Visit our Sister Sites:

Children and Food

Children and Food Tony Samara

A question comes up these days about food and the best way to help children achieve optimum nutrition. It is impossible to answer this briefly, so I'll just focus on one thing: emotional eating, which tends to be the problem with most children. I would say 70 percent of children are traumatized because of food issues that parents have or because of emotional issues that arise during those moments when food is part of what is going on.

Many aspects of the constellation in a family get to be more obvious for children and sometimes for adults too when children are eating or before the preparation of food or just after the preparation of food. If one understands this — that food is not just the physical thing, that what you eat is of course very important, and that what you eat is much more than just what you eat — then one understands that health is more than just healthful foods. Even if you eat the most healthy, amazingly wonderful food ever — all the superfoods or the latest and the best from the exotic places of the world — if the emotions that come during those moments of nutrition are not healthy, then basically it's better to eat a pizza: The nutrients that you'll get from that pizza will be of more benefit to your body than whatever else you try externally.

I say this because sometimes people make nutrition a religion, meaning that their concern for their children's well-being becomes a neurosis on some level in which food is an expression (it is hard to explain). On some level, it becomes an expression in which your concern and your feeling of incompleteness gets put across in those moments when food is being prepared — hence why many vegetarians and many people who are into more healthy food create certain limitations — that then the child later on in life usually manifests that neurosis. Either this is experienced as problems — emotional problems or physical problems, because the nutrition in the food was not really complete — or later reactions to these dogmatic ways of feeding that causes the person to go the total opposite of eating a healthy diet.