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3 Things in Childhood That Can Impact Your Relationship With Food, by a Dietitian


As a dietitian working closely with the psychology service I have come across several cases of childhood experiences that influence your relationship with food.


Here are some examples:


1. Being Restricted food in childhood due to food scarcity:

  Individuals who grew up with food scarcity may develop a mindset of scarcity even when food is more available later in life. This can result in overeating or hoarding food, as a response to the fear of not having enough, even when resources are more abundant.


2. Being Told to Always Finish Your Plate When Younger:

 The childhood habit of being encouraged to finish everything on the plate can contribute to overeating as adults. This learned behavior may override natural feelings of satiety, leading individuals to ignore their body’s signals of fullness. This can contribute to the development of unhealthy eating habits and difficulties in recognizing when they’ve had enough.


3. Being Told that Once You Have Your Veggies (Good Foods) Then You Can Have Dessert (Bad Foods):

 Associating certain foods as “good” and others as “bad” based on moral judgments can create an unhealthy relationship with food. This childhood experience may lead to feelings of guilt or shame for consuming foods deemed as “bad.” This mindset can contribute to emotional eating and a distorted relationship with various food groups.

The Bottom Line


Understanding these connections between childhood experiences and current eating habits is crucial for developing a healthier relationship with food. Seeking support from dietitians or mental health professionals can provide guidance in addressing these patterns 🫶🏻 #dietitianfacts #emotionaleating #relationshipwithfood #childhoodexperiences

Joanna Tsintaris, is the Founder of Nourish Dietitian —an online health and nutrition clinic offering personalized 1:1 dietetic advice. She is a registered Dietitian in the UK and Biomedical Science graduate with first class MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Specializing in weight loss and Type 2 Diabetes with an interest in sports nutrition, Joanna empowers clients to make sustainable lifestyle changes, addressing conditions like pre-diabetes, PCOS, and more. With a holistic approach, she fosters a healthier relationship with food, challenges weight stigma, and rejects diet culture. Her clinical expertise, coupled with a commitment to evidence-based practice, ensures clients receive compassionate and person-centered care. Beyond her professional pursuits, Joanna, embodies the principles of holistic well-being in her own life, whether practicing yoga, enjoying brunch, or savoring moments with coffee in hand.

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