Sometimes it can feel like there’s a new term to describe every type of parent there is nowadays. But the ‘Almond moms’ are definitely everyone’s new favorite to pick on and pick apart. And honestly, can we blame them? If you’re not familiar with this term, an almond mom is a mother who is obsessed with diet culture to a harmful degree and tries to pass on this unhealthy thought process to her kids. With the rise of famous celebrities like Gweneth Paltrow talking about their extreme calorie deficit diet and Mila Kunis allegedly using drugs to lose weight drastically, people can’t help but feel that unhealthy diet culture is steadily on the rise, and is now propagated by parents.
Even supermodels like Gigi Hadid have mothers who ask them to eat almonds when they are tired and feeling weak. Now, is eating almonds as a snack a bad thing? No. Is eating healthy and having an active lifestyle wrong? No. But too much good stuff can be bad stuff. Just like how obsessive over diet culture and fitness can hurt your body instead of helping it. But with decades of women being convinced that skinny is better, we can’t help but have a little empathy for the almond moms. After all, they are as hard on themselves as they are the kids. And no one deserves to feel like their worth is wholly determined by their waist size. So, if you’re an almond mom trying to cultivate a healthier mindset when it comes to food, or a new parent scared of going down that path because of your own relationship with food, this article is for you. Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure that you never reach the almond mom status.
1. Steer Clear Of Food Shaming
One of the worst mistakes you can make is labeling food as good and bad. Teaching your kids that veggies are good and cookies are bad will not make them stop craving a cookie, in fact, they just might want one even more. It’s not that only some foods are good, moreover it is simply that some foods are better for us than others. When you talk about food, talk about moderation. It’s okay for them to have a cookie every now and then if they are eating clean for the most part. Conveying the message that your kids have to stick to protein shakes and broth may also have adverse effects. Kids need to eat foods from every food category. This is essential for the overall development. So feeding them misinformation that carbs are the devil, diary is the cause of all issues and banning gluten does more harm than good in most cases. Instead of scorning at your child for ordering pasta on a night out, enjoy some with them. Balance is what you should aim for.
2. De-emphasize The Scale
We all know that being overweight and obese is unhealthy and not something to endorse. However, if your child’s weight is fluctuating, it could also be because they are growing and not necessarily because they are unhealthy. As your child grows they will go through hormonal changes, growth spurts, their organs grow and it is realistically impossible for them to remain the same size they were when they were in their early teen years. So, instead of focusing on the scale and their weight, try instead to focus on their lifestyle. How much movement are they getting? Does the food they eat on a regular basis give them energy? These are the real questions you need to be asking.
3. Get Involved In Meal Prep
If you’ve got an extremely picky eater, a good way to get them to eat a little healthier isn’t to belittle or beret them. It is to get them to help you to cook or bake their meals. This will help them learn more about the ingredients you use and will encourage them to be a little more adventurous while eating. Besides, it can also be a great bonding experience.
4. Don’t Deny Any Treat
If your child is craving something a little unhealthy and hearty, it is not the end of the world. Instead of denying them for days on end, try to make a healthier version of the foods they want to eat. If they crave sweet stuff a lot, try to make a fruit salad with a scoop of ice cream or make them chocolates with nuts in them. If they want chicken nuggets, make them in the airfryer so that they are healthier. Remember, add to the dish instead of subtracting it completely.
Wanting your child to be healthy, fit and fabulous does not make you a bad mom. But it can be harmful for your little one physically and mentally if you keep obsessing about what they eat and look like. It’s okay to have balanced meals and let loose once in a while.