Not only is it vacation week, but it’s also just a few months away from swimsuit season. Given today’s pervasive media message of wanting to be an ultra skinny airbrushed model, some children may suffer from low physical self-esteem.
Children in elementary school might start asking about being on a diet or wanting to tone muscles without realizing their bodies are still growing.
It’s a topic that is coming up more frequently in households with young children, especially with young moms experimenting with new diets and participating in daily fitness routines.
It’s important to be clear with kids how there is a difference between staying healthy and obsessing with your appearance.
Here are a few tips to help you and your family kick insecurities to the curb:
Stop Gaming and Start Playing– If your child is like every other American tween, they likely spend hours indoors on their video game consoles, iphones or computers. A helpful tactic to help the understand what it means to feel healthier is to limit game time and encourage physical activities playing outdoors.
Eat Your Vegetables– Let your little one know that vegetables are the best food they could eat on a daily basis. They have great nutritional value and aid digestion. Picky eater? Try working vegetables into pasta sauce, rice dishes or into meatloaf. You can even offer up V8 medley juice.
Family Time– The best way to keep an eye on your kids and stay on top of what they’re doing is to eat dinner as a family. This offers the perfect time to ask them questions and gauge their overall mood, or if you’re a busy bunch, try going for a walk after dinner instead.
Drink Water– Many kids drink an excessive amount of sugary drinks throughout the day and don’t know that those are empty calories. Encourage them to have water teach them to enjoy healthier treats such as fruit and yoghurt.
These are just a few tips which will start a conversation and steer your child in the right direction for building healthy habits. And remember that the best help you can offer, is your undivided attention and support.
Let them know that they should always feel comfortable telling you their worries and that you’ll be there for them and those after dinner walks.
By Rachel Horwitz