Before we became parents, most of us were raised on a pervasive diet of images, messages and peer pressure regarding how we should look and ways to achieve it.
Whether we grew up watching the 90s supermodels, obsessed with Beyoncé or intrigued by an impossibly flawless Instagram influencer, is it any wonder we carry with us certain body ideals and goals?
Despite our own uncertainties, insecurities and struggles with body image, as parents, we are now integral in shaping the self-esteem and attitudes towards the health of our children. And, because of this, it is so important that we take stock of any negative prejudices we have towards food.
It is crucial that we are mindful of the behaviour we model and that we set the tone (and stock the pantry) for balance.
We are only human and sometimes, even without realising it, we impart our own hang ups down the generation chain just as our parents and our grandparents may have done with us.
Kids learn by watching their parents, so if you have a tendency for deprivation or over-indulgence, it could lead to them repeating your legacy and, at the least, leave them confused about the role food should play in their lives.
But take heart, by following a few basic principles, you will help your child thrive through their relationship with food.
Practice mindful eating and enjoy your food.
If you’re not already, educate yourself on the nourishing qualities of different ingredients and feel good about their inclusion in your diet. If you’re stuck on ideas, my book Wholesome Child is a complete nutrition guide and cookbook, with meal plans and menu planning tips for the whole family. I also have host of simple, nutritious and tasty recipes available on my website.