I just heard in the local news that children as young as 4 are being hospitalised due to eating disorders. Come on people 4? what the the parents of the these children saying? Children are like sponges they take everything in. I feel that at that age children should just be children, they don't need pressure like that!
I agree Chald. The pressure on children under 5 is just crazy. They are now expected to have perfect learning, eating, behavioral, mental and social skills. That is too early.
When my son was 4 and in preschool, they said he had a speech impediment. We worked on it all summer and now he doesn't have any issues in kindergarten. Though in kindergarten (this year), they tried to claim that he is "autistic like", because he's lacking in some social skills and had a few problems for a couple of weeks, which is mostly because he's an only child and we can't afford the local activities that would get him around other kids his own age more often. We hoped that he would be able to pick up those social ques and skills at school. And through some negotiations with him, my son improved ten-fold at school in less then two weeks. They started out saying he needed to see a pro-psych doctor and now they really have no ground to stand on, lol.
I'd imagine that most of these so called "eating disorders" in 4 year olds is from parents that are feeding their children food with very low nutritional value. Our current generation of parents was raised on the notion that chicken nuggets and boxed dinners are perfectly nutritious. Or they are allowed to use the excuse that busy schedules don't allow for better nutrition.
On top of that, even parents who do recognize how unhealthy most store bought food is and who make the time to cook healthy food, can't afford the price of organic foods, which is really what we should all be eating. Especially children.
As far as children being like sponges in terms of food, I've experienced that. Though my son is not so much of a sponge. He goes through periods when he wants to eat a lot, and other times when he will barely nibble all day, even if I offer him his favorite foods. He's not unhealthy because of his eating habits though. He's actually top of his growth category and a nearly perfect weight. So I don't think it's an issue of how much they are eating. It's probably more to do with what they are eating. Even your average fruits and veggies at most stores are full of preservatives, pesticides, chemicals and a whole wad of other junk that can make a childs immune system and behavior go backwards.
Eating disorders for 4 year olds is about as rediculous (sp?) as kids under 5 being diagnosed with learning disorders. It's way to early to know anything for sure. The pharmaceutical companies have people convinced that it's "early prevention", when it's really just another ploy to drug kids and to avoid smart and healthy parenting.
From what I've seen, four-year-olds don't eat enough to live on...but they manage! Parents freak out because their kid doesn't seem to eat anything ever, they're super picky.
What kind of eating disorders? Too much or not enough?
My granddaughter ate too much when we first got her, enough that I actually called the doctor to find out if it was a sign of something wrong - maybe something wasn't being absorbed and she was desperately trying to get it. I was told it was likely behavioral due to not being fed enough in the previous years and to watch her to see if the situation improved while she had a safe, normal life. It did.
Still, seems to come back to parenting issues.
My children ate what they wanted. I always put dinner on their plate however and did not leave much of a choice. I cook a great deal of vegetables and veggie dishes, I buy a great deal of organic now, but did not when my oldest was growing up. He is now 22 and went through periods (a tween and teenager) where he ate only junkie foods. Frozen garbage he asked for and junk food. He was never overweight, on the contrary, he was too thin. Today he is muscular from protein shakes, buys organic and still sprinkles his diet with his old frozen favorites.
My youngest is also rail thin due to ADHD medication they had him on and we were thrilled when at 12 he finally cracked 60 and is now 64.6 pounds. He has gained 8 pounds in the past month and that is no small matter. We took him off his stimulant medication. He loves fruit so sometimes when he asks for cookies or ice cream I will say "how about an apple/grapes/strawberries instead". Children have to make choices but they should be offered healthy choices. And only 2 at a time if they are 4. Any child with an eating disorder has pressure from the mother or father. We stress our children out with ridiculous demands as someone else said. These kids are not born this way. Their parents are destroying them for nothing. These kids will not be great A- personality over achievers because they will be dead from suicide or drugs. Their parents will blame themselves, and they should, it will be all their fault.
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