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Stop Mommy Shaming

Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN

It’s sad to say that I read at least one article a day that skews the nutrition and diet landscape. The advice given is often strict and inflexible, ultimately creating feelings of inadequacy or shame. The target audience is often mothers. Sometimes it’s even mothers shaming other mothers! A colleague recently observed that it’s almost as if “food shaming” has become its own brand.

A recent story news about a country music star who was cornered by a few judgey moms had this to say:

“Dear Mommy Shamers,

Unless you are my child’s doctor, father or mother, do not tell me how to raise my child, or how to feed her.”

 She makes a good point: there is no perfect recipe for parenting a perfect child, and parenting does includes feeding. Feeding is not just about what you feed your child however; it’s also about how. Are you feeding with love, meeting the child’s physical and emotional needs? Are you meeting your own needs? After all, a stressed out mom is not going to have the energy to be her best self (therefore, jarred baby food may be a perfect fit).

The same practice fits when they are toddlers and begin sitting at the table. The parent’s job is to provide a variety of healthy choices than can result in a balanced diet, and the child’s job is to choose how much to eat. Encourage your child to eat those nutritious foods first, and then enjoy treats without fanfare. When you don’t deprive your young child the occasional treat, they can learn what proper portions are.

There are so many healthy options in the grocery store for your children. Simply balance out fresh food from the basic food groups with some convenience foods, while also allowing those small treats. Nutrition education starts in the home and should not be dictated by government regulation, or anyone else’s judgement! Balance and moderation are the best ingredients to include in your lifestyle as you raise healthy eaters.

In addition to being the mother of 3 sons, Rosanne has nearly 30 years of experience in the food and nutrition field. She is the coauthor of several books, including DASH Diet For Dummies®, which all share her philosophy of balancing healthy eating with exercise and an enjoyment of life's little pleasures. Check out her blog, Chew The Facts, for more on this topic.



Tags: Health National
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