Thursday Tips: Food Is Beautiful

orange heartSo often, the first words I hear from a child’s mouth when they’re presented with a new food are, ‘I don’t like it.’ And we respond to it because the narrative of not liking something has been started….

Good news: we can change that! Since kids imitate everything we do, if we can conciously change the way we look at foods so that our first thought about a food is positive, it can help kids be more positive, too!   

Positive thinking has been shown to encourage healthy food choices and thinking positively about food, thinking about what we want to put into our bodies rather than what we shouldn’t, has been linked to health gains.

Food play is about becoming comfortable with foods by creating positive experiences with food. The way we talk about food and think about food are part big parts of this positive experience. A great way to start thinking positively about food is by finding something beautiful about it.

It is amazing how a subtle shift in our thoughts can change our outlook, our behavior and our effect on others. Start creating this shift by reframing any negative thoughts or comments you notice either to yourself or out loud.

For example, a child could say ‘tomatoes are yucky,’ and I could reframe that and say ‘tomatoes do have a lot of juice inside; what a plump, beautiful tomato!’ or a child might say, ‘I don’t like zucchini,’ and I could say, ‘Ok, but what a beautiful color green. This zucchini looks speckled. How many beautiful greens do you see? What should we make out of this beautiful zucchini?’

As we practice anything our brains become stronger to support the new activity. We actually create pathways in our brains. I hope you enjoy fostering positive language around food this week and noticing the difference in yourself and those around you.

Happy food play!

 

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19 thoughts on “Thursday Tips: Food Is Beautiful

  1. So true. I read about changing labels we give our kids too. Instead of saying my child is loud, stubborn, or aggressive we can say they are spirited or passionate. Changing our labels and own attitudes changes how our kids perceives things. Food is the same.

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  2. I love this. What a wonderful way to open a positive dialogue. I have noticed lately how my own food play has fostered a love of many new foods in me! I didn’t think I was a picky eater, but there were plenty of foods on my “do not like” list. When I decided to give raw and vegan cooking a whirl, two things happened: One, I gave myself permission to finally admit that I just don’t like meat. I’ve never loved it and there are many kinds I just simply don’t eat. But there’s a stigma attached to being vegan and so I avoided going down that path. But when I allowed myself to take that stance, just to try it on for size, I felt more free to enjoy the foods I DID like and explore new ways of eating that made me happy. The other thing that happened was I started to include a lot of new and different ingredients I didn’t know if I would like, like tofu, miso paste, and nutritional yeast. I learned that while those foods aren’t great on their own, the way they play together in the entire dish is what makes them great. And so that gave me the courage to try adding more ingredients from my “do not like” list, like peppers, onions, and beans. And now I love them all! Who knew? I think the key was taking an inquisitive, playful mindset to the kitchen. Deciding to play around with vegan cooking gave me the freedom to just try foods and experiment, without my entire culinary (and social) identity hanging on the balance. And isn’t that what food play is for kids? Allowing them the freedom to experiment with no strings attached? Now I’m a firm believer in it. If it helped me, it can help my son. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with my family! You are making a difference.

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    1. Thank you! And YES!! Playful exploration is what food play is all about–discovering the unexpected and rediscovering what we thought we knew about foods and our own tastes, and ultimately, love and acceptance for ourselves and deep appreciation for our food! Thank you for sharing your journey–I’m honored to be a part of it! 🙂

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  3. When our daughter was a toddler and wouldn’t eat vegetables, we used to wonder aloud what orange or green tasted like, if yellow tasted different than the other two. She’s our best veggie eater now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Boo Loo Blogs and commented:
    Found this interesting, something ill implement with my oldest who quite a picky eater! One thing i always say when ever she asks whats for dinner i always reply the same,’ something delicious’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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