Nurturing Positive Food Relationships in Children with Heidi Schauster

Heidi Schauster on Raising Body-Positive Kids Who Love Eating

Raising kids to love food and themselves is a feat parents grapple with in an age bombarded with conflicting messages about body image and diet. In the latest episode of ‘Beyond Intuitive Eating,’ host Beth Basham, a seasoned intuitive eating counselor, invites Heidi Schauster, a distinguished nutrition and body image therapist, to divulge insights on nurturing a positive lifelong food and body relationship in children.

From their warm and insightful dialogue, it’s clear that cultivating curiosity rather than control as children grow, managing our own reactions, and embracing imperfection are pivotal. Schauster underscores that our mishaps in communication with our kids are less significant than how we address and mend those moments. This philosophy doesn’t just help repair relationships, but also teaches children self-compassion and resilience.

As our kids reach the age where peers and media bear a heavier influence, Schauster and Basham explore the importance of fostering media literacy and maintaining open, supportive communication. Providing teenagers with pleasurable food experiences, such as cooking together and encouraging regular meal times, is not only a bonding activity but crucial for their relationship with food.

Addressing a particularly tender subject, Schauster speaks about keeping conversations around food light and fun, especially during phases when children may exhibit picky eating. She believes in a structured yet flexible approach that honors a child’s individual needs and family dynamics. This includes allowing kids access to a variety of foods and trusting them to eat intuitively, a practice supported by research showing that children naturally choose balanced diets before societal influences kick in.

Both Schauster and Basham understand the nuances of raising children in today’s world. Schauster’s book ‘Nurture: How to Raise Kids Who Love Food, Their Bodies, and Themselves’ is a testament to her empathic approach. She describes the book-writing process as an organic journey that coincided with her own life transitions as her children approached adulthood.

Listeners are encouraged to explore Schauster’s resources and consider Beth Basham’s ‘peace of food and soul’ coaching program, where they can find support in shedding the layers of food and body guilt.

Stepping into the role of a parent is also stepping into a journey of self-growth. By providing our children with both a sense of freedom and structure, we not only offer them the gift of intuitive eating but also the grace to accept their bodies and themselves. Don’t miss this nurturing episode of ‘Beyond Intuitive Eating,’ where the challenging yet rewarding path of nurturing body positivity in children is beautifully unfolded.

You can listen to episode 29 here


00:00 Heidi Schuster, nutrition therapist, speaker, and author.

04:32 Compassionate advice for parents navigating food culture.

08:04 Early feeding relationship vital for child development.

10:12 Stay light and fun with kids’ food.

14:32 Openness is key for a neutral food environment.

16:56 Ellen Satter’s approach: parents provide, kids eat.

21:29 Emotional regulation influences parenting and child development.

23:07 Teenage years: less parental, more peer influence.

26:59 Maintained open communication about teen’s workout habits.

29:31 Encourage curiosity in parenting for better relationships.

33:50 Repair is more important than the rupture.

37:15 Parents navigating sugar talk with kids’ preferences.

39:09 Allow kids some sweet treats but moderation.

42:27 Individual variability allows for customized plans.

45:54 Book offers help for parents navigating diet culture.

49:09 Group coaching program for body confidence available.

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