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Children's Books About Eating Disorders
In today's day and age children at a very young age are being subjected to what the media and society deems is an acceptable body image often leaving them confused and trying to imitate what they see on TV and on movies. While it is imperative to always encourage healthy eating, studies are now showing children at younger and younger ages developing dangerous eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. One great way to reach children is through the use of books. Here is a look at the best children's books about eating disorders and how they can help instill not only healthy eating patterns but a healthy mindset as well.
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Listing of Children's Books About Eating Disorders
While there are a number of excellent children's books about eating disorders aimed at pre-teens and teenagers there are few that have been published for children under the age of 10. Full Mouse Empty Mouse by Dina Zeckhausen is, however, an excellent choice written for children from ages 5 to 12. The story is written well and completely safe for younger children without scaring them like some of the other books about eating disorders that are meant for older kids might. The book focuses on the story of two mice, a brother and sister, that both use food as a way of coping in their lives. The brother uses food as a way to comfort himself while the sister does not eat as a way of protecting herself. Just as many children who deal with weight issues are teased, the brother mouse is also teased about being overweight while his sister is admired for being so small. Thankfully their loving aunt steps in and helps them understand how to pay attention to what their bodies are trying to tell them and how to eat properly.
For older children ages 12 and up, particularly girls, an excellent choice in children's books about eating disorders is Fat Chance by Leslea Newman. In this books readers will meet Judi Beth Liebowitz a 13 year old girl who is very similar to most girls her age. On a quest to get thin she befriends Nancy, a popular, thin girl in school who shares her secret of binging and purging for being so small. Judi finds herself trying this new method of losing weight and when she does her new friend is taken to the hospital. Judi finally confides into a kind teacher as well as her mom and later to a counselor. Pre-teens and teens will relate to this book in many ways because it takes the reader through such a personal journey into Judi's mind and emotions.
Lastly for teenagers and older pre-teens there is Thin by Grace Bowman. This book does well in the fact that it shows anorexia for what it really is without glamorizing it, something that unfortunately many children's books about eating disorders end up doing. It is a memoir of Grace's own personal struggle with anorexia that truly shows the thoughts of a person living with anorexia. This book is ideal for kids who may have already developed eating disorders or those who have already experimented with them as it will give them a sense of hope that they will overcome their condition and there are others who have had the same feelings and emotions but have managed to lead healthy, normal lives.