I’m sure you’ve seen the dire reports about childhood obesity becoming rampant in America. It’s a scary thing and not an experience any of us wish upon our children. Preventing obesity can be easy and empowering for children. Give them control over their bodies. Teach them to tune in to their real needs and to treat themselves with love and respect.
1) Allow children to be in charge of which foods they eat.
2) Make all foods equal and teach kids to check in with their bodies and choose foods based on what their bodies are asking for.
3) Encourage them to know when they are full and to stop eating at that point.
4) Let them eat according to their own hunger patterns rather than according to external schedules.
5) De-emphasize body shape and weight. Encourage kids to love and accept their bodies unconditionally.
6) Help them find fun ways to move and play so they get plenty of enjoyable exercise every day.
7) Love them unconditionally and don’t make derogatory comments about their looks or weight.
8) Be sure they never get started on the damaging cycle of dieting and bingeing.
9) Let food just be fuel for the body. Don’t turn it into a reward or save certain things to be special treats.
10) Teach them to honor other people and not tease or make fun of others who are fat.
Adults who want to lose weight through intuitive eating are encouraged to eat like a two year-old child. The most effective thing we can do to prevent childhood obesity is help children stay in touch with their bodies and honor its needs.
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