Raising Body Positive Teens

I am so excited to share with you the release of  Raising Body Positive Teens: A Parent’s Guide to Diet-Free Living, Exercise and Body Image,” co-authored by my long-time colleagues/friends – the amazing adolescent experts Signe Darpinian, LMFT, CEDS (therapist),  Shelley Aggarwal, MD (adolescent medicine doctor), and myself as the dietitian.  


Authors: Wendy Sterling, Signe Darpinian, Shelley Aggarwal

We are so excited to share this book with the world! Kids hear confusing messages about food starting at an early age, from parents, friends, relatives, teachers, coaches—anyone! As an adolescent and sports dietitian for over 20 years, I have devoted my life’s work to fighting back against diet culture and helping teens navigate confusing nutrition messages.  In Raising Body Positive Teens, we help parents help their child develop a friendship with food and body. We explore several key topics:  teen development and puberty, managing stress and how it relates to mindful eating, sleep, movement for all bodies, diet-free parenting, diet-free meal prep, and parenting in the era of social media. We previously published No Weigh! in 2018, to teach teens many of these same concepts, and how to adopt a non-diet approach to nutrition. Writing Raising Body Positive Teens has been helpful for me as a parent, and our hope is that is that parents (caregivers, grandparents, coach, clinicians etc ) find it helpful for creating food and body confidence, and peace, while navigating confusing nutrition messages. 

If this book doesn’t sound like a fit for you, perhaps you may know someone for whom it can help?  Feel free to share it with a friend, loved one, grandparent, teacher, or coach.

Thanks for your support, 



About the Book:

In a world fraught with diet-culture and weight stigma, many parents worry about their child’s relationship with their body and food. This down-to-earth guide is an invaluable resource allowing parents to take proactive actions in promoting a friendship with food, and preventative actions to minimize the risk factors for the development of eating disorders, particularly when early signs of disordered eating, excessive exercise, or body dissatisfaction have been noticed. It provides clear strategies and tools with a practical focus to gently encourage parents and teens to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise by centralizing joy and health. Coming from a therapist, a dietitian, and an adolescent medicine physician, with insightful case studies from an array of young people from different backgrounds, this multidisciplinary author team delivers friendly, strategic guidance based in a wealth of expertise.


What They’re Saying!  

“My margin notes had margin notes! I eagerly absorbed the sound wisdom and concrete suggestions in this book, and will be suggesting it to friends, colleagues and fellow parents for years to come. Raising Body Positive Teens is smart, readable, and endlessly helpful.”

–Sara Gilliam, Co-author, Reviving Ophelia: 25th Anniversary Edition

“How we nurture ourselves and the well-being of our children requires thoughtful awareness. Raising Body Positive Teens is the best go-to book for parents on learning how to support, inspire, and navigate teens toward their best possible selves.”

–Dan Tomasulo, Ph.D., Author of Learned Hopefulness: The Power of Positivity to Overcome Depression, Academic Director, Spirituality Mind Body Institute Teachers College, Columbia University

“Raising Body Positive Teens is a wonderful resource for parents who want to help their kids develop habits that will lead to true, enduring health…replacing the harmful and misleading size-focused health that diet culture offers. The expert team of authors offer countless practical ways to develop a friendship with food and body while honoring culinary traditions from around the world. This book breaks down common misconceptions and replaces them with thoughtful, scientifically sound, weight neutral, and body positive lessons that can be deployed that same day.”

–Jennifer L. Gaudiani, MD, CEDS-S, FAED, Founder and Medical Director of the Gaudiani Clinic and author of “Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders

“Raising Body Positive Teens provides parents with practical advice, interactive activities, and real-life examples as they support their children through adolescence. The authors are respected experts with extensive experience in mental health, nutrition, and adolescent medicine.”

–Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of California

“This is the book we wish our own parents had read when we were teens, and just the balm today’s parents are looking for to navigate the messiness of current day diet culture. Perfect for anyone whose own food and body journey has been on the wobbly side of things and wanting something different for our own young people, this gem will be on my go-to recommended list for many years to come.”

–Fiona Sutherland, ADP, RYT. Director, The Mindful Dietitian and Host, The Mindful Dietitian Podcast

“This smart, well-researched book guides parents through every hard conversation and stumbling block we’re likely to encounter as we work to empower our kids to love and care for their bodies, and to understand the harm caused by anti-fat bias. I’m so grateful to have this on my bookshelf!”

–Virginia Sole-Smith, author of The Eating Instinct


Additional Resources:  


PODCAST:  Rebuilding a Healthy Relationship with Food, Asking Better Questions

PODCAST:  Helping Teens Navigate Food Freedom, The Eating Disorder Trap Podcast 



PODCAST: “Mom, Am I Fat?” Explaining Diet Culture and Fatphobia To Kids, Therapy Rocks!   

PODCAST:  “If My Daughter Wanted to ‘Eat Healthier’ I Would Respond Like She Wanted to Smoke Cigarettes.”  The Burnt Toast Podcast 

PODCAST:  1980’s Diet Culture Horror meets Raising Body Positive Teens, the Mindful Dietitian Podcast


The Full Bloom Podcast: Coming soon


Posted in Body Positive, Parenting
Free ‘Joyful Movement’ Exercise

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