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Create a positive body image for your child

Talk positively about your own body image. Limit the amount of fashion magazines your child sees. Never tell your child that she looks fat, heavy or overweight.

Children at a young age can develop weight concerns. This can lead to a serious eating disorder like bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa or binge eating.

A person with an eating disorder will eat and throw up, take laxatives or diuretics, exercise excessively or barely eat each day. Eating disorders affect more girls than boys and can lead to death.

If you think your child is overweight, start her on a healthful diet and get her to exercise.

Talk with your health care provider if you are concerned about your child's weight.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic