BLOG – Eating disorders in foster children.
Foster children can enter care with bad eating habits. This could be caused by abuse or neglect. Many will never have received a healthy balanced diet. Poor diet is the leading cause of death in the UK, and costs the NHS £6 billion a year to treat.
Shockingly, one in five children leave primary school obese. It is important to develop a healthy relationship with food. Prepare healthy, balanced meals and establish set meal times. Throughout the day offer healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts. Never use food as a punishment, do not deny a child food because of misbehaviour.
This will only encourage an unhealthy relationship with food.
Alternatively, some children may enter the care system with eating disorders characterised by low body weight. Such as anorexia or bulimia.
Many children suffering from these conditions will see themselves as overweight and will restrict the amount of food they eat. This is a serious mental health issue and could be caused by traumatic events or stress. If you think a child in your care is suffering from an eating disorder seek further advice from your GP.
Team LondonFostering Blog.