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WithAll’s Simple Guide for What to Say is the foundation of our What to Say initiative. We encourage every adult role model to use these principles as their home base when deciding what to say to a child related to food, body, and exercise. Consistently choosing words and actions that flow from these principles gives kids a foundation of lifelong health and well-being related to food, body, and exercise.

The principles are:

  1. Avoid singling out kids: no child should be singled out as a “special case” needing more attention related to food, body, or exercise.

  2. Don’t make health a numbers game: health and well-being are the goals, not a certain weight, size, or BMI.

  3. Remember that self-worth is not skin deep: our value as human beings does not come from appearance, size, weight, or BMI.

  4. Let kids be kids by letting food be food: food choices are not moral issues (i.e., “clean,” “junk,” “bad,” etc.). It’s just food.

  5. Let food be fuel and fun: food provides the nourishment and nutrition our bodies need to be healthy, and food is also about community, traditions, and celebration.

  6. Make movement joyful: Exercise—movement—is critical to emotional and physical wellness and overall well-being. Its value is not in controlling weight, size, or shape.

  7. You aren’t always going to get it right and that’s okay. 

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