Body Image in the Classroom

Body Image

Children of all ages are exposed to media messages that promote certain ideal bodies. Research shows that both boys and girls start to experience poor body image as children. Find out how to foster a healthy body image in your classroom.

By DFC - PLC, Nutrition Team
Hanging skeleton
Young boy gazing up a skeleton

What is body image?

Body image is combination of how a person sees themselves and how they feel about their body. It also includes how a person thinks others see them. Having a healthy body image includes feeling safe and comfortable in your body and feeling good about the things it can do.
Having poor body image can include feeling ashamed of your body and wanting to change it. 

How can I help my students develop a healthy body image?

  • Encourage children to identify things they like about themselves that are not related to how they look.
  • Do not allow name-calling or teasing in the classroom.
  • Teach children that healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes. All bodies are good bodies! 
  • Remind students choosing nutritious foods, getting enough sleep and taking part in fun physical activities are important for people of all sizes.
  • Teach children that it is normal for bodies to grow and change as they get older.
  • Be a healthy body image role model. Ensure that if you talk about your own body, you do so in a positive way.

Healthy body image activity:

Ask students to think of three things they like about themselves or three things they are good at. Use this activity to show that everyone has different strengths that are part of what makes them unique and special.
 

children learning about nutrition
Happy Children Smiling

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Grade
Schoolwide
Theme
Body image
Curriculum
Health
Theme
Healthy eating
Theme
Health behaviours