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How to Talk to Kids About Food to Promote a Healthy Body Image

By Kelly Gonsalves, Mind Body Green, 04/23/19, 12:00PM CDT

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Instead of critical messages about food, Dr. Wegner recommends helping kids connect with their bodies and how they feel when they take care of them

In the midst of the day-to-day rush to get the kids ready in the morning, send them off to school, pick them up after work, make them dinner, brush their teeth, and get them to bed—alongside all the other things going on in your life that have nothing to do with them—it can sometimes be easy to forget just how malleable these little people are and how every word and interaction can have a long-lasting impact.

Take food for example. A new study published in the Journal of Psychology looked at how family conversations about food that kids heard growing up can affect the way they feel about their bodiesyears later when they’re adults. As it turns out, the more critical or restrictive messages kids hear in childhood, the more likely they are as adults to exhibit body shame, inflexible eating patterns, and even eating disorders.