Communication with kids is vital in today’s world! Kids face things today, that we never faced! The lines of communication must remain open, because your kids will have many questions relating to what it means to have a healthy body, dieting, self image, and eating disorders.
Anorexia, is a disease that usually strikes kids between the ages of 11 to 14 years old, but as early as 7 years old. At this time 40% of elementary school girls say they are on a diet.
Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents, according to Jessica Weiner in “Do I look fat in this?” This is heart breaking! Their bodies can’t function on a diet. They are growing, and sometimes the body gains a bit before a growth spurt. This is normal.
Kids call each other fat names at this age, and self images fall. Kids feel bad on the inside, and try to make themselves look good on the outside. There is a lot of influence from friends and peer pressure to binge and purge. They look at movie stars photo-shopped glamorous photos, and want to be just like them. They need someone to tell them that those movie stars don’t even look like that in real life. Kids need to have parents that are willing to listen without judging.
Get help! Talk to your kids, and take action if you see these symptoms. Do not wait and hope for the best!
Do not recommend diets to your kids!! Their bodies are growing and developing. They should eat lots of healthy foods and exercise. There is not a healthy body shape. We are all genetically different. Check out photos of your relatives as far back as you have them and check out their body types.
Dieting has caused many people to gain extra weight, but our ancestors show our true genetics. Kids gain weight during puberty. This is 100% normal.
What you can do is:
The Healthy Diet Habit, is to keep your kids active and feed them lots of healthy meals, cook together, plan meals together, shop together, and talk, talk, talk about anything that is close to their heart. They need your input and caring to navigate the world that they face every day!