Have you ever watched a two year old eat? It’s fascinating. They touch the food, smell it, squish it and squeeze it, and try to put it places food isn’t supposed to go. They fully experience all the other senses the food can stimulate before they let themselves taste it. They enjoy the experience of eating so much! It makes you wonder how we lose that as we get older. Are we too busy? Stressed? Do we have other things going on that are more important than eating? It’s hard to say, but we could certainly take a lesson in food enjoyment from these kids.
Another thing we adults do, that small children haven’t yet learned, is to feel guilty after eating. Especially after eating foods we label as ‘bad’. You know those foods. Ones that we all want to eat but feel that we can’t or shouldn’t. I think we need to do away with the labels of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for our foods Good and bad are human characteristics, and really don’t apply to what we’re eating. The potato chips aren’t sitting in a bag deviously plotting to make us fat. The apples aren’t hanging on a tree trying to figure out ways to keep us from needing to visit the doctor. Food is food. The only time it becomes good or bad is in our own heads. That’s when we start to slide down the slippery slope that leads to an unhealthy relationship with food and eating.
Let’s stop trying to make our food into something it’s not, and just enjoy it.