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Published on February 20, 2012

Promoting a Positive Body Image

February 20, 2012

Promoting a Positive Body ImageBody image is how we feel about ourselves. Whatever size or weight, children can develop a positive or negative view of their bodies as early as preschool. As parents and role models, we need to play a pivotal role in promoting a positive body image for our children.

Here are five ways you can give your child the gift of a positive body image:

  1. Check out your own body image issues.
    If you talk about your latest diet, your child will absorb these messages and begin to worry they should be dieting.
  2. Focus on health rather than weight.
    Focus on nutrition and fun physical activities instead of weight. Children shouldn't be counting calories or restricting types of foods they eat.
  3. Find physical activities that fit.
    Find the perfect activity that your child enjoys. Some kids are natural athletes while others aren't. So work with your child to find what they enjoy most, which can build their confidence as well as their health.
  4. Watch out for bullies.
    Encourage your school to address the issue, and support nutrition and physical education that promotes health at every size. If you believe your child is being bullied, discuss your concerns directly with a school counselor or administrator.
  5. Bust the myth of the perfect body.
    Help your children understand that pictures of models in ads or actors on television or in movies have been retouched or manipulated to appear "perfect."

For information on how to provide promote a positive body image to your child, consult a registered dietitian at Kish Hospital.

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