Weighing Food in Front of Young Girls

In this week’s vlog, I answer a fantastic viewer question about doing Bright Line Eating™ with children. This topic hits really close to home, because I’ve often worried about how my food habits and choices affect my daughters. Watch to hear my thoughts.


  1. LE Phillips

    Nice vlog I am the parent of a teen boy and try to watch for his “stuff” about being too thin, not buff, etc. Thanks for thinking about healthy eating not just in the context of ourselves but our families!

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  2. Allison

    Love your vlog! Open, honest, and authentic! Demonstrating a healthy and peaceful relationship with food and a healthy body and a health body weight seems great! I love the no skinny and no fat talk.

    I am on day 10 of the 14 day Bright Line Eating challenge. I am not doing it perfectly, but close. No sugar, no flour, quantities, and sort of meal times. Still working out the kinks and playing with it so it does become automatic and an easy habit. Some adjustments happening with my body and health. Making some modifications for my situation as I am on a nutritional and herbal and food supplement program. Continuing on. So far at Day 10 the scale says I have lost 5 pounds.

    Thank you for all that you are! and everything you are sharing with the world! Thank you for the very reasonably priced 14-day challenge and all the information and guidance you provide. It is amazing! Thank you!!!

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  3. Sam

    This came up for me literally right after you published this and I saw the topic but I hadn’t yet watched it. We were at a party and my seven-year-old daughter ate cake. I could tell something was bothering her. I asked her if something was worrying her and she came over and whispered in my ear that she was worried she was going to get fat because she ate cake. Mind you, there is zero fat or skinny talk at our home. I asked her where this is coming from: school, TV, internet? She just answered, her head. Then I said, “is it coming from me?” And she said, “well you weigh your food and eat so healthy and you are skinny. I’m worried I will get fat if I don’t eat healthy.” On the one hand, I am glad that I am modeling healthy eating for her, but on the other, I don’t want it to be fear based, as you term it. Thanks for the vlog. I will continue to treat my practice as matter-of-fact and with the goal of being healthy. I answered my daughter that my goal is to eat healthy so I can be around for a long time and therefore, I don’t eat sugar, flour, or animals. She said she wanted to do that, too. I said, we can try that, but you are beautiful. “Do you hear me? You are beautiful and perfect.”

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  4. Mary

    I agree with the previous writer. I, too, would like a pin, hat, earrings, something to wear, so when other people make
    a comment I can share my experience with BLE. I do the one plate rule which works for me. The freedom you have given me
    and knowing that sugar and flour “light up my brain” and cause cravings is most appreciative.

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  5. Jim Wolverton

    Hi Susan, excellent Vlog.

    I think you should add the point that it is actually setting a good example for your kids for them to see you measuring your food and teaching them a needed life skill, since the probability is that food manufacturers will likely be producing more powerfully addictive foods rather than better by the time they are grown up (it’s probably some kind of conspiracy hatched in the 50’s), and they will likely marry someone who has worse eating habits.

    Also, I wanted to say, you are very beautiful and a wonderful dresser and have lots of stunning outfits, however, you look best in something with just a little bit of shoulders, but you seem to shy away from shoulders and I think you would look wonderful in small ones. Not high shouldered outfits, just a little. (I’m very artistic in just about every way and have an eye for fashion. I’m a copywriter by trade–which is artistic.) I’m a 6′ 3½” tall and 460 lbs man. Finding nice clothes in my size is impossible, even by mail order, and I often look at clothes for me and dream of how I would make them differently if I had my own big men’s clothing business. None of these places have any idea of how to make clothes for men who look too tall or too fat, they make them the same as they would for a skinny person–just bigger–with all the lines going the wrong ways, cut all wrong, etc. It would be wonderful just to have a choice of decent clothes to choose from like you. Most men don’t think that much about clothes, but I would like to dress nicely to make me feel good. Instead, I wear sweat pants and ragged T-shirts because there is nothing nice for me to wear and I’ve given up.

    Finally, I’ve just started getting your emails and considering your diet. I heard about you through Jeff Walker and the PLF. I’ve got my wife to agree to do bright lines with me when we get back from her family reunion in 3 weeks–she always has some timing issue/excuse, but I’m really excited about it. Anyway, since I’m new, I don’t know what all you have to sell and offer, maybe you already have this, but you need to have a selection of a few Bright Lines pins that could be worn as broaches or lapel pins by people who want to show their enthusiasm for the program to help them start conversations with other people about the eating plan and help spread the word.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Jim! Welcome to the community! A great place to start in your journey is with the 14-day Challenge or you can jump right into Boot Camp, whichever you prefer. We’re happy to support you (and your wife) in your journey! <3

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  6. Kima

    I love the video, and I totally agree with the approach you have to feeding kids but… unfortunately, in our house it doesn´t work at all. If my kids (8 and 5) don´t like the healthy food I have prepared, the don´t eat it, and then… I know for sure that 1 hour later they´ll be hungry, and asking for something else, a glass of milk or so. Of course I´ve tried to offer the healthy food again. But they don´t want that. They want something else. But I´m definitely not going to cook something else. So… I´d like to follow that philosophy, but in our house they must eat at least a reasonable (small) amount of what is offered, and then they know there´s nothing else until next meal (5 meals a day, of course).

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with your kids, Kima! <3

      Reply ·
  7. Lavina

    You did it again! Awesome way of presenting a topic we all need to hear!! Thank you Susan!!

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  8. Roger

    Really liked this one. I’m the father of two daughters, with a wife that has always struggled with food. Unfortunately, even though we tried to do what you were saying, somehow it didn’t work out. Neither of our children is obese, but neither one is satisfied with the way that they eat and they’re clearly not in sync with their own bodies. While I notice this sometimes, at this point they’ve grown into such great, compassionate, loving adults that the sum total is way over on the positive side. It is clear, though, that they struggle with food.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Your daughters sound like they have many admirable qualities. <3

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  9. Katherine

    Thank you for this — even tho’ I don’t have kids, it’s still really informative. I also would like you to do a follow-up when your daughters go through puberty because, being a binge eater myself, I remember reading the story of a binge eater/bulimic (“Brain over Binge”) who was healthy until somewhere in high school, and during the summer when she was supposed to be training and actually gaining some weight in order to transition to pitching for her varsity softball team, she decided to diet and lose weight instead. Apparently just because the other girls were doing it and talking about it!. It does appear that this “simple” act led to a disorder that took her 8 years to solve. After restricting unhealthily she then binged, which I interpret to mean that the brainstem got involved at a survival level. But then why did she want to diet in the first place?? I wonder if the sexual/mating urge at puberty is also primal and that we girls/women don’t just simply and directly want to attract our partners (who actually often prefer healthy body weight), but that that primal urge also expresses itself in the early teen years as needing acceptance from our peer group.
    So I’d be interested in your thoughts, esp. as this relates to cognitive science . . . . . and also countering what girl teenagers encounter out there away from their very healthy Mom!

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  10. Karen Cole

    Great vlog! I don’t have kids, but this so relates to how you present yourself to everyone. Eye opening for me.

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  11. Karen

    One of your best blogs! Thank you.

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  12. KTinNYC

    Is that an Oura ring?? I love mine!

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  13. Claire

    Oh-is this not a loaded question! 🙂 And-I have one of each-a young man and a young woman now. Growing up-we had this rule…no one can comment negatively on the size or shape of our collective bodies! For my son-he is a stunning 5.5. Difficult for a young man. My daughter-a stunning 5.2. with a powerful and athletic body.
    I have lots of food issues-and was just honest about them. I for the most part-provided the meals as you do-and it is a huge commitment-but so important! It fundamentally is so intertwined with feeling nurtured as a child.
    Our emphasis was always “WOW!-just look at what your body can DO!” Woo hoo! We too-were neutral about food-and guided them to realizing how indulging on sugar in particular made them feel…they are also both very sensitive to caffeine. I’m not kidding when I say their pupils become pinpoint on both, they can’t stop talking or moving, and they want to eat the whole house down! 🙂

    They’re both smart and enjoy using their bodies in a variety of ways,so far-they are in their mid thirties with a healthy relationship to understanding the fundamental importance of eating right. I too-also always just encouraged them to eat when they were hungry and stop when they were full.
    Probably more than any other skill they acquired from us-I am SO stoked that I did not pass on my food issues-though I did not have the inner strength to deal with them either and still struggle with them big time.
    Children are to be loved, nurtured, guided, but not controlled…wooo…it is a life long learning relationship. We all respond so much better to authenticity, empathy and time with each other than we do to lofty ideals and perceived obligatory standards.
    Kudos to all of you taking on the challenge of treating yourselves better! The progress on that journey can often be so illusive or challenging to maintain.

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  14. laura

    Especially good vlog this week. I really like that you shared how you provide the food and that’s it.

    I cringe when I see parents “forcing” certain foods on their children. It never goes well for either of them, it just makes the child very rebellious. We can think of a ton of other things to harangue our kids about, love that you pointed out food does not need to be one of them.

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  15. bonnie

    Susan can you guide me on the topic of how to explain a sugar addiction to my 9 year old daughter. I have had her hide sugary items from me as I have said that I sugar is an addictive substance to me and that I eat it at night when I cannot sleep (I have used carbs to calm my anxiety about sleep for most of my life). I have just started to listen to your VLOG and have not started your program due to the fear of change.

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  16. scotty

    Excellent dear Susan
    Thank you for your wisdom

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  17. Yaprak

    In Italy most of the families in the North weigh the amount of pasta that they will cook per person, and eat in those quantities. And they almost never eat between meals, never eat on the go, on the subway, never in front of the computer at work. Cappuccinos are breakfast food, never ordered after 2pm. I was very surprised seeing their very adult relationship with food. There’s no boundaries with food in some cultures. That’s why it feels weird to measure.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Very interesting! That’s much different than what we see in the USA, that’s for sure! 😉

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  18. Erin

    Thank you Susan. Just wonderful. I love your vlogs. You are an amazing speaker. I eat Paleo & don’t weigh anything but I have maintained my weight loss plan for over 6 months now, I’ve started exercising b/c after losing 35 lbs it felt right, and I believe the final piece of being able to lose weight was your acknowledgment & communication that sugar & flour is a legitimate addiction & should be treated as such if you are an addict. & abstinence is the treatment for addiction. Now my thinking is sugar & flour are the only substances available for people that turn to addiction at a very young age. I remember finding some cash at 13 years old & hurrying to the store to buy a chocolate bar ( I even remember the type of chocolate bar & I’m 67 now.) & knowing & being scared that there was something wrong w/ me. Drug & alcohol addiction is respected as a serious problem. Thank you for bringing it to the world that addiction to sugar & flour causes so much misery, destruction of self esteem & of the body, So that people who are addicted can recognize it & see it for what it is. Abstaining from sugar & flour has been like getting out of a horrible prison that I never thought I’d be released from. Life is so much better on the other side.

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  19. Mercedes (from Argentina)

    I think there was a vlog on this some years ago. So necessary to go over this again. This is quite an issue. My daughter is 25, addicted to food because of me, and she complained about me weighing my food. So for some time I stopped weighing it. But I just can´t do intuitive eating. It just doesn´t exist for me. She´s an adult, and so one day she will understand why I do this. The day she understands her condition, she will understand me. Thank you, Susan, as always. I love you.

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  20. Christine Kemper

    Dear Susan – I am new to BrightLine Eating and just started Day 1 of my 14 day challenge. This is my firstVlog viewing and I wanted to tell you how much I love your approach to food and your centered teaching approach. I also have tried a million ways to Sunday to find a way to eat that fits and what cracks me up is after eating a Pre-Day One day yesterday, I haven’t eaten this much in ages and I felt GREAT! My family is in shock because when I cleaned out my kitchen I cleaned it OUT! There is not a bag of sugar or flour to be found and it is stark how much that stuff dominated our eating style. We ate as fun! As fun, as if! So, at 5’7 and 158.8 lbs as of today, I don’t have too far to go to get to my first goal of 140 pre baby weight (I”m the mom of 3 boys, 14, 13 and 10). Thank you for rocking this BHAG of yours and helping all of us who needed you to jumpstart the next half of life (I’ll be 51 tomorrow). All this beautiful, colorful food in my fridge waiting to be eaten, no guilt eating (my biggest issue in the past, knowing what I was eating wouldn’t work) and my kids seeing a mom taking charge of health and wellness at home. My husband has always made mealtimes anxiety striken coming from a finish your plate or you don’t eat house. Made my 10 yo a terrible picky eater who told me just the other day, after another blown up meal at a restaurant, that whenever Daddy forces him to eat he wants to NOT eat even less. There is so much training to do on my side of the fence. When he barked at me (holding his beer in his hand), “How can you be a wellness coach and have a kid that eats like this?!” I decided to take him to school and not only did the baking cabinet get the boot, but so did the liquor cabinet!! You want wellness?!! you got it! HA!! So, I laugh, because I realized I needed permission to eat the way I felt best to eat and not his way of eating. That was a HUGE breakthrough. This VLOG of yours that I just watched helped validate me so much, I cannot thank you enough. In wellness, there are so many things to address…so many toxic avenues in our lives, food, relationships to ourselves and others, toxic exercise and even toxic spirituality. As a current student at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I get this stuff. So, thank you so much for all you do and that little scale you got us all using…FREEDOM!! F R E E D O M freedom!! Hooahhh girlfriend! Happy Independence Day – in more ways than one! Love you!

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Welcome to Bright Line Eating, Christine! Happy to support you in your journey! 😉

      Reply ·
  21. lu ko

    Hi Susan,
    I really like your topic and how you talk about your own experience so far.
    I have a favor to ask: could you please make a followup video in a few years time when your girls are fully into their teenange years?
    Reason being, of course, that I think things change a lot by then, particularly after hormonal changes.
    So to me , there is something more vital to consider here:
    By weghing your food, you are keeping yourself healthy, which will keep your family happy on the short and long term.
    So, yes, having an “addict”(in recovery) in the family may influence the lives of all family members, but may also help them find better strategies for themselves earlier in life than we did.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      An update in a few years is a terrific idea! Thanks for commenting! <3

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  22. Gail

    I am grateful that you take the time and the effort to speak to us each week. I am also grateful that you are able to see beyond the face of the question to the nuances beneath. Each week is so helpful! thank you.

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  23. Donald Theiss

    I am a psychologist. I wrote a book called, Being Human in a World of Illusion, in which I look at what we all go through growing up in a society that teaches us to think there is something wrong with us, a basic religious teaching, in which we are taught to feel bad about our self. We are taught to hide our body, especially our sexual parts and our sexuality, so no one really feels okay about who and how we are.
    We live in a very neurotic society so we have to be aware of the distortion in which we live.
    Women have been targeted to keep them under control of the relitious and social pressure to suppress, hide and deny who and how we really are, body, mind and emotions.
    We really do have to learn to accept all aspects of our being, especially our own body, recognizing that we are the perfection of the universe in human form. We have to recognize the false beliefs in which we have been indoctrinated in order to see that much of our attitudes and beliefs are based in false beliefs that we are flawed in some way.
    I’m glad you are talking about this issue. 12 step is a great place to tell the truth and we all would do well to tell the truth about our own experience, in an atmospnere of acceptance and allowance.
    We are the way the universe created us to be but our religions and culture is a distorted perception and we do need to educate our self and one another.

    Thanks for doing your part in this conversation.

    Doanld Theiss

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  24. Mereth

    I noticed that when you said you don’t indulge in “Fat talk” or “Skinny talk” you forgot to mention
    “Happy, Thin and Free.” Wouldn’t “Happy, Healthy and Free” be better?

    I agree that food neutrality is the way to go. My daughter has watched me go up and down with big numbers her whole life,
    but as an adult has said”I want to eat the way you do, Mom.” Tthis doesn’t mean weighing and measuring, but has to do with food choices.

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  25. Shelley Hess

    You blow me away with your wisdom, experience and unmatched way of conveying these truths. Thank You will NEVER be enough said, Susan.

    I have boys, not girls. And both grown now. Yet every word of this is invaluable and totally useful to me! And my husband as we journey together. BTW, we do have granddaughters!


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  26. Theresa

    Great vlog Susan! I love your turn a blind eye to the way your children eat. You also do and recommend the same with spouses or significant others. I think this is true in so many things in life… All you can do is have peace with what “you” do …. I’ve had some bad experiences with “trying” to help others… So. I learned the hard way….

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