When I was a child, I had to contend with the same threat from my parents every night. “Finish everything on your plate, or you don’t get any dessert.” But I loved dessert and didn’t always love what was on my plate. Parents still practice this dinner rule to encourage children to get all their nutrients and not waste food. However, experts are not so happy with this generic rule anymore because it promotes obesity and eating while you’re not hungry.
Recently, this whole concept had come back into the public eye when Dr. Katja Rowell shared an image of her “lunch box card” that can be used by parents everywhere to inspire their children to eat right.
The “lunch box card” in the image was provided by the doctor and filled out by mom Leslie Schilling. She personalized it with her daughter’s information and laminated so it could be used year in and year out – another example of how not to waste resources.
When the image of the “lunch box card” was picked up by famous speaker and educator Dana Suchow, it went viral. And now parents across the country – and world – are looking to implement it in their lives.
Schilling’s card reads:
“Dear friend of Celia ‘CC’ Schilling. Please allow CC to decide how much to eat, and in what order, from what I have packed. Even if that means all CC eats for lunch is ‘dessert’ or if CC starts with dessert. I trust that CC can truly on hunger and fullness signals to know how much to eat. Please call my cell if you have any questions. The nice thing is, this should be less work for you. If CC needs help opening containers, I thank you for that help, otherwise, CC should be good to go. Thank you for all you do for our children.”
The “lunch box card” is a slap in the face to those educators and schools that try to dictate what is appropriate for children to eat for lunch. While some schools forbid children from eating cookies or cakes and even sugary fruit snacks, however, this card can remind people that parents are looking out for their children and that kids know when they’re hungry and when they’re full.
Intuitive eating, according to Healthline, is “a philosophy of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals.”
While this makes sense, it also must be taught to young children. Sometimes when we eat too fast, we eat more than we need. And we also might opt for the sugary sweet instead of the vegetables because sugar is addictive. So long as parents are teaching the importance of a balanced diet, this “lunch box card” goes a long way to building confidence in children and self-reliance.
One study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that “controlling parenting styles may hinder children’s healthy eating habits.” Maybe there is scientific validity behind the doctor’s “lunch box card.”
What do you think about this card?
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