Children often look up to adults in their life. They watch what they do and listen to what they say. For better or for worse, they learn to say what you say and do what you do. As the saying goes, monkey see…monkey do! Children are also influenced by their peers and messages in the media. Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, a coach, or a teacher, you can help children and adults alike by setting an example that encourages them to have a positive relationship with food and their body image.
Here are a few tips:
• Don’t label foods as good or bad. All foods have their place and food is awesome
• Ditch your diet. Focus on eating more nutritious foods and being more active to support not only your physical health but also your mental health. Try and make changes that you are happy with so that they can be sustainable.
• Don’t comment on your weight or anybody else’s. Recognize that health and well-being comes in all shapes and sizes.
• Start to notice and to question the “thin ideal” messages that we all receive daily from the media and the people around us. Empower others to feel good about themselves for who they are, not how they look or what they weigh.
• Children should be encouraged to listen to their bodies, without judgment. From toddlers to teenagers, it’s the adult’s job to decide what foods are offered, when they are offered and where they are offered. It’s the child’s job to decide how much they will eat or whether to eat or not. Learn more about the Division of Responsibility-->https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/…/the-division-of-res…/
• Help kids learn important food skills by involving them in the planning and preparation of meals. Pick a new recipe together, grow your own vegetables, and learn about where food comes from.
Christine McPhail MSc RD