Eating disorders in young children

Young children can also have problems related to eating. This may be because eating is painful, but it is also possible that they no longer want to eat because they find food disgusting.

What is an eating disorder in young children?

Eating is something that we all do every day and something that we also need. It is also very normal to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. For young children, eating well is extra important because they still have to grow a lot and their bodies require proper nourishment. And eating is also usually enjoyable! It is a pity that children can develop problems related to it, which can often cause parents a great deal of concern. The following eating problems occur in young children:

  • Some young children eat little and have an aversion to eating. Parents sometimes try too hard to get their child to eat more, which makes the child less eager to eat well.
  • If young children find food disgusting, this can also cause an eating problem. As a result, they will not grow properly.
  • If children have suffered from a stomach ache or swallowing problems, for example, they may develop an aversion to eating.
  • Some children don’t want to eat anything at all, or they don’t swallow their food completely. 

What causes an eating disorder in young children?

A physical reason for the child having difficulty eating or not wanting to eat can be that eating is painful for the child. Another reason is that something has happened to cause the child to not eat anymore. It may also be the case that the child finds food so disgusting that it just will not eat it. Some children are not used to eating vegetables, for example, and that is something that they actually have to learn to do.

How common are eating disorders in young children?

Eating problems occur in 25% to 40% of young children at some point, but they are no longer an issue later on. Eating problems are more common in young children with more problems related to growth.

Would you like to know more about the treatment of eating disorders in young children?

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