Do Your Kids Lose Their Appetite When They Are Stressed Out?


Do your kids quit eating when they get upset about something at school or sports or with their friends?  They just simply lose their appetite?  Not getting the proper nutrients or enough food can cause problems with your child’s ability to focus in school and their overall health.  But how can you help your child eat when they’re upset?

  • Eat at the Table WITH you Kids

    • We know that mealtime is an important time for a family to connect.  Make it an effort to be a stress-free time as well. Don’t grill your child about homework or chores at the table.  Use the time to create a positive and nurturing environment that can help de-stress your child and encourage eating.

  • Involve Your Kids

    • Stress can come from many sources and home can be one of them.  Give your child a chance to relax and de-stress by involving them in the cooking process.  Let them pick the recipe, stir the sauce, or any age-appropriate task.  Giving them ownership in the may make them more likely to try it.

  • Space Out Their Meals

    • Be aware of your child’s eating schedule throughout the day.  Try your best to make sure they are not going more than 3 hours without some kind of snack.  This will keep their energy levels consistent and help them better face the stresses of their day.

  • Have a Preferred Food at Each Meal

    • This is a food that you child eats consistently, the kind of food you can count on.  At mealtime, try to have one food on the plate that you know they like.

  • Don’t Nag

    • Nagging your child to eat, especially a teenager, won’t get the job done.  Be supportive and offer foods they like, but walk the fine line of encouraging vs making them more stressed at the table.

About Tara Gidus

Tara Gidus, MS, RDN, CSSD is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and co-host of Emotional Mojo TV show. She is the Team Dietitian for the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team, the Nutrition Consultant for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Athletics, and the Official Nutritionist for runDisney. She co-authored The Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies (2014) and Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for Dummies (2012).

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