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Food and Nutrition Topics..

You are here : home > Food and Nutrition > Poor Eating Habits > Facts on Hunger in Children

Facts on Hunger in Children

Understanding facts related to hunger in children can help parents to encourage healthy eating in them. Read more about it. 

Most often children do not understand whether they are really hungry or they simply want to have something to eat. This happens especially when parents do not allow their kids to have anything to eat unless they are hungry.

With so much of mouth watering fast food items available children usually do not realize the value and relation of hunger and nutrition. Parents, on the other hand, are left confused whether they should allow their children to eat when they want or have some rules for eating.

Eating is a difficult work specially for kids because they eat for different reasons. It is not always that kids want to eat something only because they are really feeling hungry.

Reasons Why Kids Want to Eat

Let us take a look at the reasons why kids want to eat.

When Something Looks Good

When kids come across something that looks appetizing they feel hungry. Well, cravings are very common in humans and if your child has, it is quite natural. As a parent you should allow your child to satisfy her food craving by allowing her to have a small portion of that specific food item.

When Your Kid is Physically Hungry

This is the natural one and you should provide something nutritional yet tasty for the fulfillment of hunger. The best way to deal with this is to have proper timings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Depending on the age of your child you will have to provide him milk, fruits and some healthy snacks in between meals also.

When Your Kid is Emotionally Hungry

This is the most dangerous and unhealthy hunger because during this time your child will eat to satisfy or put off a feeling that is making him uncomfortable. If you find this situation, the best way to deal with it is by offering a tight hug to your kid or you should opt for other comforting measures that make your child happy.

How to Recognize the Type of Hunger

Here is how you can recognize the type of hunger that is felt by your child.

Physical Hunger

When your child feels hungry and asks you to give something to eat untimely, you can ask her to wait for few minutes. If she is fine with it, this means that your child is physically hungry and waiting for 2 – 3 minutes is fine for her. Also, if your child is feeling tired and lack of energy, she needs something to feel energetic.

Emotional Hunger

If your child asks you to give her something to eat immediately and she is not ready to wait even for a second, this means that she is emotionally hungry and you need to calm her down and spend some time with her. Do not try to stop her from eating instantly.

Taste Hunger

If your child wants to eat something specific and she says she is hungry, you should understand that it is taste hunger. Persuade your child to have a small portion of that food stuff especially if it is unhealthy.

Parents have the responsibility of helping their children be honest about hunger at least to them. Let your child convey the real feelings to you and tell you when she is actually hungry or simply wants to satisfy her taste buds. Explain it to her that feeling different types of hunger is natural and everyone does that. Help her satisfy by supporting her feelings. Also, stop considering food as rewards or even to stop your child from disturbing you. There are many better ways to handle child tantrums.

How to know if a child is hungry? What is the importance of helping children follow proper eating schedule? What are the ill effects of faulty eating habit in children? Discuss here.

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