Kids and Body Image

eating disorder

What they see is what you get, at least when it comes to kids and body image.

Last week was National Eating Disorders week in the U.S.  One expert reminds us that we have a powerful influence on our kids when it comes to helping them develop a positive body image and healthy eating habits.

According to a story in HealthDay News, Dr. Aaron Krasner at Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut says, “Sometimes we parents forgot how important our words, thoughts, and feelings are in the lives of our kids.”

Krasner points out that as parents, we need to be mindful of our own relationship with our bodies, how we eat, and the potential impact those things could have on our kids.

What’s particularly stunning to me is that a recent study found that 80 percent of ten year old kids are afraid of being fat!

Dr. Krasner suggests that parents can help their kids develop a positive body image by doing these things:

  • Don’t criticize yourself or others about weight or shape in front of youngsters.
  • Don’t make negative comments about food, such as “I can’t eat potatoes because they’re carbs.” Instead, teach children the importance of good nutrition and exercise without mentioning weight.
  • Praise your children on their talents and achievements.
  • Explain to them that weight gain and changes in body shape are a natural part of the growing process.

Dr. Krasner says, “At the end of the day, parents are the most influential role models in a child’s life, so be mindful of your words and actions. They may be listening when you least expect it.”


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