I work as a hypnotherapist in Leeds to help people with selective eating. Many children (and adults) are particular about the foods they will and won’t eat. Many parents find themselves making a different meal for each member if the family. So called “fussy eating” can be very frustrating for parents.
“Hell hath no fury like a toddler whose sandwiches have been cut into squares instead of triangles!”
What is normal?
Most parents recognise that some degree of selective eating is a normal part of development. This is one area in which very young children can exert some control. In most cases no intervention is necessary and the child will develop more varied appetite with age. However in some cases help should be sought: if the child feels there is a problem, if the issue has persisted for a long time, if eating habits are putting a strain on the whole family or the child is becoming malnourished. It is always important to rule out a physical cause for selective eating so you should contact your GP before seeking help from a hypnotherapist.
What causes selective eating?
In some cases there may be no obvious cause. For other children there may have been a choking incident (either something that happened to them or something they witnessed), they may develop selective eating after a stomach bug or as a result of an allergic reaction. In many cases selective eating is linked to anxiety. Many adults find it difficult to eat if they are upset or worried and this is no different for children. If parents become frustrated and angry at meal times this may exacerbated the problem.
What can help?
Try to make eating and meal times fun and informal. This will help to reduce anxiety. It is really helpful if parents can model good eating habits, especially trying new foods. In some cases if a child is particular about food parents will be as well. Encourage the child to try more things than mum or dad and make this into a game. Remember trying anything new should be treated as a success, even if it is not healthy. We need to try foods many times before our brains decide whether they like them or not. If a child is encouraged whenever they try something new they are more likely to keep on doing this. This allowing them to develop a healthier diet in time. As a hypnotherapist in Leeds I can work with children and adults to enable them to increase the range of foods they eat. It is amazing how much of a difference this makes to the whole family.
If you would like to know more please call me on 07769892376 and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.