What happens when there is a large family and a rare bag of chips is opened up? Everyone grabs at it frantically trying to get their "fair share" (even if they aren't hungry). They are all competing for it.
What happens when a family rarely allows play food (junk food) and same family attends a pot-luck or party? Chips! Whoo-hoo! Cookies! More! Grab, grab, munch, munch, munch. Mom doesn't allow this stuff. I better get it now while I can.
If desired play food is off-limits or limited, it's wanted that much more. If, however, the playfood is always available, it will lose its appeal. If everyone has their own, competition eating will stop, and eating while not hungry will be greatly reduced. If allowed to eat on own in the open, closet-eating will be avoided.
-Give everyone their own stash box with favorite treats: this week its Doritos, Peanut M&Ms, chocolate-covered granola bars.
-No one is allowed to take from anyone else's.
-They can request different play foods for their stash.
-The stash does not have to be empty to request something different
-I will shop once per week to restock.
-Real foods will also be prepared and provided for snacks after school, etc.
-Real foods will be served for meals
-Continue educating family about real food vs. play food: what sustains fullness, what the body needs, what gives energy, what zaps energy, what will help moods, etc.
I worry there won't be any internal stop signals, and we'll eat until we puke. I'm concerned that the high salt or sugar content will be addicting, and they will lose all desire for real foods.
I'm not worried about my 10 year old daughter, though, she still has Halloween candy and is amazing at listening to her body's hunger signals (she hasn't been corrupted - LOL) and asks for fruit for snacks (she even asks for Brussels Sprouts for her birthday meal, she loves them). She's a great example to me, an example of a natural eater not affected by the diet perspective
I'm curious as to what my 11 y.o. son will do. He's very much like me. I'm curious about how I do, too, come to think of it.
As far as my 5 y.o. goes,
When I see obese children, I judge, "What's wrong with the parents? Why do they let the kids eat whatever they want? That's child-abuse!" I hope I am not going down that road and do more harm than good. My desire is to instill in them a positive relationship between food and their body and not fear or shame, and that real food is the norm and there is room for play food.
I began the experiment on myself a couple of weeks ago by bringing in a bag of peanut M&Ms to use as my pacer food. The bag was eaten very quickly and in secret
I know, I know, there's going to be the diet mindset that will say those M&M calories are going to add up, and I should choose carrot sticks,* instead, or trick my body into thinking it's not hungry by drinking a glass of water. This is not about dieting. This is about getting OUT of the diet perspective. This is about getting a better relationship with food and learning it's not the enemy and that the body is not the enemy. This is about learning to not binge on forbidden foods anymore (and we know THOSE binge calories add up, too). This is about foods not being forbidden.
*I do serve carrot sticks, by the way, as well as collard greens, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, salads, spaghetti squash, and several other varieties of veggies as you are welcome to read about on my veggie-quest blog "What Am I Supposed To Do With That?"
The idea for this experiment is influenced by what I'm learning from Eating for Your Soul. It may fail or be a success. I'm open to either outcome. It's all a learning experience. It's time to bring in a new way of thinking.