Did you know that a kid’s fist and stomach are roughly the same size?
If your child consumes much more food than this, you may need to assist them in curbing any potential overeating tendencies so they may learn to manage portions healthily.
Alternatively, these unhealthy eating patterns can continue until adulthood.
You are correct to be concerned if your kid is overeating, especially when considering the pandemic of childhood obesity.
The reason it is called a pandemic is that in the US, for example, almost a third of the nation’s kids are overweight or have been diagnosed with clinical obesity.
If you feel a lot of stress and worry that your kid struggles with disordered eating or overeats, here are a few guidelines and resources to aid you in addressing these touchy subjects as a family. They also help parents!
Before we go into that, however, there is one thing that we need to check first, and that is whether you are unconsciously overfeeding your child.
Is It Possible That You Are Overfeeding Your Kid?
Of course, we all want what is best for our kids! Oftentimes, in our desire to provide the best in the world for our children, we unintentionally give them the erroneous idea about how much food they should be consuming.
We urge, and maybe even try to force our young kids to finish everything on their plate or to have another taste of their mashed potatoes, cheeseburger, or pizza because we are aware of the necessity of nutrition and eating enough calories for their developing bodies.
We think beyond the box and employ all available strategies, like asking them to eat another bite for each member of the family or pretend the spoon is an airplane getting in their mouth.
While all these methods sound innocent and thoughtful, they might have the opposite effect from what we want.
A kid can end up overeating because of not learning how to recognize their bodily signals of satiety.
A kid’s little stomach may be full long before you think it is, so you can end up giving them an excessive amount of food without reason.
By doing so, your kid may eat much past the point of satiety if you coerce, entice, or push them to consume more food.
This can eventually lead to kids eating more calories than their bodies require for growth, which can result in them gaining weight.
As a result, and after a long period of overeating, these eating patterns can lead to your kid becoming overweight or obese.
6 Tips On How To Help Your Child Beat Overeating
1. Help Them Manage Their Emotions
It’s crucial to educate youngsters on how to manage their emotions since overeating (particularly sweet treats and comfort food) is an effort to numb uncomfortable feelings.
Humans are designed to have a wide range of feelings. Educate your children on how to recognize their feelings and how to deal with them healthily.
Children who get to know how to share their feelings daily will not only have less desire to binge eat but will also be more peaceful and healthier overall. Communication of feelings is the antidote to depression.
2. Give Up On The Fat Chat
When we criticize someone’s eating habits, body fat, or other aspects of their bodies, we are engaging in “fat chat.”
Even flattering remarks regarding eating habits and body weight can be damaging because they encourage people to believe they should look a specific way.
Here are some suggestions for avoiding “fat chat”:
- Never make fun of your kids’ diet or how much they consume.
- Keep your “excellent” or “poor” meal remarks to yourself. Restriction and/or revolt are frequent results of this.
- Don’t sit in judgment on anyone’s weight; not yours, your kid’s, or that of any other individual.
- Don’t visibly frown or glare at your kid when they are eating. You might be silent, but your face can speak sometimes too.
3. Help Them Keep Away The Negative Thoughts
Many children binge eat or start overeating to suppress, divert from, or affirm their harsh sentiments. Educate your youngster on the distinction between ideas and reality.
Ask your kid to share with you some of their thoughts and feelings and then encourage them to recognize some things in the surrounding environment that can deter those bad thoughts.
Another way you can help them is by advising them to talk to themselves as they would to a close friend or their pet dog.
An excellent method to avoid unfavorable thoughts, or at the very least, to recognize them for what they are, is to practice mindfulness.
A great way to practice mindfulness is by listening to a podcast on that. So, next time your kid has a negative experience, sit them down and listen to one together.
4. Help Them To Get to Know Their Body
Consider using an appetite and satiety scale with your kids to help you recognize bodily signs. It is comparable to batteries that we don’t want to overcharge or deplete.
So, when you are 0 on a scale it means you are extremely hungry, 5 means that you are in a neutral state, while 10 means you are stuffed.
Eat when you’re around a 3, that is when you are experiencing feelings of hunger but are not yet starving, and stop when you’re around a 7.
Being at that level means that you are comfortably satisfied or moderately full. As a household, try adopting this scaling method so that no one feels discriminated.
5. Study And Perform Instinctive Movements With Them
This entails leaning into the intuition that arises from inquiries like, “How do I love moving?” or “How does my body wish to exercise and unwind?”
Together, consider asking one another the following questions whenever you feel or think you are hungry:
- What does the restricting voice in my head think I SHOULD eat?
- What is the food that I want to binge on?
- What do my mind and bodily awareness tell me?
6. “Feed” The Soul Before Feeding The Body
Make a list of all the things that can “fill” your kid’s soul and spirit and think of activities they can do that will keep them occupied and away from snacks and junk food.
Kids can use these healthy, soul-filling alternatives as a replacement for excessive food when that is not needed. Many enjoy being in nature, while others enjoy playing games or instruments.
Several children, depending on their age, prefer to cuddle, be carried around in their parents’ arms, or even hold hands with them.
Painting won’t give them the same rush as a bag of potato chips, but it also won’t have the same severe aftereffects.
The Bottom Line
Helping your child beat overeating is not that difficult. If you see that you are also experiencing periods of binge eating and unhealthy eating habits, join your kid in this and fight through it together.
What is important is for you to try your best to follow the aforementioned examples.
Also, congratulate yourself for being the thoughtful parent you are by reading this post and giving your child all the love and support it needs to get through this!