Stress, Overeating and Kids

A new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that kids “are more likely to overeat when they are upset, especially if their parents have used food as a reward in the past. The study notes that stress eating is a learned and unnatural behavior, since stress and emotional turmoil usually reduce appetite, rather than increasing it.”

The study found that “children were much more likely to stress eat if their parents over-controlled their eating, by doing things like using food as a reward or withholding food for health reasons. According to the researchers, these practices can override children’s natural hunger instincts, instead making food into a reward or an emotional comfort.”

So, teach your children to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full and remind them that we eat to nourish our bodies with friends and family at the table, not because of good behavior or as a reward for anything else. For more, click here.

First Bites is a non-profit organization that runs programs in preschools and early childcare centers to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables. To learn more about the program and for more ideas on what and how to feed children, visit, or follow us on Twitter @FirstBites.