Eating Problems in Children: Information for Parents by Claudine Fox;Carol Joughin

By Claudine Fox;Carol Joughin

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Extra resources for Eating Problems in Children: Information for Parents

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Some children do not have a normal experience of eating when they are young; for example, they might have had long periods of nasogastric feeding (see Glossary). This may cause the child to be frightened of tasting and eating new types of food. If this happens, then the child will not progress on to solid food and will suffer from inappropriate texture of food for age later on. Other children might not have learnt the skills needed to cope with solid food, and so again will eat only pureed food and not eat the appropriate texture of food for their age.

This may mean that progress is very slow. • Parental counselling will help the parents to make sure that they are consistent in the way that they try to help the child. It will also show them how to support the child by using praise and rewards and not forcing or punishing the child. • Once a child is being treated for selective eating, you will need to be patient, as treatment may take time. Restrictive eating (poor appetite) • It is important to seek advice from a medical professional such as your family doctor or GP, who should check that the child is healthy.

In boys the growth spurt occurs quite late during puberty, whereas in girls it can begin before there are any other physical signs. Not eating a proper diet can cause a delay in the start of puberty; if puberty has already started, then it may cause puberty to stop. Some of the changes due to puberty can also reverse. For example, girls on a poor diet may have what is called ‘primary amenorrhoea’, where their periods do not start, or ‘secondary amenorrhoea’, where their periods started but then stopped.

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