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Obsessed with food and eating - how do I deal with 5 year old ds with this?

(8 Posts)
rainbowdays Wed 01-Oct-08 16:39:14

Please help, my son has always been obsessed with food, this has not been helped with being intolerant to dairy products and MSG. Fortunately he has now outgrown the dairy intolerance. But he is totally obsessed with food, and would eat as much as a fully grown man if allowed.

What do I do? How can I help him, it is as if he has never had a "full" feeling from eating, and is telling me all the time that he is hungry even after just eating a huge meal.

Any experience of this welcome.

hecate Wed 01-Oct-08 16:55:42

Yes. ds1 went through this and ds2 is going through it now. I deal with it by giving an appropriate amount of food at the proper mealtimes and direct them to the fruit bowl when I get the "I'm huuuuuuuungry"s or I tell him to get a drink of water. Or go play with a toy.

They get a treat now and then as I choose.

I just tell him that he has eaten and he will just have to wait until next meal. He tantrums. I ignore it.

you just have to not allow him to eat more than is healthy, explain to him that he has had sufficient and must wait.

It is ok to feel hungry. (not starving, not so hungry you've got pain!! but peckish) I know as parents we are designed to feel anxious about that, but as long as they have had food - the right amount of food, and drinks, then it's ok to just let them whinge about it. My gran used to say that you should always leave the table feeling like you could have had a bite more.

- oh, make sure you are giving him the right food - something with some calories in, something to fill him up, something slow release, as long as you are feeding him that way, he's just going to have to get used to not feeling stuffed full all the time, or you'll end up with a little barrel on your hands grin

rainbowdays Wed 01-Oct-08 17:48:38

Thank you for reassuring me I am not alone in this.

what about at school? His teacher commented last week that he is eating all his lunch at first break then has nothing left to eat at lunchtime. So I packed an extra sandwich in a separate bag for him to eat at breaktime. But today my ds had sneakily eaten most of his packed lunch before school today in the car. I don't know how to manage this?

hecate Wed 01-Oct-08 20:50:35

School dinners. grin

If not an option, then carry his packed lunch in the front seat and don't let him hold it. give it to the teacher who is not to let him have it until lunchtime. He should not be allowed access to it at break and the school should back you up in this.

Until they are old enough to take responsibility for themselves, then we as their parents have to take any and all practical steps to physically stop them, if we have to.

I spoke to my kids school and gave strict instructions on what they could have and that included only being allowed a half portion of pudding if it was anything other than fruit. [meanie] I signed them up for all the clubs that are physically active - cross country running, athletics, etc.

You have to act in their long term best interests and sometimes that means taking total control in the short term.

All this happening at the same time as talking it through again and again of course.

You see, a fat child will usually become a fat adult. I cannot control what they eat when they are grown up, but I CAN control everything at this stage, and give them the most healthy start, get healthy eating and exercise habits started now, and hope that they are totally brainwashed by adulthood. grin

Ds1 was chubby at one point because he just loved his grub grin. He is not now, he's like a whippet! ds2 is chubby at the moment and I am working on it. This is totally my fault. blush ds2 has anaemia and was skeletal, really, he never ate and he looked like a famine victim. At one point we were force feeding him complan shock, he has been on medication for 2 years now and at first we were so happy that he was eating, that we let him have what he wanted, now he's gone too far the other way and we have to pull him back.

You can do it, you just need to be hard and focussed and to think what is best in the long term, what you want for him as an adult.

hecate Wed 01-Oct-08 20:51:46

I wouldn't recommend packing him an extra sandwich!! Take away access to his food and give him a banana for break!

rainbowdays Thu 02-Oct-08 11:09:35

Thank you hecate for your advice,

Sorry I seem to have mislead here, ds is not fat, as I have been controlling his eating habits up til now. He continually says he is hungry, but I just say "no I think you might be bored why don't you do xxxxxx", or say he can have a drink of water or an apple if it is a while before dinner etc. Due to his food intolerances he eats very healthy generally. It is just that he does not know when to stop, I have to tell him to stop.

I will be taking away access to his bag in the car, his eating on the way to school will not happen again. Unfortunately banana's and oranges give him ezcema so we are limited to grapes (which give runny poo) and apples as a fruit alternative to another sandwich at school. This house is over-run with apples and he already eats two a day, so giving him another one at his break time I don't think would help.

Thank you for your support, I need as much as I can get.

hecate Thu 02-Oct-08 21:07:48

smile you sound like you have everything under control and are doing everything right. just carry on doing what you are doing. Prevention is better than cure!

What about dried apricots or something (not sure if they are full of sugar, thinking about it!) but there are healthy dried fruit snacks out there.

Don't doubt yourself, you sound really on top of it. smile I know it's hard though and makes you feel a right meanie at times grin

rainbowdays Fri 03-Oct-08 12:48:19

Thank you hecate, I was really starting to doubt my actions, but you have helped me pick myself up and get on with it all again. I will definitely try the apricots next week, I even have some sitting in the cupboard !!!!

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