The father picked up a handful of yogurts and turned to his young daughter. “See sweetie? Sugars are bad for you. This has too much sugar, this has a little less.” The little girl actively scrounged the aisle for a yogurt with as little sugar as possible, receiving verbal praise for every good find.
I wholeheartedly believe that eating nutritiously stems from educating at a young age. This event seemed like an integral teaching lesson until the father directed that his child eat less sugar “to stay skinny forever. Being skinny is very important as you get older.”
That urked me.
From my own experience I know that my superiors’ superficiality, and judgement of me based on a scale or types of food that I ate, unhealthily tied my self worth to my diet. This ultimately damaged my relationship with food and largely contributed to my anorexia in High School.
Children are so impressionable. They look up to the older, cool cousin or their smart, wise guardian and hang onto their every word absorbing the information intently. I think telling children to eat less sugar for aesthetic reasons like staying thin or pretty, rather than for nutritional reasons, like disease prevention, could damage a child’s relationship with food.
Just thoughts from my own experience.