Food preoccupation (when a child’s interest in eating or food interferes with their social, emotional or physical development) can undermine a child’s ability to self-regulate, and often leads to high levels of mealtime conflict and parental anxiety. Parents describe going to extreme and exhausting lengths to control the child’s eating.
Food-preoccupied children may be referred to you for binge eating, oral fixation or seeking, weight “management,” interoception training (to tune in to fullness cues), or for selective eating (help them eat more fruits and vegetables). Behaviors observed in children with food preoccupation include:
- rapid eating and stuffing food
- sneaking food
- frantic energy around food or when eating
- singular focus on food
- eating large amounts
- seemingly unable to stop on their own (even to the point of vomiting)
Rowell will touch on the impact of parental weight concerns, the critical role of restriction (non-responsive feeding), the idea of food “addiction,” and more.
Through poignant emails and session notes detailing Daisy and her mother’s experience with food preoccupation, Rowell outlines a responsive approach to feeding, including:
- reliable and structured meals and snacks
- permission to eat all foods
- supporting families to find solutions that work for them
- addressing parent worries
- sharing early signs of self-regulation and healing with parents
This webinar outlines practical ways to support children to tune in to appetite cues and heal their anxiety around food. Additionally, parents are relieved to let go of the “food cop” role, enjoying mealtimes and their children more fully.
For pediatric RDs, OTs, SLPs, therapists, and eating disorder RDs and therapists, and early intervention specialists.
*Not addressing Prader Willi, brain lesions, metabolic or pharmacological causes of hyperphagia.
DURATION: 2 hours
CEUs: 2 hours RD CEU approved (certificate +$5); AOTA and ASHA information below