Girls holding apples
Parents can be quite strict when it comes to food, dictating what we let our children eat and when they are allowed to eat. We can worry that they are eating too much or eating the wrong food, and of course we don’t want them to be full at mealtimes. Parents have to be careful that they aren’t too controlling otherwise our children may binge eat when they are not with us or hide food from them. We also do not want to starve children by withholding food. Children can be ravenous when they come out of school because they ate lunch really early or they were incredibly active during the day. They need to be fed. If not, they will have low mood and be grumpy. This especially applies when they are going straight from school to an activity which requires them to concentrate. Providing a simple healthy snack can change their mood quickly and they will be more pleasant to be around. In fact, you could ask your child what they want to snack on as they may crave something that their body needs. Food and a healthy appetite is important and normal for many children.

A Healthy Appetite In Children Is A Good Thing

We need to consider what they have been doing at school all day and that they are growing. Children need food to sustain that growth and therefore we need to make sure we are well equipped with some kind of filling food at the school gate. It is okay to allow them to eat when hungry. Children have high calorific needs and small tummies so snacking is unavoidable. I think so long as we are giving them a variety of foods and that they are eating regularly we should not worry too much. There will always be times when they eat lots and then don’t eat much as they go through periods of growing. We need to be more relaxed about food at the same time as encouraging a healthy appetite. One thing parents do need to look out for though when it comes to food is that their child is not emotional eating when they keep on going to the cupboard for snacks.

For more advice and ideas on parenting, moods and concentration take a look at my books. Both will help.