Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Raising Mentally Healthy Kids with Michelle Nietert

Sep 7, 2021

Have you noticed changes in your child’s behavior that have led you to believe they could be developing an eating disorder? In today’s episode, I’m continuing my conversation with clinical therapist Ashley Ariail about how we can approach our kids about unhealthy conduct, how to talk about our bodies without labels or judgment, and why it’s important to tackle the emotions behind eating disorders.

Key points from our conversation:

🗣️ Talking about an eating disorder will not trigger an eating disorder in a child. Approach them in a non-accusatory way and be honest about the unhealthy behaviors you’ve noticed. They may need to be addressed by a health care professional.

😥 Children often become concerned about their weight after a comment from someone else. It’s important to first ask them how the comment made them feel. “Eating disorders are fueled by suppressed emotions, so you’ll never go wrong by going after the feeling with your kid.”

💕 Our bodies are not for judging. They are our Earth suits and they’re to be treated with kindness. Teach your child to focus on what the body does for them, what they’re grateful for, and how to take care of it.

✨ Be vulnerable with your kids about your own eating struggles and body image challenges while sharing what’s helped and what you’re working on.

🥦 Food is not good or bad, it’s fuel for our bodies. Variety and moderation are the keys to everything.

Resources mentioned:

Children’s Health – Childhood Eating Disorders Treatment
Dietitian Anna Instagram
FREE empathetic listening printable

You can find more resources about mental health, parenting, and coping with anxiety at

Please be sure to subscribe to the Raising Mentally Healthy Kids podcast on your favorite podcast player so you never miss an episode! And if this episode helped you we’d love it if you’d leave a review to help other parents find this resource.

And don't forget to join the conversation about raising mentally healthy kids with Michelle on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!