Do your kids stop eating when they are full?

(16 Posts)
MilkRunningOutAgain Wed 04-Jun-14 13:12:20

I asking cos this is something that worries me quite a bit, and a thread about allowing puddings only if you've eaten your main course made me think about it again.

My DS is great, he stops eating when he's full. There is a pile of unbeaten ester eggs and sweets in his room and I know at some point he will throw them out.

But dd is not like this. She will eat a wide variety of things but can eat til she is sick unless I stop her. I don't give her huge portions but she nags for seconds, thirds, puddings, snacks, all day every day. She's a bit plump, but not dreadful. Her Easter eggs are long since eaten up.

Dd had reflux badly as a baby and failed to thrive, she didn't seem to like milk and it was painful for her to feed. Once I weaned her the reflux improved (it isn't completely gone though she is now 7) and she had a massive appetite and just wanted to eat loads, she still does.

She likes healthy stuff, but also likes unhealthy stuff. She always wants as much as her much older, larger, much more active and sporty brother though she obviously doesn't need it. As she gets older she is moaning about getting smaller portions than her brother and wanting treats all the time. I haven't given in to her but it's getting to be a real battle and I don't want that. It's spoiling mealtimes. It's just a constant "X has crisps and chocolate biscuits in her packed lunch, Y has yummy snacks, Z says he has sweets every evening" which is getting me down.

Does anyone else have a child who doesn't seem to have appetite control? I wonder if it is to do with the reflux. Really I'm wondering if it's common.
And how can I explain that she needs to eat a bit less without giving her a complex about being fat? Any thoughts welcomed! She is a bit plump and DH says she is getting plumper this year, he is probably right.

Misspilly88 Wed 04-Jun-14 13:34:06

I know several children who will eat till they pop! I would research healthy portion sizes for her age and then just explain that you were unsure of how much to give her so you did some research and just give her that. Your dd sounds much older (?) but for toddlers the portion sizes are surprisingly small.

Moln Wed 04-Jun-14 13:37:35

Yes, they do, DS1 will noteat as much dinner if there's a dessert as he might if there wasn't.

Ihope it stays like this as I'm from the clear your plate generation and still struggle nit to overeat

AllDirections Wed 04-Jun-14 13:43:50

My DDs stop eating when they're full regardless of what they're eating.

I don't though blush

MrsChickPea Wed 04-Jun-14 13:45:38

My DS will stop when full. He does have a very good appetite though and eats loads! He will happily say no to dessert (ice-cream/chocolate mousse etc) if he's full up. I've never over-fed him. And never made him eat what's on his plate. He knows when he's had enough.
I, HOWEVER, was made to eat everything given to me and now will eat for England with no idea if I'm full or not!

Germgirl Wed 04-Jun-14 13:54:03

My DSD won't stop when she's full. She'd be sick if we let her eat as much as she wants. She's a carb fiend & would happily eat 5 slices of bread with dinner if we allowed her to. She also moans that her portions are smaller than DH's and mine (she's just 8)
It does worry me. I am very overweight & I was just like her as a child, she's pretty large, she wears size 11-12 clothes & weighs about 7.5 stones.
I don't really know if there's anything I can do about it. We have her around 50% of the time so we obviously can't control all her eating. We rarely give her sweets & puddings (other than yogurt) but it feels horribly mean to deny her everything.
Sorry, I've hijacked your thread. I'm reply to your question. No. My DSD does not stop eating when she's full.

BarbaraPalmer Wed 04-Jun-14 13:54:41

I know most kids do regulate naturally, but my two don't, and both have a tendency to gain weight. the youngest in particular moans at being given a smaller portion than her sister, but we stick with the line that everyone gets the right portion for their size.

it makes me feel mean, and I'd much rather put serving dishes on the table and let everyone eat their fill of whatever they fancy, but it really doesn't work for us.

AllDirections Wed 04-Jun-14 13:54:45

I'm exactly the same MrsChickPea right down to being made to eat everything as a child and not making my DDs eat when they decide that they've had enough

Longdistance Wed 04-Jun-14 14:02:41

Dd1 does know when to stop.

Dd2 however, doesn't.

There's 21 months between them, and 1kg difference in weight. Dd2 just lives food, and will try most things. Dd1 is fussy, and it's difficult to persuade her to even try stuff at times.

I do say no to dd2, as in that's enough food.

giddly Wed 04-Jun-14 14:03:13

My older DD (8) in particular doesn't. I've never made her eat everything on her plate and when she was a baby she was a failure to thrive basically because she couldn't be bothered to take any more milk that what was required to take the edge off her hunger. I portion control and limit snacks, but if she's somewhere where she can choose (e.g. a buffet or party) she'll eat a quite shocking amount (much more than me), although she is never sick. She's very slim at the moment but I do worry what will happen when she has more control over her own food intake and her activity levels drop.

sleepywombat Wed 04-Jun-14 14:37:43

Interesting re the reflux.

All my ds have had reflux. Eldest has always been very greedy. As a baby, I breastfed him all the time, because it was the only way to stop him crying. Even when weaning, they talked about giving an ice cube amount of food & 'not worrying if they didn't finish it' and 'letting them decide for themselves how much they wanted'. Well he would eat a massive bowlful if I let him, would just keep going, nobody could believe an 8 month old could eat so much. Babyled weaning was a nightmare - he wouldn't be happy 'gumming' on something, he'd eat his own, scream for mine or scream because the pasta/peach slices etc were slipping out of his hand & he couldn't get them in his mouth quick enough. I have always had to limit his portions otherwise he'll eat until sick. I thought it might've been something to do with comfort eating/associating it with easing the pain from reflux, but I dread him going to parties on his own when he's older & dealing with the fallout!

Ds2 was the opposite for a long time, undiagnosed tongue tie, refused the breast, had massive food aversions & we had to puree meat & veg very thin and give it to him in a bottle, just so that he'd get some nutrition. Now aged 2 he is getting greedier, but I think a lot of it is copying his brother. I'm actually quite relieved that he is fussy about certain foods, ds1 eats everything and anything.

Giraffeski Tue 17-Jun-14 18:22:12

My children (17 months and 11 years) both eat until they are full and then stop- one had reflux and the other didn't.

RabbitSaysWoof Tue 17-Jun-14 18:39:37

Does she eat fast? could you slow her down so she can register she is full?
Or have you tried really really bulking out her plate with veg so it feels like she has loads but in reality calorie wise not so much.
Mine is only 2 so not as much experience, but I was happy with how he was gaining weight but he just seemed to eat too quickly, made me think he wasn't so satisfied I literally doubled the size of hes portions by adding so much veg but calorie wise it probably went up by 40-70 per meal and he slows down at the end of hes meal now, usually leaving some. Like your dd he likes healthy and unhealthy so he will eat a mixture not leave veg till last so often its not even the veg left on the plate.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 17-Jun-14 21:12:14

Dis doesn't know when to stop. It could be linked to having undiagnosed tongue tie as a baby and never feeling full or it could be that he is a greedy sod like his father.

Rainydayblues Wed 18-Jun-14 06:51:52

Could you add more veg to her meals - so she gets the bulk without the calories? I do feel for you - limiting her intake sounds straightforward in theory but it's not that easy is it, when your dc wants more food. My dsis has similar issues with one of her ds - he just wants to eat constantly and has become very chunky. He's active but not active enough to counteract all the eating.

You'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't, people say restricting food causes issues later and not restricting food will cause issues now and probably later too and the medical profession aren't much help when it comes to this kind of thing either.

beccajoh Wed 18-Jun-14 12:16:54

DD is 23m and will stop eating when she's full irrespective of what she's eating at the time, even if it's strawberries or chocolate, which are her two favourite foods. I find it fascinating!

She has no self-control with milk, though. She'd drink milk until she's sick if I let her.

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