Parents and carers

The role of being a parent or carer can be a difficult one and it’s often hard to know if we’re doing the right thing.

To help your child stay healthy, try and ensure that they

  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • get enough regular sleep
  • are physically active and busy
  • don’t have too much ‘screen time’ and the time they do have on devices is age-appropriate and safe
  • have a chance to talk to someone openly and regularly about how they are doing and what’s going on for them.

If your child is struggling with any of the above then it may be an indication that something or someone has upset them, or that they are finding things difficult to cope with.

Early Signs Of Eating Disorders

Physical – Loss of weight, fainting/dizziness, loss of energy, muscle weakness, sleep disturbance, susceptibility to infection, loss of menstruation, constipation/bloating, repeated vomiting, swollen glands under the jaw or frequent dental problems (If there is repeated vomiting)

Behavioural changes – counting calories, restricting the amount or range of food eaten, eating alone or missing meals, secretiveness, hiding food, frequent visits to the toilet, taking a long time to eat meals, cutting food into small pieces, excessive body checking, over-exercising, wearing baggy clothes

Psychological – Preoccupation with food and eating, concerns about weight and shape, feeling compelled to restrict intake, fear of eating

Non-specific signs that may accompany eating disorders

Psychological – low mood, loss of interest, poor concentration, withdrawal, distributes family relationships

Social/Educational – Withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest in activities, poor concentration, difficult family relationships

Support is available from your GP, the pastoral team at your child’s school, the school health nurse, and or health visitor/Children’s Centre (for those with under 5s)

For help that is more targeted towards understanding positive mental health and wellbeing contact

Young Minds Parents’ Helpline  0808 802 5544