Don't say ‘diet’: How to talk to your kids about living a healthy lifestyle

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - While childhood obesity plagues the United States, so do eating disorders.

A Pennsylvania school district is warning that children could end up in foster care if their parents do not pay overdue school lunch bills.

Therefore, parents and nutritionists alike ask the question: how do you help your child develop healthy lifestyle habits while also not giving them a damaging body image complex?

“Talk about food and why certain things are good for you,” said Dr. Kathryn Greiner, a family medicine practitioner at Baylor Scott & White Health. “Say, ‘We drink milk because it’s good for our bones.’”

Dr. Greiner says the easiest way to help your child live a healthy life is by controlling what comes into your home and what leaves your home in your child’s lunchbox.

“If you buy cookies and chips, then kids are going to eat that stuff,” said Dr. Greiner. “But you can show them that water is your drink, and we eat salmon and broccoli…and take an apple for a snack to school.”

Your language matters too, says Dr. Greiner.

“I don’t like the term ‘diet’ for kids,” Dr. Greiner said. “Please don’t use the term ‘fat’ or say ‘You’re going on a diet’; say ‘Hey, let’s be healthy for our body.’”

For the full conversation, see the video player above.