Is my child eating too much? When your kid eats everybody else’s lunch
We often hear about the struggle some parents have with their children who are fussy eaters. You just have to type fussy eater in google and almost a million results pop up. Fussy eaters tend to be every new parents worst nightmare. Who chooses to have a kid who refuses to eat anything but french fries? But what about the opposite? Is your child eating too much?
My partner and I both come from big eater families. We love our food, maybe a little too much. I grew up in a culture where food was a way of life. My grandmother would slave away all day in the kitchen and we would all come together to bond over food. The more you ate the better it was in my family. ‘Eat’ my grandmother would say. ‘Eat, eat eat’. Even though I was already about to tumble over in a food coma.
” I was worried my child would be a fussy eater”
So when my son was born, I was adamant that he was going to be a good eater and have a healthy relationship with food. I didn’t want a fussy eater. I wanted a healthy little boy who would enjoy eating broccoli. The thought of having a child that only wanted to eat junk terrified me. What would I do? How do you make someone eat when they don’t want to?
I wanted a child who would be happy with fruit for dessert and love his veggies. So I made sure that Gabriel was fed healthy food packed full of veggies. No dessert pots, just fruit. And I was delighted to see that he gobbled it up with no protest.
“The struggle wasn’t to get him to eat. The struggle was to stop him from eating”
What i didn’t realise was that Gabriel would just about gobble anything up that was edible. My fears of having a fussy eater quickly went out the window. The struggle wasn’t to get him to eat. The struggle was to stop him from eating. Today I was told at Nursery that he ate all of his lunch (no brainer there). However he also ate another kids lunch, plus the vegetarian option and a few pieces of toast that they make for the fussier kids. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing to be honest but apart of me felt like I needed to apologize.
Do you try to stop it? Or do you just accept that he eats a lot. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t bothered. He isn’t overweight for his age and he eats a very healthy and varied diet. But other peoples comments started to make me doubt myself.
On a playdate with a fellow mummy, my boy ran up to me holding a biscuit and saying TAAA. I opened it and gave it to him. The other mum was shocked and said “You let him eat snacks so close to dinner time”. The thing is, I don’t have to worry that he will not eat his dinner because he will eat it…..and mine….. and his fathers.
“Is my child eating too much?”
But when I kept getting comments from people about his eating habits I felt like I was somehow mum failing again. So i decided to try and limit his food consumption. However he seriously seemed to outwit me at every move. He knows where the snacks are kept and regularly digs out a biscuit or rice cake. Even when I hide them he finds them! I once couldn’t find him anywhere and then found him inside the cupboard desperately trying to reach his snacks. So I stopped buying his snacks, only to have him start opening the fridge and bringing bananas to me to open.
He is very resourceful. My partner and I find ourselves trying to hide while we try to eat our breakfast (or anything we don’t want to share) but he always finds us. I don’t even know how on earth he knows that we are eating. He can tell at any given moment and he is quickly on the move to hunt us down. He is so resourceful that I took him swimming and put him in the play pen while I changed. When I came out he was eating a rice cake!!! Where the hell did he get a rice cake from? Turns out he had stolen it from another kid. Sorry!
” I accept he is a mini muncher”
So what do I do? Trying to limit his consumption wasn’t working and to be honest, it made me feel horrible having to say no to him all the time when he asked for food. So i decided to accept my son for what he is. A mini muncher.
The day he refuses to eat his dinner because he snacked too much will be the day I limit his consumption. But right now he is doing just fine. He is healthy and happy. Everything I could want for my child. So if you see me giving Gabriel snacks before dinner time, please don’t judge me.
[amazon_link asins=’B01LL2NH3C,0091924855,0091941520,B01G68FR1Q,B0087XPEKI’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’confidentlyky-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’3e182b91-3d32-11e7-8ded-c7aafec61bc5′]
At least he doesn’t take 2 hours to eat one slice of toast like someone I know 🙂
Haha very true!
Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
My oldest son is a huge snacker and I am ok with that. He eats smaller portions at meal time, so I am fine with the 3 or 4 snacks he has during the day.
They do say it is healthier to eat smaller meals during the day x
I remember when my daughter was little. I wanted her to eat constantly! but, there is a fine line between keepin them full and keeping them over-full.
I have friends who’s little ones refuse to eat certain veggies and always try for the junk food. I think it’s great he has a varied diet.
I asked our doctor how much to give my daughter to eat. He said: as much as she wants. You are not doing anything wrong as long he eats a healthy diet without sugar and salt
Got some conflicting advice from the doctors and health visitors. I suppose since obesity is on the rise they are trying to tackle it young
This is an interesting article reminds me of when I was a kid and used to eat up my moms whole kitchen lol. At least you know he’s full!
hahaha I think he should be full but he surprises me
I’m very blessed. For the most part, my kids eat more when they’re active or having a growth spurt and eat less when they’re more sedentary. My youngest went through severe acid reflux as a baby though and that was tough! We had to really monitor what and how much he ate. I think you have a healthy perspective.
Oh yes, Gabriel had acid reflux too but not as bad as yours. It must have been horrible.
My daughter eats NONSTOP! Seriously! I have to tell her to stop. I don’t know where she puts it because she is so thin.
I wish I had that problem. Eating nonstop and being thin 🙂
Some children are just born snackers and like you said he is still eating his dinner so why does it call the need from judgement. Only you know what is best for your son and noone else x
You are right, unfortunately people can be so judgmental these days, especially when you become a parent
This is so me. I’m always hungry. I’m kidding. Sort of. Some days I feel like all I want to do is eat. My kids aren’t really like this–well, my teenager can be. He’s always hungry, but he’s growing, so it’s fine.
Haha I am the same to be honest…
Corinne & Kirsty 🌸 (@corinnekirsty)
I am not about to become a parent anytime soon but I guess I would just make the right quantity of food advised. At least your son eats. I was so fussy when I was a kid, never happy with what was on my plate! xx corinne
Anosa Malanga VA
I thinks it’s okay. My friends baby eat his food like forever. haha. I admire my friends patience to that.
My kid was exactly the reverse. We used to be always behind her to make her eat. But slowly it’s changing and her appetite has changed in the past few days..
Oh no! How old is she?
My Son used to eat all of his food and then try to finish my plate. He was just a big eater and grew up to be a healthy weight.
Haha At least it is great if you are on a diet like me. Stops you from eating too much
Love the pictures. So happy to hear that your child is happy and healthy.
XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger
I think children’s appetites vary so much with age. My daughter used to munch on everything as a toddler. She used to be so cute and chubby. Then she hit a stage when she did not want ANYTHING. I used to cry to my mom all the time because my princess chubby was actually losing weight. But after a few months after that, she started eating just fine again, fruits, veggies and all.
Very True. Who knows he may become fussy later on. I have heard of this before
If he is not overweight and is very active then why stop him? I think it’s more important to focus on your child than to listen to other parents. Each child is different, their kids may no be eating as much but yours is. You know what is best for him and they don’t.
You’re right. But as a first time mum you have no clue to what you are doing and it is easy to doubt herself when someone questions you
I can relate. My kids go through this phase where they eat non stop.
Haha Its hard sometimes isn’t it? I am always stocking our cupboards to make sure there is always something he can eat
I have a friend that her son does the exact same thing. He would eat everything in the house if he could, they switched him to a high protein diet to try to help him stay full.
Wow really? And hows this that diet going?
Interesting post we always talk about ourselves and eating. It is also important to think about our kids because we also have them in our lives and still want them to grow up happy and healthy.
…Our daughter also have the same problem. she is 5 years old. She always feel hungry. What to do???
I say that if he’s eating a well balanced diet and is happy then I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. I think its cute lol.
My kids are all big snackers – and I have decided to let it go. They are getting good nutrition in the food that they are eating, and maybe they know something more than me, because they seem to be able to stop when they are full.
I guess it can go both ways. I always had picky eaters. I really never thought about children eating to much. That could potentially be a problem either way.