Today’s episode is about a topic that’s actually quite common, but doesn’t often get talked about: food trauma. This episode is so informative, practical, and inspiring. My guest is Christa Jordan, who is an adoptive mom. She and her husband also both have a background in social work before they began careers as full-time writers. Christa is passionate about natural health, and equipping and encouraging others along the journey. Her insight is so valuable, and I look forward to hearing what stands out most to you!
(P.S. This is the first week that we’re introducing a video version of our podcast! We’re so excited about it. If you’d like to check it out over on YouTube, just click here.)
HERE ARE 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. It’s very common for children in foster care to have experienced some sort of food trauma.
Even if a child was placed with you at a very young age, they still could have experienced insecurity around when the next meal was coming. This is very common, and especially for foster parents, it’s helpful to go into the journey expecting to navigate this, so you’re prepared and ready to shift your parenting to meet your child’s unique needs.
“One of the reasons food trauma doesn’t often get talked about is because people don’t know what to look for.”
2. Know the key behaviors to look out for.
So this list can look pretty overwhelming, but as Christa shares, you don’t need to fully understand every aspect of food trauma and food insecurity. However, it’s important to be aware of it so you can recognize behaviors in your children that might be related to their experience with food.
Here are some behaviors to look out for: Hoarding food, sneaking food, stealing food, severe aversions to textures, smells, or specific foods (beyond or more consistent than a typical toddler meltdown), overeating or undereating, significant developmental delays (particularly with chewing, swallowing, or using utensils), chronic constipation or digestive issues, lack of appetite, an extremely low immune system, or obsession about food (particularly for older children, obsession around calories, body image, etc.).
These can be signals to us as parents that the children in our care may be working through negative or traumatic experiences with food.
“How can you create positive experiences between you and your child with food?”
3. It takes time to bring healing from food insecurity and trauma.
It’s one thing to be safe, and it’s another thing to feel safe. Similar to any type of trauma, this takes intention, support, and time. Likewise, it also requires us to ask ourselves why we approach food the way we do. Some of the rules we grew up with and take for granted won’t effectively support a child healing from food insecurity and trauma, and we have to be willing to lay those things down.
“You’re going to have to unpack your own relationship with food as a parent.”
RESOURCES FROM TODAY’S SHOW
Coffee With Christa — Weekly email list where Christa shares encouragement and resources pointing to adoption, motherhood, and natural health
The Whole Brain Child
The Connected Child
The Out of Sync Child & The Out of Sync Child Has Fun
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen & Mark Teage
Partner with us to continue helping people support the foster care community.
Meet Our Guest
Christa Jordan is a wife, mom through adoption, total coffee snob, Disney-obsessed, and believes most life lessons can be learned from Mary Poppins. She and her husband are both former social workers turned writers, and she’s doing all the things she said she never would like homeschooling, eating gluten- and dairy-free, using essential oils like a total hippie, and writing as a career. Christa is passionate about sharing the joy and pain of adoption and foster care, loves motherhood and natural health, and seeks to encourage and empower others as her own journey unfolds. She is a contributor and copywriter for Kindred & Co, and when she gets the chance to sit down, you can find her processing through words on her blog. A born and raised Texan, she’ll never say no to chips and salsa and will always pay extra for guac. Learn more at spoonfulofjordanblog.com.
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