Is it hunger or just…boredom?

Picture this: your kid in the kitchen casually opening and closing the fridge door and whining: «Is there anything to eat?». You very well know that lunch was just one hour ago, so you answer back to him/her abruptly: “You had lunch one hour ago, you can’t be hungry!”. If your kid’s meal was a filling one, it is very possible that he/she is indeed hungry, although not physically, but psychologically. Next time you are faced with a nagging “hungry” kid, ask him/her: “Are you really hungry or just bored?”

It is not just kids; adults too fill their stomach over and over again without actually being hungry. They do feel empty, they do feel a gap, but an emotional one, which they rush to fill by eating; the so-called «emotional eaters».

Kids are like that.

When they get bored, they often check the fridge for something to bite, in order to fill this emotional gap. But if they pick up this habit that early, then this will affect their weight and, therefore, their health as grown-ups.

et’s see how we could help these little hungry monkeys to get out of their boredom!

1. Painting
For children, art is a spontaneous form of expression. When using colours, tempera paint or plain markers, they get creative and fill their time. If your kids go to school, you could ask them to paint a specific subject (e.g. «my favourite sport», «the foods I don’t like», «my brother or sister», etc) and discuss about it. With pre-schools, it is better to let them paint whatever they choose.

2. Bubbles
Always carry with you a bubble blower bottle. Kids love them! Just blow through the hole and let them chase the bubbles. If your kids are old enough, you could teach them how to do it on their own. You could also add some drops of food colouring and let the bubbles blow on a white piece of paper. When the water is dried, your kids can turn the shape formed into a drawing using their markers.

3. Guessing game
Place in a box different small toys of various shapes and materials. Blindfold your kids and let them guess which toy they’re holding.

4. Wrapping paper
Get a roll of white paper. Make some potato, or even orange or lemon, stamps. Dip the stamps into some paint and create together unique wrapping paper, which you can later use to wrap gifts to their friends.

Using their vivid imagination, I’m sure your kids will think of even more games to fill their time. This will teach them how to fight their boredom with various activities and not using food as their way out of it.