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The Good Parenting Food Guide: Managing What Children Eat Without Making Food a Problem by Jane Ogden

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13

“My child won't eat enough”

Most children in the Western world are far more likely to end up overweight than underweight and the most common worry is that a child is eating too much. Some parents, however, do worry that their child is underweight and undereating. This chapter will first describe how you can decide whether or not you need to worry about how much your child is eating. It will then describe some tips for how to manage a child who you feel is not eating enough but without making food into an issue for them.
What do we know about eating disorders: consequences and causes
  • Eating disorders are serious mental health problems linked with suicide, heart attacks, and digestive and reproductive problems.
  • People with eating disorders restrict their food intake, those with AN show severe weight loss, and those with AN and BN may binge eat and/or use laxatives or excessive exercise to control their weight.
  • Their causes are complex.
  • They are linked with a history of dieting and body dissatisfaction.
  • Other risk factors include perfectionism, faulty thinking, family dynamics, and issues of control.

Working Out What Is Normal

The first step is to work out what is a normal weight and a normal healthy food intake, and to decide whether or not you need to worry. Babies' weights are often checked against height/weight charts that come from bottle-fed babies in the 1960s and can make health visitors and parents panic that their baby isn't thriving. Food portions are getting ...

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