5 Reasons Not to Feed Your Kids

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 11:01 AM

1. Eating to cure boredom: food – when used to solve non-food problems – kids learn that eating is the solution to boredom. You can suggest solutions that will help with boredom like completing chores, playing with a certain toy or working on a project. Or you can ask them what they think they should do.

Soon they will learn the skills to combat boredom.

2. Rewarding behavior with comfort foods: Studies  show that making certain foods accessible only after completing a specific task, increases children’s preferences for that “reward” food.

A child who engages in this reward model of eating may become an adult who searches for reward-type excuses to eat comfort foods.

3. Using food to distract from uncomfortable feelings: Talk with your child about the problem that is causing the bad feelings. Teaching your child to accept difficult emotions as a regular part of life is an important lesson.

Food only temporarily makes kids feel better and it adds a new problem of potentially being overweight.

4. Providing snacks during TV time: Studies show that excessive TV viewing in children is associated with high weights and poor eating habits. According to a 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity, for every additional hour kids watch TV they consume 106 extra calories. This causes children to eat out of habit, not hunger.

Designating a place for meals and snacks to be eaten (like the kitchen table) will decrease the likelihood that your kids will associate eating with such a sedentary activity.

5. Eating in the car: Once a child gets used to noshing while riding in the car they will expect food in the car and want it even when they aren’t hungry.

Let your children keep their gift of eating when hungry and stopping when full.

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