132. Teaching our kids a healthy relationship with food (+ our own food guilt and body shame) with Andrea Heyman

Andrea is a Registered Dietician who is here to talk with me about our relationship to food and teaching our kids a healthy relationship with food

I also had a secret motive in asking her on because I had questions about how to handle food with my kids. I know I’m undoing a lot of cultured rules, how I was raised, my own biases, and I want to be mindful about how I teach my kids, especially my daughter, about the health of food without the food guilt or body shame.  



In this conversation we will cover:

Common struggles that women have when it comes to their relationship with food

  • Emotional eating can be a common situation that happens in motherhood
  • The ‘diet culture’ pressure that moms have to ‘drop the weight’ can lead to restrictive and unsustainable approaches to food
  • Using food to manage our emotions (my own experience with emotional eating in motherhood)
  • Using food as a way to control our bodies


Healing a heritage of food guilt and body shame

  • We know enough about attachment to know that our sense of worth and self is shaped by our caregivers
  • Unpacking the decades of guilt and shame we have adopted
  • Starting with some basic food plans and dropping all the food rules and restrictions
  • Seeing the cycle where the more restrictions we give ourselves, the bigger the struggle of cravings and willpower, the stronger the guilt we feel when we eat what we ‘shouldn’t’
  • Building up trust in your body again


The role of being a mom who is managing food for herself and for everyone else

  • The positive side of emotional eating vs the coping side of emotional eating
  • Being a role model for our kids when it comes to a healthy relationship with food
  • Feeding your family a variety of foods and letting go of all or nothing thinking


Taking the drama out of feeding our kids

  • Consider the role you want to have in feeding your kids and the role you want them to learn and become confident in
  • Anxiety and stress at the dinner table can become counterproductive to the whole dinner experience for the whole family
  • How we can let our kids branch out on their own when it comes to food preferences
  • The pitfalls of cooking different people different food items each dinner, becoming a short order cook 
    • Going through the discomfort of changing the culture of cooking each kid their own foods for each meal 
  • Using dessert as bribery (food as a reward) and what we might be teaching our kids about the ‘preferred’ foods


Getting kids involved in the food preparation and planning

  • Conversations around balancing meals
  • Letting each kid design a balanced meal 


Parents using food as a reward

  • Using food as a treat, reward, bond, make the day more ‘fun’
  • Phasing out the treats and bringing in alternate rewards and treats
  • Planning out the other things you can turn to that are fun for your family


Teaching our kids about a healthy relationship with food

  • How to have conversations with our kids about food without inducing food shame
  • Shifting the focus on the functionality of health and food
  • Using treat restrictions vs no restrictions 
  • Owning our own relationship with food to create a positive food culture in our family


Getting started with shifting your family’s food culture

  • Start small
  • Make a plan
  • Don’t overcomplicate meal prep (use the shortcuts!)
  • Offer healthy options and let your kids decide how much they eat
  • Phase-out using food as rewards


Find Andrea and Adventures in Feeding my Fam

Andrea’s blueberry and corn salad

Find Andrea on Instagram, listen to her podcast, join her Facebook group (it is a very fun and valuable one!)


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Teaching our kids a healthy relationship with food (+ our own food guilt and body shame)

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