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Tips for Family Mealtime

Tips for Family Mealtime

By Bobbi Boteler, RD, LD, CEDRD. I had the opportunity to speak at my children’s PTA this past month. Many parents were inquiring about “healthy meals and snacks” that are family friendly.  I was honored they thought of me as their guide. I took this as an opportunity to further educate parents and teachers on Health at Every Size, Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility with Feeding, along with some of the curriculum changes we have been working on behind the scenes with the county.   I wanted to preface my talk with a gentle reminder to parents that there is no “perfect” when it comes to feeding your family.   I feel there is so much unspoken pressure on especially moms, to have a picture-perfect, Pinterest-ready, meal on the table more often than not.  As a mom of 3 who works part time and doesn’t find cooking at all thrilling, this is not my reality most days. I pulled a Brene Brown and showed some vulnerability, sharing about a time my husband fed my three kids chips with ketchup on paper plates for breakfast one Saturday morning while I was at work.  I wanted to die, but after I pulled myself together, I reminded myself they were safe, being fed preferred, familiar food and they were all sitting down at the meal together. What exactly is our job as parents anyways?  Ellyn Satter lays this out for us beautifully with her Division of Responsibility.  Parents have certain jobs in the feeding process and children likewise. For Parents, our jobs include WHAT we are feeding our children, WHEN in the...
Avoiding Binge Eating During the Holidays

Avoiding Binge Eating During the Holidays

Don’t let weight or food concerns prevent you from enjoying life and attending fun events. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, cookies, wine, cider…. the list goes on and on. We can pretty much predict the exact foods that will be gracing our Thanksgiving Day table, however, just because we know what to expect doesn’t mean that there aren’t other stressors to deal with. If your eating preferences, stress, or guilt about food make the holidays rough, you are not alone. Not only are there the food stressors, but family dynamics, travel, and financial burdens that increase our overall stress level- or what I like to call the metaphorical plate, around the holidays. The goal is to find enjoyment again as you take part in traditional and social food situations! Here are some tips to help you navigate holiday eating and avoid overeating or binge eating. Don’t skip meals in order to save up for the main event, rather, fuel yourself with small meals or healthy snacks throughout the day. Potluck or holiday buffet? Survey the foods and pick your favorites. Do you only get your mom’s homemade stuffing once a year? Definitely go for your favorites and think twice about more generic sides like frozen corn or boxed mashed potatoes that are around all year long. Aim for 1-2 starches, a serving of protein, and 1-2 vegetables. Choose your favorite off the dessert table and savor the taste! Make sure to stop periodically during the day to check in with yourself. Ask the questions, “How am I feeling? Am...
Food Free End of the Year Rewards!

Food Free End of the Year Rewards!

Finding Ways to Reward Yourself Without Food It seems that in the society we live in today we tend to either not reward ourselves or reward ourselves and our children with “things”.  Many of the “things” we use include food or special treats. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating with food, it can become a problem when it replaces building relationships or spending time with others.  Food is meant to be enjoyed and to fuel our bodies, and it does a great job of doing that.  We are then taught that these rewards should be very rich foods we start to associate these foods with being good, being taken care of, or succeeding. So this year when your child brings home their report card with straight A’s, or perhaps a B or a C in a class they particularly struggled with and worked hard to earn; or are on their best behavior running errands during the day; or complete their chores for the week reward them with TIME, affection, love, activities with the individual child without siblings. Give them the verbal validation of “I’m so proud of you!  I see how hard you have worked and how much time you have spent studying and it has really paid off.  Mommy and daddy are so proud of you and we love you so much.” Build up these relationships to reward hard work and good behavior, or just because! Remember you deserve rewards as well! Here is a list of some creative things to try to reward good behavior (yours or a family members) that don’t only revolve around food.  Think about...
Bobbi Boteler RD, LD, CEDRD: Helps clients and their families recover

Bobbi Boteler RD, LD, CEDRD: Helps clients and their families recover

Bobbi Boteler Continues to Support Her Clients in Eating Disorder Recovery I have had the honor of watching Bobbi blossom into an amazing nutrition professional. She started with our practice over ten years ago while she was a dietetics student at the University of Maryland. She had already been in recovery from her own eating disorder for about five years and was ready to help others begin their journey of treatment of their own eating disorder. Bobbi brings an enormous amount of knowledge, compassion and empathy into her work with clients each day. She brings enormous passion and dedication to help her clients heal from eating disorders and also helps them discover tools to help clients live a rich and meaningful life as they separate themselves from their eating disorders.   How can Bobbi help? As Bobbi helps clients face their food fears, she will help clients manage their anxiety around food and will even share meals and snacks with her clients as they learn to push past their fears and nourish themselves. Bobbi has an incredible ability to meet clients where they are and to nudge them to go outside of their comfort zone and take the next right step toward recovery, Bobbi brings such genuine caring and kindness to each session, her clients are able to tolerate and eventually even enjoy food again. Our clients LOVE Bobbi!   How does Bobbi work with a team? Bobbi is a strong, dedicated member of each client’s treatment team and spends enormous amounts of time coordinating care with physicians, psychotherapists, school counselors, psychiatrists, parents and loved ones of those struggling...
Carol’s Motivation to Body Confidence and Recovery

Carol’s Motivation to Body Confidence and Recovery

  Another one of our successful clients talks about her recovery For successful client, Carol, family and friends were the encouraging factors that helped her continue to fight to regain control of her body. Carol had been battling her eating disorder for 12 years. She knew it was time to get help when she realized the detrimental effects it was having on not only her body and health, but also her family. Although she was slightly hesitant, she was more ready than ever to begin the recovery process and scheduled her first appointment with Rebecca. Positive Role Model Carol’s story truly inspired me and I am so happy I had the opportunity to speak with her. She was so focused on recovery, not just for herself, but also for her daughter. She wants to be a positive role model and encourage her daughter to grow up with body confidence. At first, it was not easy. Carol was uncomfortable with her new body, but she learned how to take a breath and push the negative thoughts out of her mind. She has had many proud moments in recovery, but she said “the best feeling is knowing how proud my family and friends are of me and knowing that I did this myself.” Her health is improving every day and her closest friends say she looks “healthier and happier.” Carol also spoke about Rebecca’s impact: she said she “could never had done any of this without her.” She told me how Rebecca has helped her realize her full potential I becoming confident and strong. Anytime Carol thought she was going to give up, she...

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