One of the criticisms that has come along with the growing awareness of the childhood obesity crisis is the fear of younger children becoming overly anxious about their weight and developing eating disorders. In a culture saturated with celebrities and images that often dictate our image of the ideal body, it can be hard to find balance. It’s important for us to think and act in a healthy manner and to model that to our children. Here are some things you can do to encourage a positive self esteem in our kids:
- Have an honest conversation with your physician(s). Are you in a healthy weight-range? If you’re not, come up with a lifestyle plan to change that. Do the same thing with your child’s physician. We are often able to deceive ourselves about this issue but numbers and measurements don’t lie.
- Assess the way you think and talk about food. Are you at a healthy weight, but constantly feel the pressure to loose 5 or 10 pounds because of the images that bombard you in the media? Your kids will pick up on that. You want them to grow up with a positive and realistic outlook on what a healthy body looks like.
- Have conversations with your kids about making responsible decisions. If they want to lose a few pounds, make sure they are doing it in a healthy way. Rather than skipping meals, help them learn to make healthy food choices and live an active lifestyle.
- Make sure you’re modeling a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, drinking lots or water, making sure that you are physically active and mentally positive are all important things to pass along to your kids.
We’d know that this area is a struggle for many parents. We’d love to hear how you’re helping yourself and your kids think healthy, not skinny!