Health Tip: Help Your Child Create a Healthy Body Image

How parents can foster self-esteem

(HealthDay News) -- A healthy body image can help a child grow into a healthy, confident adult. And parents play a big role in fostering their child's self-esteem.

The womenshealth.gov website offers these suggestions for boosting your child's self-image:

  • Discuss with your child the fact that weight gain, especially during puberty, can be a normal and healthy part of development.
  • Don't speak negatively about weight, food, body shape and size.
  • Encourage your child to make personal decisions about food, but offer a variety of healthy options.
  • Praise and compliment your child for things he or she has accomplished.
  • Limit your child's television time, and when it is on, watch together to encourage discussion about images in the media.
  • Be active in your child's school, promoting policies that protect against discrimination, bullying and a healthy approach toward weight.
  • Communicate openly with your child.
Diana Kohnle

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