Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics

Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics.



Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics is a Nursing Diagnosis selected by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, also known as NANDA. This nursing diagnosis is used to identify and address a lack of healthy nutrition intake in children. Practitioners registered as nurses use this diagnosis to determine the best path forward when caring for small children and identifying any nutrition based problems.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The standard definition of Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics, according to the NANDA organization, is: A pattern of eating and drinking in which nutritional requirements are not met through a diminished or absent response to current meals eaten.

Defining Characteristics

Defining characteristics, also known as signs and symptoms, are words used to describe a person’s appearance, behavior, or feelings. These are important for nurses and care givers to assess in order to diagnose the degree of severity and create the best plan of care.


  • Statements from children about food being unappetizing or not enjoyable.
  • Expressions of dislike for certain flavour combinations.
  • Expressions of boredom with meals.
  • Stated preferences for snacks and desserts over main meals.


  • Inability to recognize fullness or fatigue while eating.
  • Prolonged amount of time spent eating small meals.
  • Diminished or absent response to food in general.
  • Reduced number of food groups consumed.

Related Factors

There are Related Factors associated with the diagnosis of Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics. These are the specific causes behind the diagnosis and the reason the child is experiencing an inadequate intake of nutrition.

  • Nutritional deficiencies contribute to a loss of appetite, refuse of meals and a decrease of nutritional intake in amounts required for daily health and growth.
  • Inability to access certain meals due to circumstance beyond the control of the patient can cause changes in meal dynamic patterns.
  • A decrease in sensory capabilities can make it difficult to enjoy the taste and texture of food.
  • Behavioral issues such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders can influence the child’s ability to enjoy meals or engage in meal dynamics.

Risk Populations

Certain populations are at higher risk for developing the diagnosis of Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics. These populations include:

  • Young children
  • Infants
  • Children living in poverty
  • Those who have recently experienced traumatic events

Associated Problems

While Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics is the main diagnosis, there are associated problems related to it that may require further care. As a nurse, it is important to determine if any of these diagnoses need to be taken into consider in order to devise a well-rounded plan of care.

  • Malnutrition
  • Growth deficiencies
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Disproportionate Growth Rate
  • Lack of Vitamin and Minerals

Suggestions of Use

If you are a nurse working with a patient who may have the diagnosis of Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics, there are certain suggestions you can use in order to help the patient get the necessary nutrition.

  • Make meals visually appealing.
  • Create varied, interesting menus.
  • Offer food in small portions.
  • Encourage involvement in meal preparation.
  • Explain importance of meal time for socialization.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis

Sometimes it may be necessary to consider other NANDA diagnoses instead of, or in addition to, Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics. The following are suggested alternatives along with their definitions provided by NANDA:

  • Feeding Self-Care Deficit: Impaired ability to feed oneself.
  • Ineffective Feeding Pattern: Difficulty in meeting nutritional needs.
  • Ineffective Infant Feeding Pattern: Difficulty in meeting nutritional needs.
  • Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume: At risk of not having enough body fluids.
  • Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements: At risk of not obtaining adequate nutrients.

Usage Tips

  • Always assess the patient’s overall medical, developmental, and family history to determine the best diagnosis for their care.
  • Always research the latest, evidence-based practice guidelines before diagnosis and providing care.
  • Find out how the patient has been handling meals since birth, and during recent years, so that you can determine how long they have had the problem.
  • Assess meal enjoyment and satisfaction history so that you can develop activities and interventions to increase consumption.
  • If a patient appears to reject food, assess whether they need more assistance with eating tasks.

NOC Results

The following are the outcomes that Nurses can expect when encouraging treatments for Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics according to the Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC):

  • Food and Fluid Intake: Ability to consume appropriate amounts of food and fluids for age, gender, and life situation.
  • Nutritional Status: Adequacy of nutrient and energy supply to meet metabolic needs.
  • Self-Care: Ability to perform activities of daily living.
  • Family Processes: Capacity of the family system to provide emotional security and promote health.

NIC Interventions

The following are the interventions that Registered Nurses can provide according to the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC):

  • Nutrient Management: Facilitating dietary management to ensure for adequate nutrition.
  • Teaching: Family: Providing instruction to family members about the importance of diet, nutrition and the individual meal dynamics.
  • Feeding Assistance: Assisting with feeding activities of daily living.
  • Nutrition Monitoring: Tracking and recording energy and nutrient intake.
  • Reinforcement Therapy: Encouraging positive behaviors related to food acceptance and intake.


When caring for small children and identifying any nutrition based problems, Registered Nurses are able to use the Nursing Diagnosis of Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics to create the best path forward. Signs and symptoms, related factors, risk populations, associated problems, and suggested interventions & outcomes should all be taken into account when creating a plan of care to improve the patient’s nutrition intake.


  • Q: What is NANDA?
  • A: NANDA is the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association.
  • Q: What is suggested intervention for Children Ineffective Meal Dynamics?
  • A: Suggested interventions include Nutrient Management, Teaching Family, Feeding Assistance, Nutrition Monitoring and Reinforcement Therapy.
  • Q: What is a suggested alternative NANDA diagnosis?
  • A: A suggested alternative NANDA diagnosis is Ineffective Feeding Pattern.

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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