Why can mealtimes be stressful?

Why can food and mealtimes sometimes create stress and challenges for people?

    There are many dynamics at play when someone is eating in terms of physical abilities, psychological issues and potentially environmental stressors as well.

    When someone has difficulty eating, an evaluation of all these factors is obviously critical. This will sometimes involve a professional assessment from a Speech and Language Therapist to look at any changes in the person’s ability to swallow and process food or a dietician or nutritionist to look at the kinds of foods which would best suit a person’s nutritional needs.

    But there are also more complex factors to consider in relation to how many of us have a relationship with food and drink which is linked to how we are feeling.   Some of us may eat too much when we are feeling stressed and some of us may stop eating all together.  What and how we eat is an area of our life where we can exert some sense of control when we are not in a happy place or feel we have very little control.   What we eat and drink is also strongly linked to our sense of self-esteem and how safe we feel.  It is not unusual for people to feel suspicious about food which is presented to them if they feel that they cannot totally trust the people around them.

    This module will explore some of these factors and help us to creatively problem solve when someone is communicating a feeling or a need through the way in which they relate to food.

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