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FAQ - Behavior Modification and Meal Planning  Answer To Frequently Asked Child Medical Question

Behavior Modification and Meal Planning

Begin with a three-week diary of food intake caloric composition and activity program.

Indicate snack periods, day and night, and circumstances associated with urgency to eat between meals.

Stress the use of free foods as snacks after school (e.g., raw vegetables, pickles, celery, lettuce) and avoidance of forbidden foods as bribes for good behavior. A portion of the dessert of the evening meal may be set aside for snack before bedtime.

Advocate eating in the same room without television viewing or reading.

Stress the serving of measured single portions of food rather than family-style eating in order to avoid the temptation of larger portions and second helpings.

Use smaller plates and include good portions of lettuce, celery and parsley as fillers.

Have the child eat slowly, chew the food well and place utensils down after several swallows. Do not put more food into the mouth until the first mouthful is chewed and swallowed.

The family should avoid table discussions about eating or tension-producing subjects. Attempt to get “off the child’s back” and avoid criticism from other members of the family.

Encourage praise for success in some weight loss and make no comments when success is not being achieved immediately.

Forbidden snacks and “goodies” should be eliminated as much as possible. Avoid high caloric condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, steak sauce and gravies.

Do not skip meals.

Avoid getting overtired or over-hungry with the tendency to overeat or grab high caloric snacks.

Stress any type of program that would substitute for periods of tension or boredom such as walking to and from school, enrollment in gym, swimming classes or social activities.

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