keightlynn

Do your cave babies eat a ton of food?

18 posts in this topic

My 14 month old eats like it's going out of style.  I'm constantly amazed at the sheer volume he eats and we always wonder where he puts it all.  He eats mostly paleo except I give him beans and occasionally some quinoa or ancient grains (maybe a couple servings every 2-3 weeks), but mostly his diet is vegetables, meat, fruit, and fish, which he eats with great enthusiasm.  My husband and I were wondering if he overeats or if we should limit his food, however, I recently had the thought that although it may seems like he eats so much, he does not snack between meals (other than a few bottles), and perhaps his total daily calories are not that much more than your average toddler who might not eat much at meals but snacks on cheerios and crackers all day.  Any thoughts? Do your toddlers seem to eat way more than "normal" toddlers?  A typical meal might be a bowl of of ground beef with veggies mixed in, a cup of baked sweet potato or squash, 2-3 bean or salmon patties (about the size of a ping-pong ball), and sometimes almond milk yogurt. 

Emma likes this

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At 14mths your son has high energy needs because his body/brain are growing/developing rapidly.

Your main concerns at this stage should be that he is eating plenty of good fats & carbs, with protein aimed at somewhere between 5-20% of his daily intake. He'll also need plenty of calcium to support bone growth.

A child of this age will only eat when he is hungry so I wouldn't be too concerned at the volume of food he is eating, especially because it is nutrient dense. It's only as we get older and are introduced to empty calories that over-eating becomes a concern.

 

keightlynn likes this

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Short answer, yes. My two year old out eats her older cousins, only has maybe two snacks a day. She eats her food and then her cousins leftovers, whether they are done or not (because they ran off to play)

Over eating is a learned behavior from saying things like "clean your plate" and rewarding with "treats". Some of these are hard habits to break as a parent because we don't want to waste food, but sometimes being aware helps

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I have 13 months old cousin who eats like crazy. I think he's going to be very fat (obese) if he continues to eat like this. I don't know how to convince him not to scream when his parents try to control his diet. :mellow:

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Eeek, hopefully that is not the case with my son! He eats only healthy foods, he just like to eat a lot.  He's definitely not overweight though as he still wears 6-9 month pants otherwise they fall off him!

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I have 13 months old cousin who eats like crazy. I think he's going to be very fat (obese) if he continues to eat like this. I don't know how to convince him not to scream when his parents try to control his diet. :mellow:

What makes you think he's going to be obese? What is he eating? if it's nutrient dense vegetables,fruit, protein and good fats, there is NOTHING wrong with him having a big appetite. At 13 months, he's a growing boy that needs nutrients.

Maybe he's screaming when his parents try and control his diet because he's hungry? What are they 'controlling' exactly?

mantishugo likes this

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I have 13 months old cousin who eats like crazy. I think he's going to be very fat (obese) if he continues to eat like this. I don't know how to convince him not to scream when his parents try to control his diet. :mellow:

This makes me sad and is exactly what is wrong with our society. At this age it is highly unlikely that a child is over or under eating unless there is another problem or if the parents or other caregivers have intervened and thrown off the child's natural inclination to eat. There are actually so many studies out there that show if you control a child's food intake (typically in the form of restricting a child you think is over eating) that they will gain more and more weight instead of following the natural growth curve their body should take. Ellyn Satter is a nutritionist that has written many books about these topics and they are fantastic- maybe look into that for yourself and your cousins parents.

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I have a 6 and nearly 4 year old. They both go through cycles of eating. Some weeks I swear they are living on air alone. It took a lot of effort to chill out about that one as my oldest used to be in the 1% of weight (about 40% for height) until she was about 3. I had to bite my tongue all the time to not constantly encourage her to eat food. But the next week she would be eating the same portion size as me and then asking for seconds! Kids are much more in tune with their appetites. As long as you are feeding high quality foods, let them have at it.

jburth7 and jmcbn like this

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I've been working on teaching him the signs for "more" and "all done" so I can know better what he wants.  He now does the sign for "more", so that helps me feel confident that I am not "over stuffing" him but just allowing him to eat until he is full.

Raven likes this

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His parents say that he craves mostly for sugary things such as toffees, chocolates, ice creams, jam n jelly. When they stop him then he cries and get angry. Vegetables - his biggest enemy. The only healthy thing he loves is spinach.

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His parents say that he craves mostly for sugary things such as toffees, chocolates, ice creams, jam n jelly. When they stop him then he cries and get angry. Vegetables - his biggest enemy. The only healthy thing he loves is spinach.

He wouldn't be craving these things if the parents hadn't introduced them at such an early age (toffees?? seriously??)

They need to do their job & parent responsibly - removing those foods from his diet. He's a baby - he doesn't get to decide what he eats.

As for the veg, a child needs to try and turn down a food around 20 times before you can honestly say he doesn't like it.

It might be a battle of will for a few days, but it will pass.

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I'm still feeling unsure about this.  Even though he eats only healthy foods, it still seems like he ALWAYS wants to eat more and will basically keep wanting to eat.  Last night he ended up making himself sick and throwing up.  I don't know how to strike the balance between teaching him proper portions but also not overly limiting his food if he really is hungry. 

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I'm still feeling unsure about this. Even though he eats only healthy foods, it still seems like he ALWAYS wants to eat more and will basically keep wanting to eat. Last night he ended up making himself sick and throwing up. I don't know how to strike the balance between teaching him proper portions but also not overly limiting his food if he really is hungry.

If he'll eat until he makes himself sick, that's something you probably need to discuss with your pediatrician.

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I think maybe he was just overexcited (we had company) because today he seemed back to playing with his food with he was full lol.  I guess moms worry all the time, most of my friends worry because their toddlers never eat, so I suppose you can't win either way.  I also realize that he was doing his sign language for "more" when he meant other things as well, but I thought he meant he was hungry, but he apparently thinks it means more of anything.

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I disagree with the "clean your plate" creates overeating in adults. My brothers and I all were made to clean our plates, but as adults we don't all have overeating problems. The types of foods you eat/feed your kids likely has more to do with it. Also, when you start having an older kids who cannot stay at dinner because their friends are outside playing, you enforce this policy or you have "I'm starving" at bedtime every night. I'm just saying, from experience. And no amount of refusing the bedtime request changes it, you have to make the kid stay and eat, and play the game of "how much do I have to eat?" at each meal. I have no problem telling my 6 year old she has to clean her plate because she clearly does not honor her body anymore - she's too busy honoring her social life.

 

Kids also go through growth spurts, where they will eat an insane amount of food for a little while. I think when you're feeding healthy foods, you are more likely to deal with them not eating enough than eating too much! I can't say the same for junk food and fruit - kids will overeat junk food/fruit and no one has to make them do that. So unless your little is eating huge meals of only fruit all the time, I wouldn't be too worried about it. Fruit is expensive anyway!

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Yes!  My son eats a ton!  Fish, meat, chicken, kale omelettes, veggies, and fruit.  Sometimes I have the urge to give home some organic wheat toast to fill him up but isn't that my old-school instinct?!  Others in our home are still eating like modern messes, not cave men ;).  Hard sometimes but he is a healthy baby and I feel good to be sticking with it.  

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Yep. My 8 month old eats SO MUCH. At lunch today he ate 1/4 avocado (he's eaten as much as half of one at a sitting), 1/4 cup applesauce (he's been having a little trouble pooping since we've introduced solids and this helps him out a lot), and some cherry tomato and grape pieces as I bit them off for him. Last night's dinner he ate 5 green beans and two 1" cube-ish chunks of plantain. I can't believe how much he's eating, since he's only been eating food for a little over two months.

littleg likes this

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