How do I get my daughter to stop eating so much?

[deleted account] ( 49 moms have responded )

My 12 year old seems to always be hungry...How can I get her to slow down on her eating? Not only is she always acting hungry, she eats fast too. I am constantly telling her to slow down.

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Kate Emily Joan - posted on 01/04/2013

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Hi my 10 year old daughter constantley eats all the time, she will have her breakfast, lunch and dinner, but come dinner time she eats the smallest amount and says she is full all the time, she just snacks all day through and its starting to annoy me, when i tell her to stop eating she cracks it with me, I get really upset at dinner time coz my partner and i have cooked a lovely dinner and she cant eat it all. Sometimes she complains about having a sore belly, ahhhhh she is doing my head in. Everytime i suggest she eats something healthy or drink water she is like nuuuuh, she is really picky what do i do.

Jill - posted on 01/29/2013

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My 7 almost 8 yr old daughter is having a similar problem. She was stating that she was always hungry, and now for the past 3 weeks she has been complaining that she doesn't feel well (tummy aches) just in the morning. We have been to the DR and they did a blood test and urine test and all were negative...but now for the past few days she has started not eating. I know they won't let themselves starve, but at what point do I start to worry? She is overweight 4ft 8 and 110lbs so yes she is tall for her age, could it be teasing at school, because she won't tell me!

Crystal - posted on 04/29/2014

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My daughter is 11 and is 5"2 . She weighs 185lbs. We eat dinner together almost every night. I make everything home made and from a wide variety of meat and fresh vegetables. My daughter gets plenty of exercise. She just doesn't know when to stop. I caught her in the bathroom after dinner(2 helpings) with a yogurt. When I go to sleep she is rummaging through the fridge for anything. I am so worried and do not know what to do. The doctors are not always the best of help. I am scared for her.

Pauline - posted on 09/06/2012

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I have a 7yr old stepdaughter who for years now has been doing the same thing. I pushed the docs for more answers because she honestly thought she was hungry. She drinks plenty of water, has proper snacks and 3 meals a day. With this said she is stealing kids food from school for lunch and breakfast (mind you I feed her breakfast right before school) the psych. has said that she is eating for survival maybe there was a time in her life where she didn't get fed or felt there was not going to be enough food til next meal time or simply if your child thinks shes too skinny. I also did blood work to make sure all was ok. The problem has gotten worse where we had to put locks on our pantry. I suggest you take your daughter to doc and really push this issue. It may seem silly but it can cause a huge problem at school and in her bowels. As my daughter now has massive poop accidents. Hope this helps and good luck.

Kate Emily Joan - posted on 01/06/2013

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HAHAHA, problem is that she keeps on going to the fridge or cupboard to see what there is to eat i dont buy many chips anymore or those yummy things that much coz other wise there will be nothing left for school or nothing for her to snack on when she gets home, she is soooo fussy its not funny, everytime i mention something else she says nuuuuhhh, so that case she cant be hungry.

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Ann - posted on 08/20/2014

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oMy nephew is 8, he is 4'12 and weighs 160lbs. He already has diabetes.
Over the summer he lost ten pounds at winshape camp and shot up tall.
Since then (July4th) he has gained 15 pounds. My sister lets him eat whenever and whatever he wants. I have constantly made menus, eating charts, exercise charts and she just doesn't seem to care. He is such a sweet little boy but all kids see when they look at him is fat. I am normally in the pool with him for hours on end and that seems to help sustain the 160 weight but as soon as he is out of the pool its dinner with 3 helpings of mashed potatoes, and a banana, and two ice pops,m and ice cream sandwich. I am at my wits end. I feel like she is neglecting his health, and happiness. AS long as he is out of sight, and not bugging her (normally immersed in video games, pc, etc) and that is just crap. I have told her about until I am blue in the face, what else can I do?

Cara - posted on 06/26/2014

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I no is might sound baby ish but play along try and feed her like a baby so then you feed her at the pace you feel right x

Cara - posted on 06/26/2014

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Hello everyone I am 11 and I constantly want to eat please please please help me!!!' This is no joke if I carry on eating like this I will become obese!!!
I walk home from school and when I get in I have loads of packets of crips and ice pops and sweets and all the that !!
A couple of minutes ago I had four packets of hoopla hoops and three ice pops and I was reaching for mattersons chicken when I had to stop myself please please I am begging you I am going to go into high school next year and I don't want to be called name I am already bin called names but I take no notice as it is the boys that say it please help me I have tried cutting down and drinking water and I am not really hungry I just do it coz I get bored but I have activities every night from Monday till Friday and I have to do my horse on sat please help me I have tried diets and stuff but doesn't work help help help wanna get rid of all this belly fat xx please help and comment advice i want to no your thoughts xx

Angele - posted on 01/07/2014

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Same as my daughter 8yrs and hard to eat slow down and I help her to eat property food and lots of water

J - posted on 11/24/2013

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my 12 year old son has jsut hit 350. hes rediculously large and LOVESSSS to eat. im divorced and hes with my ex during the week. my ex does not care what he eats, and my son looks like a balloon. it makes me so sad because he cant run and ivenever seen a young boy so big. what can i do to encourage him to eat better? he doesnt seem to mind his flabbiness . . .

Susanna - posted on 11/14/2013

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is she eating snacks after her meals. your body needs 20 mins until it realises its full. if your daughters eating fast she may not be eating enough. you might be giving her treats like unhealthy meals that she cant wait to eat. change to fruit and veg if she doesnt eat that. she may slow down.

Christie - posted on 09/20/2013

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I think you should give your kid a few crakrez Avere about 30 minutes or so and see how it goes. :)

Vb - posted on 08/23/2013

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You should Give her very light snaks thought the day mabe like a apple or her Fav Fruit/Vegtable and give her snaks that are mabe 100 calories or below

Alexis - posted on 01/21/2013

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my daughter is 3 mons going on 4 and she is eating ALOT like 8oz and still hungry i dont know what to do HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erin Roberts - posted on 01/06/2013

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you know my kid had the same problem. She's 10 and all i did was stop feeding her for 2 hours and eventually she stopped. I know it seems ruthless, but trust me it worked!!

Rebecca - posted on 12/13/2012

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I adopted two girls when they were infants. They are a year apart. Both girls weighed a little over 6lbs at birth. Now at 12 years old, Nia weighs 177, and Shaunte 13 weighs 204. I have been begging my pediatrician for help for years to help me figure out what is causing the massive weight gain and over eating that is happening, and he replies, "oh it's fine, they are young and it's fine". This is not fine, they will eat up to 6 times a day if I am not watching. They will sneak food at night and cook it. I have had talks with them and they are not depressed nor do they have any health problems. I don't know what to do about them eating so much. I am afraid they are eating themselves to death.

Marie - posted on 11/23/2012

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Whatever you do DONT CALL HER FAT OR MAKE FUN OF HER! my husband did that to my daughter when she gained a little weight at the age of 11, and it was enough to make her get obsessive over eating and develop anorexia. YOU DO NOT WANT THE PAIN OF A CHILD WITH AN EATING DISORDER.

Kelley - posted on 01/26/2010

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Funny that I found this posting today becuse I just took my 10yr old son for his physical. The kid is weighing in @ 120 lbs & is 4'11. 95th% in height & COMPLETELY off the charts in weight.

The only TWO things that influence the "growth" of our kids are 1. Genetics & 2. environment. Unfortunately their is NOTHING we can do about genetics however, we have everything to do with their enviroment. It is our job to help them help themselves make better choices.

ADVICE from the DOC:

1. Parents have the responsiblity to instill good eating & excercise patterns for our children. No pressure... but we lay the foundation for their future. When dealing w/ our kids, it should be no different then what WE should be doing for ourselves to lead a healthy life.

2. It is not about depravation. It is ok to have a cupcake @ a birthday party but 5 is out of the question.

3. Portion control. Instead of serving "family style-self serve", portion out a plate for kids. If still hungry-add more fruits & veggies.

And FINALLY....

Excercise, excercise, excercise of any & all kinds-hiking, biking, walking, swimming, raking, skating whenever & however you can get them MOVING!!

Sonia - posted on 01/22/2010

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Try allowing her to eat all she wants, but it must be fruits and vegetables (no sweets, muffins, breads, or meats). It will satisfy her urge to eat and it's healthy so she won't gain unnecessary fat and calories.

Marcella - posted on 01/22/2010

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I have this problem also. Both my children eat as if they have 1 minute and then the food will be gone. I have no clue how to stop it. What I do though is make them take a bite and put the silverware down and wait till I tell them when to take the next bite. It is a battle but only way I know to slow them down

Salome - posted on 01/21/2010

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Hmmmm....just don't try to stop her every time she will eat...I think you should just don't give her her fav food...

Shannon - posted on 01/21/2010

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My 6 year old has always been a big eater, and she is overweight due to that. Our doctor told us not to give her seconds right away at dinnertime. He said to have her drink 12 oz of water instead of having 2nds at dinner. Give it about half an hour. If she still says she's hungry, let her have a little more, but she will most likely feel full after drinking the water.

Stacy - posted on 01/21/2010

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Try maybe giving her 4-6 small meals, intead of three big meals. It is said that you are healthier if you eat in moderation. Give her a bowl of cereal and fruit for break fast, a snack bag with crackers, pretzels, ect.. for school. Give her a small after school snack like jello, pudding, fruit, something healthy. Then give her a nice portioned dinner, and a bed time snack. Just an idea, I do this with my kids. My daughter is always hungry to, but I found giving her small healthy snacks threw out the day helps. I have dry foods, crackers,fruits and stuff that can't spoil for them for school, and for home I have the yourgarts,and other things that can make a mess. If it is a big concern, talk to her doctor.

Alicia - posted on 01/21/2010

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I totally understand your situation. We have been struggling with my 11 year old daughter for several years. I do worry she has, or will have, diabetes or something else that is harmful. One big problem is she eats during the night, every night. I'm sleeping so I can't monitor what she is eating. The other problem is, since her dad and I are divorced, I can't regulate what she eats when she is with him. Her dad lives with his mom, so grandma is always making cookies and she has lots of snacks that aren't good for her. In my house, I don't have anything but healthy snacks. So at least if she is hungry, she will eat something nutritious. I read some of the other replies, and I agree it would be a good idea to have some blood work done to rule out a medical problem. I need to do that for my daughter too. Thanks for your post, the replies have helped me too.

Andrea - posted on 01/21/2010

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I work with Dr. Wansink of Cornell University, and he wrote a book called "Mindless Eating" which talks about his 20+ years of research in eating behavior. Very good resource for the whole family, with a lot of proven strategies for helping kids to eat better. I definitely recommend this book!

Aisha - posted on 01/21/2010

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Um, at her age, it prob puberty kicking in. Just make sure she drinks her water adn still goes "outside" to play. Maybe she will be ready for a team sport.

Angela - posted on 01/21/2010

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My daughter is 6 and she too is always wanting to eat. Has always been that way but it has gotten worse ever since she had a severe accident and now has a brain injury. I think some children are bored, anxious, ect. Alot of people deal with life by eating. I too need to know what to do to keep my daughter from eating every 5 minutes. I try to feed her healthy and she is so picky too. If you figure it out let me know! Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 01/21/2010

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My daughter is 7 and will be 8 in February. She has the same problem of being hungry all the time. I have tried to limit the amount of food she eats, but she sneaks into the kitchen and helps herself. We have also tried giving her something to drink. We talked to the doc and had no luck there. When she is at school I can't be in control of what she chooses to eat. I am also concerned that she is developing too early. I have had to force her to wear bras because she shows too much. I don't know what to do.

Kym - posted on 01/21/2010

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My daughter is only gonna be 8, and she is already overweight for her age. Her doctor's have suggested things like...cutting her milk from whole to 2%, put an oz. of water in her juices...i've added otha things like...stopped frying her foods and grill them (chicken, fish), cut her portions down little by little so she's not used to eating as much as she was. One healthy snack a day, plenty of flavored water and play!

[deleted account]

My son is like that too. I think it has to do with two things. One, at this age children grow a lot, so they need the extra calories from healthy choices freely available when they are truely hungry and the reminder to drink plenty of milk, water, and juice. Secondly, she's probably eating fast because kids in this generation are being programed by school staff to eat quickly so they can get all the kids done eating in a small space of time. When we were children lunch time at school normally could take half an hour. Now most schools try to get the children done eating within 15 to 20 minutes and discourage talking, in order to continue the assembly line.

So if you give good choices and encourage her to eat only when she is hungry and to try to keep the portions within moderation, it shouldn't be such a problem. Tasting her food is a good idea and spending time talking at the table even if she is done eating, instead of being excused to do something else is also a good idea; and it's fun too!

Jennifer - posted on 01/21/2010

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My 12 year old step daughter had a eating problem she would sneak food all the time without us knowing, she got up to 215 lbs!!! We bought a lock for our food cabinet and I limited her to 3 meals and 1 snack a day. She is now down to 165 lbs and still losing. She is very grateful to us now and understands why we did what we did. We just learned that we have to be parents and take control in a subtle way. She is loving herself now and her self esteem has gone through the roof!!! A little to much maybe...lol. Hope this helps.

Felicia - posted on 01/21/2010

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I have that issue with my 12 year old son. His pediatrician said its not uncommonwith the growth & hormonal changes they're undergoing at this age. He recommended allowing him to have small portions of proteins that may be left over from dinner the night before for breakfast (i.e. chicken breast) to help stifle the hunger. And of course make sure healthier snack options are available between meals.

Kathy - posted on 01/20/2010

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Your Preteen kids are ALWAYS hungry. It is part of growth.. Make sure you have only healthy things to snack on. grapes, watermelon slices, cheese and crackers, and dry cereal. Keep it all cut up and in reach. Let them eat it. As for slowing down that is table manners and it always has to be RE taught at this age. Its like Please and Thank you. Remember when they used to say that??? NO Chips, sodas, or sweets. At least you know this way they are eating healthy.

Shana - posted on 01/20/2010

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My 8 year old is the same way...eating to fast can cause issues with her digestive system...so please tell her to take her time while eating....but what i do is feed them the three meals a day and if she is still hungry i give her fruit,baby carrots,u know things she wasnt thing about getting and her dr told me years ago its not being greedy its her having a good appetite....no its just being greedy...she weighs more than her big ...smh...

Kelly - posted on 01/20/2010

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encorage more fliuds bottles of water , juices etc sometimes its dehydration , sometimes boredom fill the cupboards with healthy fruits and food i guarantee she doent want so much

Catherine - posted on 01/20/2010

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I agree w/many of the moms' here....make sure she is getting good nutrition, the fruits and veggies are a must...lots of fiber to help fill her belly, water is a good filler too, and a lot of times we mistake thirst for hunger so definetly try a cool waterbottle of her choice to encourage well being. Sounds like she's already active from what you say, it may just be how she grows. My daughter is barely 7yrs. old and very light for her age, but right around her birthday (coming in March) she starts w/ some growing pains and eats more than her norm...usually a grazer by nature she asks for seconds at the dinner table! ;) Always takes us by surprise until I see her jeans getting too short, lol! If you have ruled out medical issues, try not to put too much pressure on her, but do encourage healthy eating. I like the idea of the menu cards someone mentioned, that way her eating for the day is already planned and she knows what/when to expect to eat and yes sidetrack her w/ doing something else that can replace just eating in case she is bored. You don't want her to have emotional eating issues, I'm sure you're doing a great job as a mom already! Just the fact that you're looking to others for suggestions shows that ;).

Heather - posted on 01/20/2010

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We were in the same situation. We made sure meals were healthy and snacks consisted of fruit, yogurt or string cheese. That is it. We had dessert occasionally and it was those skinny cow ice cream sandwiches. We encourage plenty of daily activity, play outside, and then told her not to worry about it. If she is eating healthy and excercising then she is healthy. Kids go through stages and unless you feel there is a medical issue, I would try this route.

Amy - posted on 01/19/2010

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I found out I have an underactive tyroid at the age of 16. When I was real you like 2 and 3 years old I would not eat too much. As I got older I wanted food all the time. One thing is important here. DO NOT NAG her. My parents nagged me so much. Would embarress ,e with company and tell me when I had enough. I have been overwight since I was 7 or 8 but not too bad. I went on lots of diets and it worked for a while not long. It is hard to keep the weight off i would do real good and loss weight and my weight would go up and down. I will email you what I do now. Still have issues but it helps.

Marie - posted on 01/19/2010

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You need to start fixing her plate at each meal and let her know there will be no refills. give her a fruit or yogurt snack between meals and make her understand that the reason she is always hungry is because she is eating too fast and not properly digesting her food.

Maggie - posted on 01/19/2010

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Keep her busy I notice when my 4 yr old tells me shes hungry right after shes eaten something its because shes bored. And when push come to shove I give her only fruits or veggies

Bree - posted on 01/18/2010

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Has the doctor checked her thyroids, sugar, or gluclose levels? All of them can be very dangerous if you do not know what is going on! Everyone's case is of course different! My sister's little girl was doing the same thing around 13! She was always active, and never over weight, but she could never get enough to eat or dink! My sister finally told the doctor, look, I need some answers! He tested her sugar, and glucose levels! Come to find out she was a diabetic, and the foods she was eating was not heathly for diabetis, so her body always craved more food, and liquids!! Hope this can help =)

[deleted account]

Well, she went to the docs the other day and we found out she is 141 lbs. and 5 ft tall. She is very active. She can run and play like any other kid. She just likes her food and yes, I think she is going through puberty..she just hasnt started her monthly yet...which, I am almost sure that is next, by the way she is acting. Btw, thanx for all the advice. Ive got some new Ideas now :-)

Melanie - posted on 01/17/2010

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Has she always been like that or has it just started? At 12 she is entering puberty where as we all know, girls go through massive boby changes - all of which require large amounts energy. I remember as a teenager I was always hungry and had a huge appetite.

As long as she is active, making the right food choices and not overweight I wouldn't e too worried. As for eating too fast ask her to slow down and teach her how to eat slowly - get her to chew her food twenty times before swallowing take a deep breath before each mouthful. Just some ideas I am sure there are any more - tell her she needs to take x amount of time to eat y.

Angela - posted on 01/17/2010

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Is she an active? Overweight? I ask because there is nothing wrong with being hungry all the time, if she is burning calories. She is a growing kid... As long as she's not eating junk and is eating a well balanced diet..you have nothing to worry about. If she is overweight, Try giving her negative calorie foods. These are fruits like apples and grapefruits(Vitamin C rich fruits)..the list is large (do a search). They burn more calories than they contain. You know all of us should be eating at least 5-7times a day (small meals and snacks) vs 3 large meals that pack on the pounds.

Nicola - posted on 01/16/2010

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I was just wondering why you want her to slow down is she overweight and unhealthy or does she just seem rude to you eating the way she does. Maybe a discussion with her about why you want her to slow down is the best way rather than just telling her to slow down the whole time.

Marlene - posted on 01/16/2010

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If she's making bad choices, what I did was to make up a set of recipe cards that she used for each day. Decide how many cards for each food group. For instance, 3 meat, 3 grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy. You can glue pictures of foods from that food group on it or just list them. This helped my daughter make better choices when she was hungry.

Heather - posted on 01/16/2010

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Does she drink alot of water? If not, that might help. Water can be very filling. Buy her a cool water bottle that she can carry around with her and make sure she's drinking water during meals, it should fill her up as she eats and might help her slow down is she has to keep stopping eating to take a drink.

[deleted account]

i have that with 3 of my boys they treat it like a race! try motivating her, give her a goal 2 work towards, maybe if she slows down u could bring her somewhere or do something with her of her choosing. if that doesnt work, deny her treats after meals or snacks between meals, tell her unless she cuts down and slows down that she wont get what she wants.i now its hard but even sitting with her, keeping her talking might give her pause because she'll have 2 answer u, and when she does tell her not 2 eat with her mouth full, she'll have 2 take a break then.maybe what ive said might give u ur own ideas, as im just throwing u different ideas here. i hope it works for you.

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