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Myth 10: Food Will Make You Feel Better If You Are Having a Bad Day

Pediatric Fitness

Myth 10: Food Will Make You Feel Better If You Are Having a Bad Day

There are many misconceptions about proper nutrition and exercise. Nutritionists from the Pediatric Fitness Clinic explore different myths and misconceptions, the truth behind them, and offer suggestions for what you can do instead.

Myth: Food will make you feel better if you are having a bad day.

Truth: Using food to help with emotions typically leads to unhealthy patterns. If you are eating in response to emotions or moods, you are not finding the answers for why you are feeling a certain way.

Using food to help with emotions typically leads to weight gain. Comfort foods, like ice cream, cookies or chips, are less healthy choices. If you are eating in response to emotions, you are not finding the answers for why you are feeling a certain way.

Try This Instead

  • Take a time out when you are tempted to eat in response to how you feel. Take a break and ask yourself why you are feeling that way.
  • Know the difference between head hunger and true hunger. Learn your hunger cues and try to only obey true hunger.
  • When head hunger strikes, do something active. Exercise releases hormones that make you feel good on the inside.

Parental Advice

  • Lead by example. Take breaks to process your own emotions and help your child to process their negative emotions.
  • Use non-food rewards. When celebrating, reward your child with a trip to the park, stickers or a new toy that promotes physical activity.
  • Enjoy "comfort foods" as a treat and avoid labeling foods as "good," "bad," or "forbidden."
  • Support the concept of mental health and mindfulness. Be aware of your child's symptoms of stress. Model healthy ways to manage stress.