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my 4 yo wont stop eating.
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#1 Always amazed!

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

I have a 4 1/2 year old boy ( 5 at the end of may)
He is very tall and very solid. sitting at the 100% at his 4 year check.
Most prob more now..

He eats a mainly healthy diet with a few no no every now and then..

He is always hungry. He constantly eats. Its mainly fruit,,

Today i fiound  him after he had eaten 4 pears and was trying to tuck in to a frozen youghurt.

He has no problem eating dinner then asking for more food 30 mins later and sneeking out and eating 1-3 apples after bed..

Now i plan on talking to a doc ect in the near future and have talked to hubby about getting a lock for the fridge and also increasing our overall exercise as a family.
He does do BMX racing which he loves and is fairly active..

I really dont know what else i can do ..
he has been called fat by kids ect and i dont want him to suffer what i went through as a kid..
I was previously very overweight..


So anyone else have this problem???
Sorry if its a bit all ver the place.



#2 Super Cat

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

One of my boys if given the chance would eat all day. He was also 100% for weight and height. He is under the care of a paediatrician and tests revealed he had a slight deficiency with the leptin hormone. Leptin is the 'I'm full' hormone that signals you've had enough to eat. DS just doesn't feel full unless he's had far more food than he needs.

We've had to teach him visually how much is enough food. He did end up about 3kg overweight at one stage but with management his weight is now in the healthy range. I think he will always need monitoring but using visual examples of how much is enough and limiting after meal snacks has seemed to work well.

He's not into junk food, nor is he fed them, but for example last nights dinner was fish broccoli and carrots. He ate the lot, as much  as his older brother but he asked for more. We tell him to wait for an hour then he can have something else. Usually by an hour he's finally feeling full enough.

We make sure too that he has a lot of protein in his diet as this seems to help with slowing weight gain. He has protein at every meal, usually in the form of chicken or other meats.

Some kids really do have trouble understanding when they're full and they need help to visualise how much food is enough because their body doesn't give them the signal. It might pay to see a dietician as well to make sure your child is getting the right nutrients with smaller amounts of food.

Edited by Super Cat, 20 February 2013 - 09:06 AM.


#3 Always amazed!

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

Thankyou for your reply.

He is forever telling me he doesnt feel full and wants more.
I do tell him to wait which is usually followed by a tantrum.




#4 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

DD2 is 4 and always saying she is hungry. She is very tall and looks like a string bean.

How much water dose he drink? Often a hungry child is one who doesn't drink enough. If DD is asking for food after just eating I make her have a drink.

Cut back on the fruit. It is healthy but too much fruit is a bad thing. They only need a few serves per day. Fruit is not very filling and doesn't keep them full for long . And they learn to love the sweetness too. My kids don't have free access to the fruit otherwise the would eat it all day too.

Protein and low GI foods will help to keep him fuller longer.

I know DD can't be hungry all the time.. I think she dose ask for food when she is board and just for no reason at all.


\


#5 Banana Pancakes

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

I agree with the p.p cut back on the fruit. Children should only be eating 2 pieces a day. Does he like things like carrot sticks, cucumber? Because they are a much better alternative to fruit.

Items like cheese, milk, whole grains, bake beans etc might fill him up a bit better.

Good luck!

#6 *LucyE*

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

What is he eating and when?

I like to load my kids up on protein rich foods for breakfast.  It helps them to feel full for longer and helps to stabilize blood sugars.

For lunch, it is usually something carb based for energy.  I go for good quality carbs rather than highly refined stuff.  So, proper sourdough bread vs supermarket white.

Dinners are usually veggie rich with a side of protein and some carbs, so big veggie stir fry with some meat for flavour and a little bit of noodles or rice.  Or a pasta bake with more meat than pasta, and lots of veggies in the sauce.  Or a meat and veg type meal but more veg than meat.

Inbetween meals, they have access to fruit and small amounts of 'sometimes' foods like cakes, biscuits, chips etc.

#7 Always amazed!

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

ok normally cereal for breakfast ( week bix rice bubbles, cornflakes ocassionally a treat of coco pops )
or toadt

he just started kindy so in his lunch box he gets
1 sandwich ( various fillings Vegemite, peanut butter, cheese meat salad)
2 fruit ( either small apple, rock melon, pear or small container of grapes)
small zip lock  bag biscuits ( delights,jatz,shapes)
a small home made muffin ( no chocolate)

Still working out his lunches at school but it always comes home empty

Normally a snack when he gets home ( fruit, biscuit, sandwich)


dinner
meat & vegies
rice and chicken
tonight is tuna casseroll and vegies

we dont do dessert

He will normally grab an apple after dinner.



#8 Monket

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

That diet doesn't sound bad at all.  The fruit you are giving him is low gi fruit, good choices but perhaps a bit too much.  Could you add more protein in at breakfast and lunch?  Eggs, bakes beans for breakfast and meat on his sandwich or some hummus with his biscuits and some cheese.  I would ditch either the muffin or the bikkies and add more protein rich foods or chopped veggies instead.

#9 Always amazed!

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

Ive tried the chopped veggies but he wont eat them.

I auctually gave him scrambles eggs and a piece of toast this morning 40 mins later he said he was hungry!

I will try and up his protein and see if that makes a difference and try and lower his fruit intake..


I have trouble finding healthy snacks that not fruit..



#10 qak

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

QUOTE (seeingstraight @ 20/02/2013, 12:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have trouble finding healthy snacks that not fruit..


Cheese, yoghurt, wholegrain crackers, hummous, hard boiled egg ...

#11 LJandAJ

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:02 PM

Have  you tried giving him a worming tablet? The whole family would need to have one

#12 Always amazed!

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

Yep worming is pritty up to date as one of my girls seem to get worms all the time!

#13 FeralMalinki

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

My daughter is nearly 4.5 and for the last year hasn't been a bit eater, but all of a sudden every second word is 'I'm hungry'.  She has been a bit busier with kindy and things, and I think she's mid growth spurt too.

#14 PrincessPeach

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:41 PM

I'd be changing what cereal you are giving him for breakfast.

I'd suggest some rolled oats with fruit (porridge), or even change the weetbix for vitabrits, which have no added sugar.

Also I have low sugar levels & am never full unless I've included some complex carbohydrates into my meals. I know it's totally different to what a lot of nutritionists promote, but it's not unheard of.

Edited by PrincessPeach, 20 February 2013 - 12:43 PM.


#15 kissy10

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:50 PM

I have the same issue with my 7 YO.

We are actively encouraging him to eat more protein, as carbs are not filling for very long and they create more hunger.

Maybe cut the cereal down or sub for protein rich breakfasts. Happy to provide options if you would like some.

Edited by kissy10, 20 February 2013 - 12:51 PM.


#16 Always amazed!

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:57 PM

QUOTE
Maybe cut the cereal down or sub for protein rich breakfasts. Happy to provide options if you would like some.


Yes please
QUOTE
or even change the weetbix for vitabrits,


Actually bought some this morning!


#17 Fluster

Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

My son and I just like food.  A lot.  There is no emotional connection for me, but I really like all sorts of food and, if it didn't result in weight gain, would be a total leisure eater.  Portion control and healthy choices are two things I have had to learn.  I'm working on the same with my son - he seems to be picking it up.  To be honest, though, it wasn't until I hit the stage (and my son has hit the stage now) that you KNOW you don't want to end up overweight that I learned to curb my habit.

#18 *LucyE*

Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

ok normally cereal for breakfast ( week bix rice bubbles, cornflakes ocassionally a treat of coco pops )
or toadt

All of that sounds like it's mostly simple carbohydrates which will give a sugar spike but won't sate hunger.  I have absolutely no expert backing for this, but I know when I have some jam on a proper sourdough toast I'm fuller than if I have a bowl of supermarket cereal.  The small amount of sugar in the jam is offset by the wholegrains and complex carbohydrates in the sourdough.

I like to have a mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins for breakfast.  So, things like eggs (boiled, poached, scrambled) with sourdough toast, or avocado/hummus/ham on sourdough toast.  Or an omelette filled with lots of goodies.

he just started kindy so in his lunch box he gets
1 sandwich ( various fillings Vegemite, peanut butter, cheese meat salad)
2 fruit ( either small apple, rock melon, pear or small container of grapes)
small zip lock bag biscuits ( delights,jatz,shapes)
a small home made muffin ( no chocolate)

Still working out his lunches at school but it always comes home empty

Again, that sounds like lots of simple carbohydrates.  Unless the bread and biscuits you are giving him are made from whole grains and slow fermented, they are digested really quickly.  I sometimes make my kids a 'ploughman's lunch' which is just meat, cheese and some veg with a dip.  It's just a deconstructed sandwhich without the bread.  They fill up on more of the protein rich foods which will give longer lasting energy rather than the breads that fill them up but leaves them hungry again soon after.  

I personally don't have an issue with fruit and treat foods 'in balance'.  Everyone's quantities will be different.  The 2 servings rule for fruit, I find a bit rigid.  If they are eating a lot of food (as they tend to do before a growth spurt), then the quantity of fruit will increase too.  So long as it is all in balance and not at the expense of other foods, I don't mind.


Normally a snack when he gets home ( fruit, biscuit, sandwich)
Same here.  I just make sure they don't have too much too late so they can eat their dinner.  I have a no food after 4:30 rule.

dinner
meat & vegies
rice and chicken
tonight is tuna casseroll and vegies

we dont do dessert

Similar, I just ensure there are lots and lots of veggies.  I also don't mind the concept of dessert because I know I enjoy something sweet after dinner.  We keep it to things like fruit or yoghurt.  And only if they are hungry enough to eat their dinner.

#19 Holidayromp

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:06 PM

I cannot believe the people here who are saying sourdough bread is quality.  It has nothing to it and although you may feel full initially it will not keep you feeling that way.  The more wholegrains and fibre there is to a loaf of bread the lower the GI and therefore sustained energy.

Oatbrits made by Vitabrits are fantastic too.  Porridge is excellent with pureed fruit instead of brown sugar or honey.

I found that if regular meals are eaten rather than three large meals.  Trade normal pasta for wholegrain pasta, white rice for brown rice or basmati.  Sweet potato rather than white potato.

Ensure a breakfast with wholegrains and fruit with a small piece of cheese or small can of tuna with a piece of fruit for morning tea, a salad sandwhich with low fat meat and a piece of fruit for lunch, a piece of fruit or handful of nuts/dried fruit for afternoon tea and an evening meal with plenty of fresh vegetables and protein.  Include a serve of milk and as a treat a small tub of yoghurt.

It is all about sustaining a constant sugar level rather than peaks and troughs which cause overeating and craving the wrong foods.

#20 Holidayromp

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:09 PM

Also rice bubbles, cornflakes, cocopops and high sugar breakfast foods like nutrigrain do nothing to sustain my kids they are usually hungry about 30 min after breakfast.  Better breakfast choices are weetbix/vitabrits/oat brits with pureed fruit and milk or two slices of wholegrain toast with vegemite and a small glass of milk.

#21 Super Cat

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

An even better breakfast choice is a vegetable omelet, or scrambled eggs with chopped vegetables in them. People need to stop thinking of vegetables as only suitable for the evening meal. We often have them at breakfast either in the form of an omelette or some sautéed mushroom, tomato, spinach and asparagus with some eggs or a slice of bacon.

Edited by Super Cat, 20 February 2013 - 05:56 PM.


#22 *LucyE*

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:10 PM

QUOTE
I cannot believe the people here who are saying sourdough bread is quality

I said proper sourdough.  The stuff at the major bakeries is not properly fermented sourdough, just normal bread mix with sourness added for flavour.

A proper sourdough is generally very heavy and dense because it is made from flour that is less refined and the slow proofing process produces a low GI bread.

QUOTE
People need to stop thinking of vegetables as only suitable for the evening meal. We often have them at breakfast either in the form of an omelette or some sautéed mushroom, tomato, spinach and asparagus with some eggs or a slice of bacon.

I agree but for breakfasts, my focus is the protein.  This morning we had scrambled eggs with bacon, onion, tomato and mushrooms.  Yesterday, we had poached eggs, steak, sauteed mushrooms and spinach.  

Our evening meal is an easy one to make full of vegetables because usually everyone is ready to eat a larger quantity of food than in the mornings.  That makes it easier to consume larger quantities of vegetables that are usually bulky.  We eat meat most nights but small quantities, it is mainly used for flavour.

#23 kadoodle

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

Is he due a growth spurt?  My 4yo is being called the Very Hungry Caterpillar ATM, as she is impossible to fill up.  She's on the 3rd centile for height and weight and I'm sure she eats her own bodyweight in veggies each day.  She's going to turn into a carrot!

#24 snortle

Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 20/02/2013, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is he due a growth spurt?  My 4yo is being called the Very Hungry Caterpillar ATM, as she is impossible to fill up.  She's on the 3rd centile for height and weight and I'm sure she eats her own bodyweight in veggies each day.  She's going to turn into a carrot!


My DD almost 5 just went through a stage like this, I thought it would never end,
It was a growth spurt and she was grazing constantly and saying I'm hungry every 20 mins!





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