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Your child's body knows best about eating. "Hunger messages" tell us when to eat and "full messages" tell us when to stop.
Help your child listen to body signals with these tips:
Parents can help children listen to their body messages better by:
- Working with your child to eat slowly, take a break, and then return for seconds if still hungry.
- Creating relaxed surroundings with plenty of time to eat, making it easier to sense hunger and fullness.
- Establishing a daily routine of regular mealtimes and snack times with a variety of healthful foods to promote good eating habits.
- Setting good eating examples to teach your child to eat well.
A child's body messages can become blocked by:
- Eating too fast can make it harder to sense the message of fullness.
- Scolding, arguing or other unpleasant mealtime situations may cause a child to eat fast to escape.
- Overeating may be a response to an emotional issue that needs attention.
- Getting too hungry may cause unhealthy snacking or unintentional overeating.
- Distractions such as TV or computer games may contribute to overeating.
- Mistaking thirst for hunger may cause overeating.