How Much Should My Child Weight At 5 Years Old Eating Disorders in Young Children

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Eating Disorders in Young Children

It is a worrying fact that eating disorders in children, such as anorexia, have been diagnosed in children as young as four years old. The development of anorexia usually occurs during adolescence and mainly affects girls who generally have less body fat than boys. Eating disorders in children can delay their growth, puberty and in girls their breast development.

Children’s eating habits, lifestyle and body image are shaped early in life by the attitudes of their parents. When parents have problems with body image and weight gain, their children are at greater risk of developing anorexia nervosa because young children want to imitate their parents. Studies have shown that children of anorexic mothers were more depressed, cranky and had poor attitudes towards food by the tender age of five. However, parents who have open lines of communication and are educated about child development can make an impact in preventing eating disorders in children.

Steps to make positive changes

1. Take your child to the family doctor to determine if there are any medical or psychological illnesses.

2. Make changes to the family’s eating habits and expect everyone to participate. This means three healthy meals a day, eating as a family and providing only healthy snacks. Be a positive role model.

3. Never skip a meal.

4. Take advantage of spending quality time with your children.

5. Become more aware of your own eating habits, body image, and weight management behaviors.

6. Prepare meals with portion control in mind. This will help eliminate the urge to eat their entire meal.

7. Avoid being judgmental about your child’s weight.

8. Find out how your child responds to your comments about their weight problems and how this affects their behavior.

9. Keep the lines of communication open and encourage your child to talk freely about his feelings.

Treatment for eating disorders in children should begin with getting professional help. If it is a family problem, receiving treatment as a group will greatly increase success. Family involvement facilitates adaptation to lifestyle changes.

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