Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Receive your Pfizer brand medication today at little to no additional drug acquisition cost versus the generic version.

Left Rail Arrow
Left Rail Arrow

Receive your Pfizer brand medication today at little to no additional drug acquisition cost versus the generic version.

Left Rail Arrow

Participating Pfizer brands include:

Empower your kids

Kids and body image: what every parent should know

What does your child see when they look in the mirror? If they see "fat", "ugly" or "stupid", their negative body image can lead to a lifetime of low self-esteem and other issues. Here's how to help.

"Healthy adolescents care about how others see them," says Dr. Debra Katzman, the Medical Director of the Eating Disorders Program at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "And it's common for them to have some negative thoughts. But when a negative body image starts to disrupt their daily life, their relationships with family members and friends, or they become extremely moody or show unhealthy eating habits, then they need to seek professional help and support."

Another thing for parents to look for is their child's inability to let go of intense negative feelings about themselves. If they can't move on or let go, that could be a sign that they need more help than you can give them.

Reinforcing the positive

As parents, it's never too early to start reinforcing positive self-esteem and body image. That's true for both boys and girls. "A negative body image in girls usually involves their weight, shape and size. They may become obsessed with weight loss, even if they're at a healthy weight," explains Dr. Katzman. "Boys, on the other hand, may become obsessed with body building or muscle toning."

Even with young children, you can help instill a positive body image in your kids.

  • Talk about feelings. Ask your kids how they're feeling not just what they did at school that day. Over time, you may notice those intense negative feelings that just won't subside.
  • Be a healthy role model. "Kids notice their parents' eating attitudes and behaviours, and their daily activity," says Dr. Katzman. "So set a good example by demonstrating what healthy eating and exercise look like. Balance and moderation is key!"
  • Discuss puberty. In an age-appropriate manner, talk to your children about what to anticipate with respect to changes in body weight, shape and size, and feelings that come with the onset of puberty.
  • Create realistic images. "Help your children realize that not everybody should look the same," says Dr. Katzman. Give them a healthy respect for diversity by celebrating our differences.
  • Watch your language. "Stop making negative comments about yourself or other people's appearances," she advises.
  • Help kids understand media messages. "Help educate your kids about the media's portrayal of unrealistic body shapes and sizes for both men and women," she says.
  • Discourage dieting. If you are concerned about your child's weight, then see your healthcare professional. Discourage dieting of any kind without the consultation of a healthcare professional.
  • Speak up for all kids. "All adults — parents, coaches, teachers, camp counsellors — have the responsibility to ensure children are exposed to safe and healthy social environments," stresses Dr. Katzman. "If they witness or have concerns about teasing among children, parents have the responsibility to speak up so that all adults involved are aware of the situation and can do something about it."

Dr. Debra Katzman is the Head of the Division of Adolescent Medicine, and a Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, and the Medical Director of the Eating Disorders Program at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

More Than Medication would like to thank Dr. Katzman for her valued contribution. Dr. Katzman was not compensated in any way for participating in the writing of this article.

Kids and body image
Tips for cooking with kids and grandkids
Tips for cooking with kids and grandkids

Want to whip up some fun with your kids or grandkids? Look no further...

Learning disabilities in children — facts and tips
Learning disabilities in children — facts and tips

One in ten Canadians has a learning disability and it's the top...

How much exercise does your family really need?
How much exercise does your family really need?

It’s not nearly as hard as you think! Staying happy, healthy...

Co-parenting: for your children's sake
Co-parenting: for your children's sake

“If parents are divorced or separated, then their children will...

Talking to teens about sex
Talking to teens about sex

It can be difficult to talk to your teen about sex and sexuality. You...

Good oral hygiene – fighting the return of the cavity
Good oral hygiene – fighting the return of the cavity

Cavities in young children appear to be on the rise, according to the...

Picky eaters – “Is my child getting enough?”
Picky eaters – “Is my child getting enough?”

Kids can be notoriously picky eaters, but there are plenty of ways...

The many benefits of breastfeeding
The many benefits of breastfeeding

More and more women are breastfeeding their infants, which isn't...

Food allergy vs. food intolerance
Food allergy vs. food intolerance

Reactions to certain foods are more often than not caused by a food...

Plan an allergy-friendly party
Plan an allergy-friendly party

You want your next party to be fun for all your guests. But what if...

Caregiving from a distance
Caregiving from a distance

Being a caregiver can be stressful — and it may be even more so...

Allergy, cold or sinusitis?
Allergy, cold or sinusitis?

What’s behind that sneeze? Did you catch the cold that’s...

Health tips for diabetes
Health tips for diabetes

If not managed properly, diabetes can lead to a wide range of serious...

Diabetes and erectile dysfunction
Diabetes and erectile dysfunction

About 34% to 45% of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction...

Caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease
Caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease

Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can...

Safety tips for Alzheimer’s disease
Safety tips for Alzheimer’s disease

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it can take away a person...

Living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease
Living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease

While Alzheimer’s disease affects each person differently, you...

4 facts about FODMAPs
4 facts about FODMAPs

FODMAPs are a type of carbohydrate (or sugar) that’s found in...

Sautéed spring vegetables and steamed fish
Sautéed spring vegetables and steamed fish

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 10 min...

Glazed salmon fillet with couscous and peas
Glazed salmon fillet with couscous and peas

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 15 min...

Sautéed chicken breast with white rice and sugar snap peas
Sautéed chicken breast with white rice and sugar snap peas

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 10 min...

Vegetable spring rolls in rice paper (Vietnam)
Vegetable spring rolls in rice paper (Vietnam)

Makes 8 servings

 

Prep time: 25 min...

Sliced chicken with stir-fry vegetables
Sliced chicken with stir-fry vegetables

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 20 min...

Grilled salmon fillet with rice and vegetables
Grilled salmon fillet with rice and vegetables

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 20 min

Cooking time:...

Grilled salmon kebabs with green beans
Grilled salmon kebabs with green beans

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 25 min...

Watermelon slices with kiwi and pecans
Watermelon slices with kiwi and pecans

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 5 min Difficulty: Easy Cannot...

Mixed berries and mint sponge cake roll
Mixed berries and mint sponge cake roll

Makes 8 servings

Prep time: 25 min Cooking time: 10 min...

Banana crepes
Banana crepes

Makes 6 servings (2 crepes per serving)

Prep time: 20 min...