13 to 18 years
'Raising girls to love their bodies' - excerpt from
“Real Food: Healthy Happy Children”
Bringing up teen girls to love their bodies, to eat healthy and have a comfortable and happy relationship with food is no small task. There is both an excitement and overwhelming feeling at the enormous gift and responsibility of raising a woman.
We can start this when
they are baby girls.
Babies, toddlers and young children are intuitive eaters. We need to encourage intuitive eating. There are many ways to do this:
- Respect her hunger and full signals. Never force feed her. ‘Cleaning’ her plate’ is not going to help people who are starving. Teach your little girl to listen to her tummy.
- Keep her plate lightly loaded – she can always come back for seconds.
- Keep healthy snacks in the home. Make your home a safe food zone. Some people struggle more than others with saying no to their favourite treats, so limit temptation. Model healthy snacking behaviour.
- Avoid loading food with emotional associations. Don’t give your daughter a cookie when she is hurt or a chocolate when she is sad. Go on fun outings with your girl that don’t involve food. Avoid associating her body shape and size with the food she eats.
- Include regular exercise and activity as a normal part of your lifestyle. Organized activities like dancing and hockey are helpful but even more important is the activity level the rest of the time.
Positive affirmations for teen girls
Most importantly give your teen lots of hugs and cuddles and positive affirmations about her qualities that involve her personality, abilities and talents – not just her looks.