Do you find yourself asking, “Why is my child always hungry?” Below, you’ll find more than ten ideas to help meet the needs of your always-hungry child.
Why is My Child Always Hungry?
Most of us have a child in the house who is constantly hungry and always asking for something to snack on or eat. Here are a few ways to deal with that – ideas for tweaking your meals and things to keep in mind as you work with your ever-hungry child!
Make sure your child eats well at mealtimes
Eating enough at every meal will ensure your child stays fuller for longer, and doesn’t come back an hour later asking for something to eat.
Consider changing 3 mealtimes to a few smaller meals more often in a day
Some children prefer smaller meals – ‘grazing’ – to large meals. Decide which your child is and try to cater for it to avoid arguments at main mealtimes.
Make sure meals are nutritious
Junk food can fill a child up without ‘filling’ them up. Make sure meals and snacks are nutritious and fill your child up with foods that are nutrient rich.
Ensure hunger isn’t, in fact, just thirst
Offer your child something to drink first and give it a few minutes. See if the hunger settles or if it really is hunger.
Get enough sleep
The temptation to fix lethargy with sugar is high. Teach your child that sleep has a big influence on mood, emotions, and energy, and how to spot what your body is really needing.
Watch a larger child’s body’s expectations
Children with larger bodies may get used to the regular/frequent calorie intake and may expect to eat even if not hungry. Make sure hunger is really hunger and not just an expectation for food.
Watch out for emotional eating
Make sure eating isn’t based on emotion – hurt or boredom, or triggers such as cartoons or depression. Try to keep eating to set meal times, set eating places in the home and find ways to deal with negative emotions in healthy ways such as exercise.
Cater to your child’s tastes
Make sure dinner time involves one or two things the child actually likes, otherwise he will say he is full in order to avoid ‘gross’ foods, only to be hungry an hour later.
Keep an eye on growth spurts
It may be a growth spurt! Your child may just need a whole lot of calories for a season because they are growing. Feed them, keep it healthy and smile.
Make favorite snacks fun
Get kids involved in choosing what snacks to eat and spice them up. For example, chocolate eyes on apple slices make apples instantly delicious.
Determine if it’s really hunger
There is a difference between legitimate hunger and just feeling like food. If your child is used to eating frequently, she may crave food even if she’s not really hungry. Learn to help your child recognise the difference and create healthy eating habits based on real needs, not psychological needs or bad habits.
What ways do you handle a child who is always hungry? I’d love to hear your tips!