There are many ways you can help children develop positive self-images and learn about healthy eating. Here are some ideas from “Tips for Kids on Eating Well and Feeling Good About Yourself” compiled by the National Eating Disorders Organization.
Good health. Feeling good about yourself and having fun go hand in hand. Try out different hobbies, like drawing, reading, playing music, or making things. See what you’re good at and enjoy these things. Remind yourself that healthy bodies and happy people come in all sizes, and that no one body or body size is a healthy one or the right one for every body.
All foods can be a part of healthy eating. There are no good or bad foods, so try to eat lots of foods, including fruits, vegetables, and even some sweets.
Try to eat lots of different types of snacks, too: sometimes raisins might be good, sometimes cheese, sometimes a cookie, some-times carrot sticks or celery dipped in peanut butter.
- Be healthy.
- Have fun!
- Don’t feel bad about how you look.
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Stop eating when you are full.
Try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like jumping rope or dancing or karate) that you like and do it! Join a team, join the YMCA, join in with a friend or practice by yourself–just do it!
Don’t tease people about being too fat, too thin, too short, or too tall. And, don’t laugh at other people’s jokes about fat or thin people or tall or short people. Teasing is unfair and it hurts.
If you hear someone say they are “too fat and need to go on a diet”, then TELL THEM you think they look fine just the way they are; TELL THEM “Please don’t”, because dieting to lose weight is not healthy and no fun for kids or for adults; TELL THEM “Don’t diet; eat a variety of foods and get some exercise.”