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Am I Really Hungry? A Food Fable

Tween boy looking into fridgeBeing a kid can be tough. Between school, after-school activities, friends, and dealing with family, you can get stressed! When you're stressed out, you might want to run to the kitchen to grab a snack. But stop and think -- will food actually help? It depends on whether you're really hungry.

Food can taste good, but it won't always fix your feelings. Here's a food fable about four kids with different needs who all turn to food to feel better. You'll see that food isn't always the answer.

 

Bored Beth

Beth is so bored. She finished all her homework. Her soccer season ended last week, so she doesn't have practice. Beth wants to play a game, but her big sister is still at school, and her friends seem busy.

When Beth complains to her mom that she needs something to do, her mom suggests she have a snack, maybe a Popsicle. Beth wasn't really hungry, but she went to the freezer and got one. For the five minutes it takes her to finish her Popsicle, Beth doesn't feel so bored.

But once snack time is over, Beth is searching again for something to do. She's right back to where she started and more bored than ever. Plus, she just ate a food high in sugar. It gave her body calories with no nutrients it needs to have long-lasting energy and grow.

  • Can you think of something Beth could have done when she was bored instead of snacking?
  • What do you do to feel better when you are bored?

FIT Point: Food doesn't fix boredom.

Give your mind what it needs: Get your body busy doing something so your mind can be busy, too. Dance or go for a walk when you are bored. Make a scavenger hunt or an obstacle course for the next time your friends visit.

 

Tired Thomas

Thomas is so tired. He stayed up late last night studying for a math test. When he gets home, Thomas tells his dad that he's really tired and that he's going to nap on the couch for a while. 

But Thomas' dad tells him it's too late in the day to rest. His dad suggests that he have a snack instead. Thomas doesn't feel hungry, but he'll try anything to wake up. After downing an energy drink and a candy bar while playing his favorite video game, Thomas has a sudden rush of energy. 

But 30 minutes later, Thomas starts feeling sleepy again and crashes on the couch in front of the TV. In fact, he feels like he might not even be able to stay awake for dinner. Thomas just ate mega calories only to get a short energy burst that made him feel more tired a few minutes later.

  • What are some other ways Thomas could have gotten energy?
  • What would you have done if you were tired and needed energy?
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