Promoting body positivity and food acceptance in children can feel like an uphill battle in our diet and image obsessed society. That’s why we brought in expert on the subject, Zoë Bisbing, to share tips on how to raise a body positive child.
Zoë is a therapist and educator who has dedicated her career to helping individuals and families heal from eating disorders and body image issues. As the founder of her own eating disorder therapy practice, she’s worked to support families in preventing body image injury. She continues to share her wisdom, experience, and dedication to promoting food and body liberation for all in the newly launched Body Positive Home Workshops.
On a recent episode of The Recovery Warrior Shows, Zoë shared the importance of supporting children in an environment that fosters self compassion, body neutrality, and a healthy relationship with food.
These values are crucial to creating a healthy self image, taking on harmful stereotypes, and nurturing a healthy relationship with food. Ultimately, this contributes to a happier, more resilient child.
Body positivity to me is the belief that every human deserves to have a positive relationship with their body regardless of size, shape, color, function, form, or ability.
Zoë shared practical, research backed approaches for cultivating body positivity, empowering your child to navigate the pressures of modern life with grace and confidence.
Here are the steps on how to raise a body positive child and promote food neutrality:
- Embrace the concept of body neutrality
- Encourage intuitive eating and food exploration
- Create a supportive and nurturing home environment
Embrace the Concept of Body Neutrality
Understanding the concept of body neutrality is an important step for parents who want to promote body positivity and food acceptance in their children. Body neutrality promotes the idea that all bodies, regardless of their size, shape, or appearance, deserve respect and care.
Zoë Bisbing considers body neutrality to fall under the “umbrella” of body positivity. It’s not always about feeling excited or happy about your body (though it’s great if you do!). Viewing your body neutrally can be a helpful and important tool to healing body image too.
This approach allows individuals to appreciate their bodies for what they can do, without placing excessive focus on physical appearance. By embracing body neutrality, parents can help their children develop a healthy relationship with their bodies.
Zoë Bisbing explains the importance of parents understanding and promoting body neutrality in their homes. Society often imposes pressures and expectations regarding bodies, making it crucial for parents to counteract these messages at home. By encouraging self compassion and understanding towards their own bodies and others, parents can help children normalize a wide range of body types.
Promoting body neutrality is important for parents. It helps children build a solid foundation for life long self confidence, self acceptance, and overall well being. Instead of focusing on external factors and appearance, children learn to appreciate their bodies for the incredible things they do. This builds a sense of gratitude and understanding for ALL bodies.
Encourage Intuitive Eating and Food Exploration
Zoë Bisbing shared the importance of exposing children to a wide range of food options and not restricting them based on societal pressure or fad diets. She recommends intuitive eating, which involves listening to and honoring the body’s needs for nourishment and satisfaction.
Intuitive eating focuses on trusting the body’s signals for hunger, fullness, and satisfaction. It rejects the restrictive nature of diet culture, which often leads to feelings of guilt and disordered eating patterns. Encouraging intuitive eating and food exploration allows children to develop their palate, listen to their body, and embrace all foods.
Bisbing also recommends involving children in the process of selecting, preparing, and enjoying food. This is a way to encourage them to experiment with different flavors and textures. It also enables children to develop a healthy and flexible relationship with food, recognizing that all foods can be enjoyed.
As children learn to trust their body and make choices for themselves, they also become more open to trying new things. This step is essential, as parents play a significant role in shaping their kid’s relationship with food and body image.
Intuitive eating and food exploration provide a solid foundation that allows children to develop a positive and safe relationship with their bodies while building resilience against harmful diet culture messages. By encouraging this mindset and approach, parents can help their kids be more accepting of all body sizes, shapes, and abilities.
By creating an environment that promotes body neutrality and food acceptance, parents give their children with the tools they need to thrive in a world often filled with unrealistic expectations and mixed messages around bodies.
Create a supportive and nurturing home environment
Creating a supportive and nurturing home environment is crucial for parents who want to know how to raise body positive children. This allows for a space where kids feel comfortable discussing their emotions surrounding food and their bodies. They know they can rely on their parents for guidance and reassurance.
Zoë also emphasizes the importance of resilience and flexibility when faced with setbacks in promoting positive body image and intuitive eating. She reassures parents that every child’s journey is different and they should not be discouraged if progress appears slow.
In an atmosphere where children can freely express their emotions and develop adaptive coping skills, parents can set the foundation for emotionally resilient, self compassionate, and confident individuals. A supportive home environment impacts all areas of a child’s life, enabling them to thrive in the face of diet culture and weight stigma.
How do you raise a body positive kid? The best you can do is scaffold a body positive home environment, and really raise a critical thinker.
Ensuring that children feel valued, respected, and secure in their bodies and food choices equips them with the tools to navigate a world that often seeks to erode their self esteem. With support from parents, the next generation can be well equipped to tackle harmful diet culture norms and embrace body positivity and food acceptance.
Raising Body Positive Children
Being a parent comes with a responsibility to nurture body positivity and a healthy relationship with food in our children. In today’s world of unrealistic beauty standards and diet culture, it’s essential to take Zoë Bisbing’s advice to heart.
Prioritize steps like understanding body neutrality, exposing kids to diverse body types, and challenging harmful beliefs. This gives our children the tools and support needed to go about this world with confidence and self worth.
Embrace the journey and see the positive impact it has on your family.
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Connect with Zoë Bisbing & Equip
- Equip Website
- Zoë Bisbing Official Website
- Zoë Bisbing’s Body Positive Home Workshops
- Zoë Bisbing on Instagram
- Equip on Instagram