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Overeating In Children - Should You Be Worried?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. (Prof) R K Suri 88% (18 ratings)
Ph.D - Psychology, PGD in Sexual & Reproductive Counselling, M PHIL (Clinical Psychology), MA Applied Psychology, Post Graduate Diploma In Coaching
Psychologist, Delhi  •  36 years experience
Overeating In Children - Should You Be Worried?

Are you concerned about your child’s overeating? Overeating may seem like a harmless act in the beginning, but it is in this that the root of childhood obesity lies. The germ that overeating, seeds in your child’s life, will affect him/her throughout their life. It is certainly a point of concern for anyone and to keep your child healthy and active, you must take precautionary measures from beforehand.

There are some, tips that you may find helpful to rein in the overeating behavior of your child. These tips are very simple and psychology based, they motivate your child to not overstuff their stomach.

  1. Make your child enjoy and love the food they are eating. Show them how much you are “enjoying” the food rather than just “eating” it. It should be like a celebration.
  2. Teach your children how to understand the difference between being full and overeating. Tell them to listen to their stomach and feel their stomach being full of the food; and consequently stop there, rather than going on eating. Your stomach sends a signal when it is on the threshold of being full and overfull. Your child needs to understand that signal and stop eating.
  3. Try to avoid power struggles both in the case of forcing them to eat or forcing them not to eat. If your child does not want to eat the food, don’t force-feed them. That creates a lasting impression and your child develops an aversion to food items. Rather, leave the food on the table and let your child know that they have access to the food and they can eat whenever they feel like it. Ultimately a hungry stomach will give in and he/she will return to the table. If your child wants to eat more someday, then he/she wants it because they are hungry that particular day, not because they are overeating. Plan some kind of activity after dinner or lunch, such as washing the plates, cleaning the kitchen, so that the food gets digested easily and quickly.
  4. Some foods act as a trigger for overeating. Savory items such as chips, cheese balls, pizzas, etc. and sweet items such as chocolates, ice creams, cookies, candies, etc. fall in this category. These are palatable and are attractive to the kids. It is hard to stop consuming them and in certain cases becomes addictive. You need to teach your child the harm that these foods are causing to their health. Teach them with the help of pictures and videos the effects of diabetes, obesity and other such diseases on the human body.

Your child needs to love the food that they are eating and it is there that they will form a healthy relationship with food. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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