Why Your Kids Aren't Hungry
How can you get your kids to want to eat?
When you change up habits and do things like getting them on a regular meal and snack schedule so they’re not grazing all day long, and they‘re not full on juice or milk. There’s no screens or toys to distract them at the table, and most importantly you’ve stopped pressuring them to try new foods. These are game changers!
But what if after doing all the things you ring the dinner bell, and they yell back "I'm not hungry!" Have you ever thought that they may be constipated?
When parents meet with me to talk about their picky eaters one of the first questions I ask is when was the last time their kids pooped? Since picky eaters have a limited diet to begin with it’s not surprising that they may not be getting enough fibre which can contribute to constipation.
5 signs of constipation:
Many days without a bowel movement
Poops are hard, and difficult to pass
Stomach pain or cramps, all make it super uncomfortable to eat!
There are lots of reasons why kids become constipated:
Eating less fibre
Drinking less fluid than usual
Not physically active
Changes in routines such as being on vacation, starting a new daycare or school
Certain medications and supplements
Increase in stress levels
If you suspect that low fibre intake is the issue, offer more higher fibre foods to help your little ones “get moving!” and get their appetite back.
Foods to up your kids’ fibre intake
whole grain breads
high fibre cereals with at least 4 grams of fibre per serving
dried fruit added to muffins, granola or trail mixes
legumes (hummus, beans added to chili, lentils sprinkled in tacos - notice I didn’t say hidden)
veggies and the four “p” fruits: pears, prunes, plums and peaches are all high in fibre
For the picky eater however, they may refuse all of these options. If this is your child, try a high fibre smoothie. Blend up blueberries, strawberries, a few prunes and a sprinkle of chia or flax seeds in a bit of apple, pear or prune juice. If they aren’t into smoothies freeze them into breakfast popsicles. What kid doesn’t like popsicles for breakfast!
Remember to go easy on the fibre, as it can cause stomach discomfort. Slowly offer more fibre with lots of water and get your child moving everyday!