What You Say Matters, Too
Try to send positive messages about food to your children. Teach them that we eat to live; we don't live to eat. One of the best ways to put this lesson into action is to eat only when you're hungry, not when you're sad or bored. Just as you shouldn't reward yourself with food, don't reward your kids with it!
Never be critical of your own body (or other people's bodies) in front of your children. Be sure to let them know that healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes, and that what you do with your body is what matters most. Even if you're trying to lose weight to improve your health, don't talk about your dieting around your kids. Research shows that children are more likely to become lifelong dieters when parents place a lot of emphasis on weight.
Even if you stick to the above ideas, you should be aware of the other influences on your child. Try to think about the shows your kids are watching. Do they promote a healthy self-image? Girls, especially, are influenced from an early age by what they see in magazines and on TV. Be sure that their reading material portrays women and their bodies in a realistic, healthy manner.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.