Ep 46: Jenn Messina, RD on Raising Healthy, Happy, and Body Positive Kids


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Diet culture not only impacts how we see ourselves but also how our kids see food. As parents, we’re constantly influencing our kids’ eating habits and their future relationships with food without even realizing it. If you want to empower your kids to be happy and healthy, grow up feeling confident in the skin they’re in, and live life to its fullest potential, this is the episode for you! Today’s guest, Registered Dietitian Jenn Messina, has been turning social media on its head with the way she suggests we change how we look at food and interact with it, both as adults and as parents. Jenn is an experienced, clinically practicing dietitian and a mom of two who understands the struggles of being a parent. Perhaps more importantly, she can relate to the struggles that we all experience in a world obsessed with body image and the negative emotions that often come with it. In today’s episode, Jenn sheds light on some key issues that we all struggle with, including her tips for how to deal with picky eaters, and the need to zoom out and reconsider our relationship with food and how we feel about ourselves. We also touch on intuitive eating habits, setting healthy rules, and changing bodies, plus a whole lot more, so make sure not to miss this fun and informative episode!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Jenn’s beef with the term ‘empty calories’; food is so much more than the nutrients it offers!
  • The need to zoom out, take a step back, and reconsider our relationship with food.
  • Rethinking body image, which is not what you look like but how you feel about yourself.
  • The difference between negative body image, body neutrality, and body positivity.
  • Jenn explains what she means by joyful movement; the value of focusing on what feels good.
  • How we influence our kids’ relationships with food and body image without realizing it.
  • Learn how you can help your children tune into their own intuitive eating habits.
  • Jenn shares her tips for parents dealing with picky eaters and small appetites.
  • Find out what Jenn means when she says, “We provide, they decide.”
  • The importance of sitting at the table to eat meals together and how a timer can help.
  • Teaching children to listen to their bodies, not to please us as their parents.
  • Why “one more bite” and bribing children with dessert doesn’t work.
  • A word about Pure-Lē Natural’s Sublingual Active Vitamin B12 drops from Joel Thuna.
  • A reminder that you set the rules as parents; how to balance carbs, sugar, and healthy fats.
  • How voicing your body image issues influences your children, however unintentionally.
  • Jenn highlights the power of marvelling at what your body can do and not what it looks like.
  • How to help your child not to feel guilt or shame about their changing body.
  • How changing the way you talk to your kids can change how they feel about themselves.
  • Jenn sits in the hot seat; creepy garden gnomes, Indian food, real ice cream, and more!

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Jenn Messina

Jenn Messina on LinkedIn

Jenn Messina on Instagram

Deliciously Geeky

Allison Tannis on LinkedIn

Allison Tannis on Instagram

Natural Health Influencer on Instagram

Pure-Lē Natural

Sublingual Active Vitamin B12 Drops

51 episodes