How Do You Control Compulsive Snack Eating?

By Bonita Darula

I attended a birthday party for a friend of mine, who has an autistic child. I observed how the child was a compulsive snack individual, who was eating unhealthy foods. In addition, he was eating the snacks in tremendous amounts. I became concerned.

I attended a birthday party for a friend of mine, who has an autistic child. I observed how the child was a compulsive snack individual, who was eating unhealthy foods. In addition, he was eating the snacks in tremendous amounts. I became concerned.

I have experienced and learned, many children with the disorder of autism do snack compulsively. Parent(s), caregiver(s), want to know how to control eating snacks, unhealthy foods and prevent this from happening.

I believe dealing and understanding how autistic children should avoid certain foods, can become an urgent request.

For example:
* Dietary and health restrictions
* Taking certain kinds of medications that may not mix with snacks and sweets.
* Could cause diabetes.
* Sometimes too much of one kind of snack, may cause hyper-active personality and behavior.
* Some snacks and sweets may cause drowsiness, and cause your child to become lethargic.

I have heard from parent(s), caregiver(s) express concern, that some children take snacks without permission to their bedroom, hide it, save it, without them being aware of it. If you are continually making attempts to decrease and prevent the behavior of your child, who is compulsively snacking, this can be stressful for your child and you.

One of the first steps you want to consider taking is, remove the temptations from your child who is snacking and is out of control.

This can be accomplished by taking all of the foods that your child loves to snack on, unhealthy foods,and foods high in calories. Remove them and do not allow those foods in your home, or classroom, it possible.

If your child has friends over, and they want to eat snacks, you would tell them politely you do not have any available. If your child goes to his or her friend's home and they want to eat snacks, you will be in control by bringing the snack your child will be eating, control the amount, the type of snack. Communicate this matter with the parent(s), caregiver(s) of your child who he or she will be visiting.

Introduce your child to new, healthy types of foods and snacks. Make it fun, be creative when you choose to replace unhealthy snacks and foods, when you want to control your child from snacking.

Do not punish your child, for eating unhealthy snacks and doing it compulsively. You want to build a healthy life style for you and your child to enjoy.

Do not make statements to your child, such as, "these snacks are bad for you and you will get fat by eating them", "you are going on a diet tomorrow", "since you had all of those cookies, you will never have one again". Making statements that are a negative approach to your child, may make sense to you, but your child may feel guilty, punished, inferior, low self-esteem, and may rebel, by eating and indulging in more snacks.

When you decide to take control of replacing unhealthy foods for healthy snacks, make time for your child to look forward to something special. Consider an activity that he or she loves, a special place to visit, or having a friend over to play games, etc. In addition, make it fun.

Make a treasure chest for the new healthy foods that will replace the unhealthy ones. Explain to your child on certain times of the day when your child wants a snack, he or she will pick from the assortment in the treasure chest, a new healthy snack. By taking this kind of action, you are in control and will observe positive results from compulsive eating, your child does with snacks.

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This article was published on 08 May 2012 and has been viewed 135 times