Talking to Your Kids About Weight: 3 Rules to Follow

Talking to Your Kids About Weight

Talking to your kids about weight can be difficult. Weight can be a very sensitive topic, even for young children. The desire to be thin is reaching school aged children, with girls as young as 6 expressing concerns about their body image and weight gain. Deciding how to approach weight issues with kids should be done with great consideration as it can have lasting implications. Here are 3 tips to get you started.

Talking to Your Kids About Weight: 3 Rules to Follow

  1. Encourage Open Discussion. Listen to your kids and acknowledge their experiences. Encourage them to share their feelings about body image and let them know about similar experiences you may have had. Explain that people, like all living things, come in all shapes and sizes, and that you will always be there to listen.
  2. Avoid Negativity. This includes the comments you make to yourself and your children. If your child overhears you saying negative things about your body, they are much more likely to model that behavior. Set a positive example by avoiding fad dieting and serve regular, balanced meals and snacks. Children learn by example, so if you want your kids to be more active, start by being active yourself. Shaming and yelling at children about weight are setups for failure. The worse kids feel about their weight, the more likely they are to overeat. Focus on positive, fun healthy behaviors that are easy to follow, like taking a pleasant walk with the dog.
  3. Seek Advice. Look for a registered dietitian nutritionist with a specialty in pediatrics. You may be able to find a provider through your insurance. Work with your kids to find someone they are comfortable with.

Focusing on health over weight is a good rule to follow, whether encouraging kids or adults. If you would like help Talking to Your Kids About Weight or related issues, contact KareBoost Health to set up a free consultation. We strive to make health accessible and fun for kids of all ages.

Karen L. Leibowitz, MD
Health and Medical Coach
KareBoost Health

 

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