Why Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t limit what her kids eat

SJP says she keeps sweet treats around so her daughters will have a healthier relationship with food

Sarah Jessica Parker wants her twins to have a healthier relationship with food than she had growing up, she said on an episode of Ruthie’s Table 4 podcast. That’s why she doesn’t limit what they eat, she said.

“When I was growing up, we weren’t allowed sugar in the house, and we weren’t allowed cookies, and we weren’t allowed chocolate,” the actress said. “And of course, all we did, the minute we moved out, was buy Entenmann’s cakes and cookies.”

Her daughters, Tabitha and Marion, 14, have a nonrestrictive diet because the “Sex and the City” star said she doesn’t want the girls to think of food badly or that it’s “their enemy.”

“In our house, we have cookies, we have cake, we have everything. And I think as a result, you kind of have a healthier relationship. My daughters will have the figures they have and hopefully they’ll be healthy and they’re athletes and they enjoy food,” she said.

“Eating disorders often develop during the teenage years or in early adulthood” and are more common among teenage girls, according to Family Doctor. Teens who develop an eating disorder or bad relationship with food can experience low self-esteem, isolation and “serious health problems that can become life-threatening” down the road.

Approximately 30 million Americans live with an eating disorder. According to professionals and Kids Health, here are the four most common seen among teenagers:

  • Anorexia: Eating very little to maintain a low body weight; fear of gaining weight or looking fat.
  • Bulimia: Overeating and feeling out of control; results in making oneself throw up and taking laxatives, diuretics and weight loss pills.
  • Binge eating: Overeating large amounts even when full; oftentimes feel guilty and get upset for eating.
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: Complete avoidance of food, showing no interest in eating; might not care about body image or gaining weight.

“Eating disorders look differently in every patient,” Casey Cottrill, MD, MPH, adolescent medicine, wrote for Nationwide Children’s. “Parents start to notice that the rules about good and bad foods begin to increase rapidly.”

Cottrill points out subtle food changes, such as a child’s disinterest in their normal food routine or the abrupt switch to more vegetables, fewer snacks, and avoidance of carbohydrates and sweets.

To spot an eating disorder, Cottrill said it’s important for parents to know their child through all stages of development.

“To recognize a change, you must have a good understanding of what your child is like prior to developing an eating disorder,” she wrote.