Compulsive eating involves uncontrollable, excessive eating, even when you are full. This happens when “eating” is associated with the feeling of comfort. Mostly, those who are highly emotional tend to fall prey to this “disorder”. Teenage is that stage in a person’s life when the child is transitioning into an adult, facing a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally. These changes are usually very discomforting for most.
Those who are not able to cope up with these changes usually tend to seek refuge in “comfort food”, which is what compulsive eating is all about. So, if you find that your teenage child is constantly eating, then chances are that he/she is facing a very stressful and emotional situation and requires help in handling the situation. What you will first need to do is, very patiently find out what is it that is stressing out your child. Mind you, this will take some time as children at this age are very reluctant to confide in their parents. In fact, this is the stage when children have the maximum amount of arguments and disagreements with their parents. You will, therefore, need to be extremely patient with your child if you want to find out what is it that is compelling your child to eat non-stop.
While you are doing this, steadily bring about a change in your child’s diet. “Comfort foods”, such as, chocolates, chips, pastries, sweets, and aerated drinks are very high in calories, they however do not provide any nutrition. Replace them with snacks like cheese, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. A teenager’s physique is still undergoing a lot of changes. As their muscles are still developing, it is necessary that their diet includes a good amount of protein every day. These could be in the form of nuts, pulses, dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, and lean meats. As fat is an important part of any healthy diet, prepare their meals in olive oil, sunflower oil, or groundnut oil, as these are healthier than the other oils. Make sure their calcium intake is adequate by including green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, and cereals as this will help in building strong teeth and bones. Most girls start menstruating when they enter their teens, it is therefore very important that their diet includes a healthy amount of iron. This can be found in pulses, eggs, red meat, soy, figs, papaya, and dates. Make sure that all these are part of your teenager’s daily diet.