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Eating difficulties in younger children and when to worry

Date post:02-Jul-2015
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A short presentation for information or training which explores the common eating difficulties seen in younger children along with guidance as to when we should be concerned. For more support, guidance and resources visit http://www.inourhands.com N.B. this is guidance I developed to as part of a face to face training session rather than to stand alone. If you require further explanations or would like me to deliver similar training to your colleagues, please email me - [email protected]
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  • 1. Eating difficulties inyounger children andwhen to worryDr Pooky Knightsmithwww.inourhands.com | @PookyH

2. EatingDisordersFood, weight orshape are used as away of coping withdifficultcircumstances oremotionsEating DifficultiesYounger childrendisplay a wide rangeof eating problems not all are cause forconcern. Some arebehavioural issues. 3. Age DistributionMostly over 11 Anorexia nervosa Bulimia nervosa Binge eating disorderMostly under 11 Food refusal Restrictive eating Selective eating Food phobia Food avoidanceemotional disorder 4. Are they hungry?Are they growing?Do they seem Happy andhealthy?Is it aproblem? 5. Selective EatingBehaviour otherwise normalMay last monthsExtreme faddinessCan cause social difficultiesWeight varies 6. She would only eatbiscuits or crisps andNOTHING else.It had been going onas long as we couldremember. 7. Selective Eating How to Help Encourage family mealtimes Play down fussiness Make no assumptions Praise small steps Suggest supplements if needed Monitor if needed Dental support may be needed Look at practical issues e.g. parties 8. Family may have similar food intakeOften slim & short but healthyNormal range of foodsEats less than peersPoor appetiteRestrictive Eating 9. He just didnt seem thatinterested in food. He ate awide range, just in verysmall amounts. Apparentlyhis Dad was the same andhad the same short, leanstature. 10. Restrictive Eating How to Help Monitor if concerned Reassure family / school Ensure teasing is not a problem Watch out for low self-esteem / bodyconfidence 11. Food RefusalPhysical health okayEats favourite foodsPOWER!Underlying worryCertain places / people 12. She wouldnt eat ordrink anything at schooland made a huge fuss ifwe forced the issue butate normally at home. 13. Food Refusal How to Help Support, not anger Need to work out WHAT are they trying to tellus Draw and talk Play therapy 14. Highly resistant to eating & drinkingFood PhobiaTend to be frightened of: Choking Gagging VomitingMay say eating hurtsMealtimes become a battleground 15. Ever since shedchoked on a piece ofchicken, she wasrefusing any solidfood in case ithappened again. 16. Food Phobia How to Help Need treatment for PHOBIA not eatingdisorder Small steps okay to return to pure Teach calming techniques 17. No fear of weight gainFood AvoidanceEmotional DisorderGeneral behaviour disturbance: Sleep problems Poor concentration Tearfulness HopelessnessAssociated with depression and anxietyMay isolate themselves / avoid school 18. After his Grandpa diedhe just completely losthis appetite. Heunderstood he was toothin and was worryingpeople but couldntmanage to eat. 19. Food Avoidance Emotional Disorder How to Help Often follows trauma or bereavement Needs support processing Support for depression / anxiety Family may need support GP may prescribe nutri-drinks 20. May refuse to walk, talk, eat, drink ortake care of themselvesAngry / determined / scaredNo physical causeHistory of family issuesMay indicate abusePervasive RefusalSyndrome 21. She wouldnt walk, talk oreat and was eventuallyhospitalised and tube fed.It later transpired she hadbeen being abused by herfather. 22. Pervasive Refusal SyndromeHow to Help Rapid risk assessment Do not assume abuse Multi agency approach Recovery is slow Pressure may further regression Family involvement in therapy can provehelpful in sustaining recovery 23. Need more support?Dr Pooky Knightsmith specialises in mental health and emotional well-being inthe school setting. She can provide training sessions or workshops for schoolstaff, parents or students on a variety of topics, including self-harm, anxiety,body image and eating disorders.For further information and free resources visitwww.inourhands.comFor details of CWMT funded sessions for staff,parents or students visitwww.inourhands.com/CWMTEmail: [email protected]: @PookyHLinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/pooky

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