Top 4 Tips on Preventing Children's Eating Disorders Through Healthy Eating

Tips to encourage children to eat healthy

Many kids and teenagers, especially those who are undergoing puberty, are particularly self-conscious about their body and the way they look. Due to peer pressure and because society has been programmed to think that "thin is beautiful," some of these children can become even more concerned and obsessed about their body image. As a result, they could be more prone to developing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating, which could have a permanent effect on their health and wellbeing and interfere with their normal life.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your children will lead a safe, healthy, and happy life. If you think that one of them is prone to developing an eating disorder, there are simple things you can do to avert this disaster and encourage him or her to eat healthy and discard those nasty habits. Below are some of them.

No 1. Stock your pantry/fridge with healthy snacks. Various studies have shown that junk foods are amongst the leading causes of obesity in children. As such, if you don't want your kids to become overweight and be ridiculed for their condition, stock up on healthy snacks, like nuts and fruits, instead of food with high preservative, calorie, and sugar content. By denying your kids easy access to junk foods, you are encouraging them to eat healthier snacks.

No 2. Prepare healthy meals for the family. Aside from junk foods, processed foods, fast food, and ready-to-eat meals are also blamed for the growing number of people who are having weight problems. To ensure that your kids are getting the nutrition they need, take the time to cook meals for the family. Preparing home-cooked meals is one of the best ways to prevent your kids from developing eating disorders as it allows you to control the amount of fat and/or sugar that goes into the food they eat.

No 3. Don't encourage your kids to go on a diet. According to research, dieting doesn't work. In fact, it only creates feelings of deprivation and longing that often leads to binge eating. So instead of suggesting that your kids eat less, encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Not only such a practice can help them maintain a healthy weight, it can also provide them with all the vitamins and minerals their body needs.

No 4. Be a model for healthy eating. To help your kids develop good eating habits, first, you must be willing to change your own. Take note that whatever you do, your kids will do. If you eat junk food, they will eat junk food. To protect your children, you must be willing to change and serve as a role model for good eating habits. While it may seem like torture for you at first, keep in mind that changing your eating habits for the better will benefit not only your children, but you, as well.

For eating disorder assessments please see "Eating Disorders & Body Image Clinic" by Azza's child psychology clinic

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