is a registered dietitian specializing in children’s diets and gave all the scoop on things we say that are unintentionally harmful to kids and their eating habits.
Kacie lists four unintentionally harmful phrases in her TikTok video that can potentially lead to kids having body image issues, dieting, and eating disorder issues.
“If you’ve said any of these things before, please do not feel like I’m calling you out or feel bad for it,” says Kacie in the intro of her video.
“I know a lot of people genuinely do not know, and I just want to bring attention to it.”
The first saying Kacie points out is when people say to kids, “That is so unhealthy.”
Kacie explains that we want to keep this phrase to a minimum because kids can internalize it and associate being unhealthy with being bad. For instance, when they hear the word ‘unhealthy,’ they associate it with being bad, which, over time, can lead them to believe that they’re bad.
The second thing we should avoid is commenting on a kid’s appetite by saying, “Wow, you have a big appetite,” or forcing them to “clean their plate” and eat more.
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