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Tell Me More: The Joy of Eating

Helpful tips for parents trying to inspire a healthy family relationships with food.



1. Model healthy behaviors for your children.

Avoid dieting, or at least unhealthy dieting behaviors.

Avoid making weight-related comments as much as possible.

Engage in regular physical activity that you enjoy.

Model healthy (but not perfect) eating patterns and food choices.


2. Provide an environment that makes it easy for your children to make healthy choices.

Make healthy food choices readily available.

Establish family meal norms that work for your family.

Make physical activity the norm in your family and limit TV watching.

Support your teen’s efforts to get involved in physical activity.


3. Focus less on weight, instead focus on behaviors and overall health.

Encourage your teen to adopt healthy behaviors without focusing on weight loss.

Help your teen develop an identity that goes beyond physical appearance.

Establish a no-tolerance policy for weight teasing in your home.


4. Provide a supportive environment with lots of talking and even more listening.

Be there to listen and provide support when your teen discusses weight concerns.

When your teen talks about fat, find out what’s really going on.

Keep the lines of communication open—no matter what.

Provide unconditional love, not based on weight, and let your child know how you feel.


From I’m, Like, So, Fat! by Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, 2005,

The Guilford Press

Margaret Thompson never thought she’d be a business owner (or a mom for that matter!), but after realizing a need for a high quality, content-focused magazine for Richmond area families, she dove in! With twenty years of marketing and project management under her belt, she pulls all of the pieces together each month to get RFM out to our eager readers. Mom of two teen boys, Margaret and her husband Chris live in Hanover County.
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