Children often have trouble expressing their emotions. This can be for a variety of reasons- they are not used to using words to express how they are feeling, they do not get a lot of practice expressing how they feel and what is going on in their world. They are upset and a comforting thing can be eating, especially snack foods- these are often seen as the tastier and treat type of foods. Maybe your child just needs to be comforted.
Some helpful ways to get insight into what is going on for your child is to talk to them. Ask them how they are feeling and what is going on in their world.
Another way is to listen to them when they are playing. A child’s play can tell you a lot about what is going on in their world. Playing is a way for a child to process events and happenings in their life.
Remember that food is not only about nutrition. Food impacts everyone- baby, child or adult in a variety of ways. If your child says they are always hungry or they constantly want a snack look at the why. As parents you are always the best at knowing what your child needs and what works best for your family. Scheduling meals and snacks will help you ensure that your child is getting food offered at regular intervals and therefore empowers them to listen to their bodies as to whether they are hungry or not. If you are still hearing that they are hungry right after meals and that they constantly want a snack you can consider other reasons that this may be coming up for your child.
Have questions about your child’s eating? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future’s Registered Dietitian.