What is boredom eating?
Boredom eating is eating because you feel bored, not because you are hungry.
How do I know if my child eats out of boredom?
• Your child has a habit of eating when feeling bored.
• Your child does not know the difference between feeling physical hunger and
feeling hunger because of boredom.
How do I help my child change this habit?
1. Look for times your child might feel bored.
2. Use a hunger scale to find the right times to eat:
0: Stomach feels empty
3: Stomach feels hungry
7: Stomach feels satisfied
10: Stomach feels tight and full
3. Help your child learn the difference between boredom and hunger.
• When your child asks for a snack ask: Are you feeling hungry or bored?
• Become aware of things your child does that lead to feeling bored.
• Help your child make a list of fun things to do and put it on the refrigerator.
Remind your child to do something on the list when feeling bored.
• Coach your child to be social or do a physical activity with friends or family
when feeling bored.
• Get rid of foods at home that your child likes to snack on when feeling bored.
• Remind your child to take 20 minute breaks before having seconds. This
teaches the feeling of fullness.
Please contact Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic at 608-263-6420 if you have further questions.
Adapted from Wendy L. Ward, PHD, Department of Pediatrics, UAMS College of Medicine.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/01/2013
Copyright © 08/01/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7535
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