“Pressuring kids to ‘eat healthier’ almost always backfires” says Intuitive Eating Expert,
The Founder of the London Centre for Intuitive Eating wants to help parents ‘cut through the noise’ when it comes to feeding children, equipping them with the tools to raise kids to have a healthy relationship with food and their bodies
Laura Thomas, PhD is on a mission to help remove mealtime pressure on parents and children, launching a course that empowers parents to feel confident when feeding their kids and giving them the tools and support to nourish their kids intuitively.
Registered Nutritionist Laura, who has a 21-month-old, is frustrated with the overwhelming amount of advice and information parents have to wade through, and so enlisted a team of experts to design a course which helps alleviate parent guilt and instead supports positive feeding relationships.
The online video course, Rasing Intuitive Eaters, is available from Laura’s organisation, the London Centre for Intuitive Eating (LCIE), and equips parents with an easy, flexible and supportive framework for feeding children. LCIE is made up of a team of Nutrition Counsellors based in London, specialising in Intuitive Eating, weight inclusive and body affirming care, using non-diet and person-centred approaches to nutrition and health.
The team at LCIE want to dispel the myth that there is a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ way of feeding children and remove some of the pressure felt by parents to live up to societal expectations and judgement, especially from social media.
The course will help parents to create positive mealtimes, with no barraging for them to ‘eat their veggies’, and includes information on responsive feeding, hunger, and fullness signals.
Laura said: “Feeding a family can be hard enough without trying to live up to what we see on Instagram; you don’t have to cut little hearts out of your kid’s cucumber or cut sandwiches into little trees, sometimes beans on toast is all you have capacity for, and that’s good enough.
“There’s an enormous amount of pressure on parents to feed their kids ‘perfectly’ that it often comes at the expense of parent’s own wellbeing and often leads to more pickiness and other problems for the kids.
“Our course is designed to give parents reassurance that they’re doing a good job, and that they can trust their kids to get what their body needs and have a positive relationship with food.”
The LCIE team say studies have shown being restrictive with children can lead to them eating in the absence of hunger, making them more likely to sneak or steal food, and can result in using food to soothe their emotions.
Studies have also highlighted how putting pressure on kids to clear their plate or eat their greens can increase the likelihood that they will become fussy eaters - making mealtimes more stressful for the whole family.
The course, which is self-paced and runs over 12 modules, includes in-depth information covering each age and stage of a child’s development, from milk feeding and weaning, to family meals, school-aged kids, and teens.
Topics covered include how fussy eating develops and tools to overcome it, how restrictive eating can backfire, and how to encourage healthy habits without micromanaging what kids eat.