Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Emotional eating - Kids

Even a pre-school child can use eating as an emotional prop. He thinks he’s hungry, but is he really? If lunch was just half an hour ago, and he ate well, then make the time to ask some questions. Maybe he is bored or lonely. If he forgets about ‘needing’ a snack by being distracted, then he is not hungry.

If children snack whenever they feel like it, they are probably eating and drinking things that are higher in fats and sugars and lower in nutritional value. They are less likely to be hungry at meal times, so less likely to eat the healthy foods offered, and far less inclined to try something new. And they are more likely to develop cavities. Grazing quickly becomes a habit leading to excess weight gain.

A scheduled routine of meals and snacks gives a child balanced nutrition in appropriate quantities. Always sit them in a high chair or at the table to eat: there are fewer distractions to take their attention away from the food you want them to eat.

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