When you have a tween or teen who still only eats a very limited diet you need to take action. When a young person eats fewer than about 10 different foods they are at risk of nutritional deficiencies and it may prevent them growing properly. Your child might be a healthy weight, underweight or overweight but they are still at risk. Check out my simple infographic below and find out how to build safe food sets.
Being highly restrictive in relation to food choices is much more common in young people with ADHD, autism, anxiety and past trauma. If you would like more information about nutrition and ADHD check out my post here. If you have a child with any of these conditions and it feels as though they are almost afraid of food, check out my advice here.
Extreme restrictive eating associated with fear of weight gain or a distorted body image is quite different. Although extreme restriction related to general anxiety, trauma or the way a young person experiences the world through their senses can co-exist with the more familiar eating disorders. For amazing free support if you are concerned that a young person may have an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia or difficulties with binge eating, “Beat” offers a fantastic service. Just click here.
If your child is missing out on foods from an entire food group such as fruits and vegetables or protein foods you should seek professional help. If their eating difficulties are significantly impacting their weight (underweight or overweight) or growth then again a professional assessment is very important. Maybe you are simply worried that your child’s eating difficulties are impacting their relationships, social development or school attendance. All these things are very important in relation to your child’s physical and mental health, so please don’t suffer in silence.
Later this year I will be running an online session to empower parents and carers to seek help, get support and immediately implement practical strategies whilst you wait. I will also be re-launching “Nourish and Flourish” my online community for parents and carers of young people who struggle with eating.
In the meantime check out my infographic. Follow @eatingmindset on Instagram and Facebook (links below.) Make an enquiry here to get notification of launch dates or if you would like me to work directly with your family.