(HealthDay News) -- Eating disorders can lead to unhealthy eating habits, and in extreme, can trigger a dangerous drop in weight.
Cultivating a healthy body image in your teen can be key to preventing an eating disorder. Here are suggestions, courtesy of the Center for Young Women's Health:
- Teach your child to respect herself -- both her physical and non-physical attributes.
- Talk to your child about the importance of being herself, and why it's unrealistic to look like models pictured in magazines.
- Don't focus on food, calories and weight. Make sure your child doesn't obsess over it either.
- Try to teach her the importance of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, not dieting.
- Make meals a positive experience, and focus on the physical and mental benefits of a healthy diet.
- Teach your child not to deal with stress or emotions by using food.