Is Your Child Hungry or Bored?
Have you ever asked yourself, is your child hungry or bored. Many times boredom is an excuse to eat. Kids, as well as adults, can use food for reasons other than hunger, and often eat in response to emotions and feelings. Eating in response to emotion is not always negative; for example, there is nothing wrong with having a piece of cake to celebrate a birthday. However, if your child is getting three balanced meals and a snack a day but still expresses a desire to eat, there may be other reasons besides hunger.
Is your child hungry or bored? 3 Ways to combat emotional eating.
- Examine Your Own Relationship to Food. If you speak to your child in a negative or critical way about food, it may be difficult for your child to make changes in that environment. If you reward your child with food, you may be inadvertently contributing to your child’s emotional relationship with food. You are your child’s primary example for healthy eating, so cultivate a positive relationship with food.
- Provide Alternatives. If your child is eating out of boredom, help them find activities instead of eating. Spend time with them outside walking, hiking or throwing around a ball. Teach them about all the many fun things the world offers besides food.
- Snack Smart. Offer healthy, filling snacks for kids. Vegetables with hummus, fruit with yogurt, nuts and microwave popcorn are all healthy, filling snacks that provide nutrients to tide kids over between meals. Provide snacks instead of letting them pick out their own.
So do you know…is your child hungry or bored? Use these tips to help everyone in your family navigate a healthy relationship with food. If you need more direction, KareBoost Health is here to help. Contact us to set up a free consultation with Dr. Karen Leibowitz and find out more about how we can help your family be the healthiest yet.
Karen L. Leibowitz, MD
Health and Medical Coach