Children are growing all the time, which means that kids usually get hungry easily. In addition, children have small stomachs that don’t stay full for a long time, and they really do need to eat every few hours. Children are born with an innate sense of how much they need to eat, and you’ve got to respect these inborn cues. That doesn’t mean that you should give your child freedom to raid the snack closet, but you should offer your child healthy food whenever they are hungry, while making sure that they also gets plenty of physical activity in daily as well.

Signs to look out for that your child could be eating too much?

They push the food around on their plates and don’t finish what you give them:
If their eating is slowing down or stopped, give them a few minutes to let their stomach feel full, and don’t pressure them to eat every last bite. Telling kids that they must finish everything on your plate does little can contribute to them overeating and never learn their body fullness cues.

They’re resisting eating the meal or snack, which they normally would have eaten:
A lot of parents who think they have picky eaters just have kids who snack too much. Now a day’s snacks are large in portions and are very energy dense. Kids are given majority of times salty snacks, cookies and fruit candy instead of fruit, dairy (example unsweetened yogurt and unprocessed cheese), vegetables and whole grains. Ensure that the portions that are given are age specific.

The amount on their plates is close to the amount you have on yours:
Kids don’t need adult-sized portions. A good serving size is about the size of the palm of your hand, and that applies to kids too. For snacks, a good, easy-to-remember estimate of a serving is what you can grab with your hand. Ensure that the portions sizes are age specific that are given.

The first thing you do when your kids are upset, stressed, fatigued, or cranky is hand over a snack: Try addressing the underlying problem before handing over a snack pack, with distraction or just a little one-on-one time. What they may really need is just a hug, some quiet time, or something to drink instead (water instead of sugary drinks). They might also just be bored or tired.

Their clothes are becoming tight, even though the length is still fine:
If your child’s weight is increasing while his height stays the same, it’s a sign that they are consuming more than what the need needs to. In this case the child should reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Never put your child on a weight-reduction diet without talking to your health care provider.
As long as your child is not overweight (according to the growth charts) and you’re offering nutritious foods, then your child’s constant eating isn’t really a problem.

Always set an example for your child and teach them from a young age about healthy nutrition. No need to refrain them from treats, simply just teach them to keep them for special occasions.

For more information, feel free to contact the Dietitians at Easy Health Wellness.
Written by Monika Nieuwoudt