WHY IS MY CHILDREN EATING SO MUCH?

Mommy - posted on 08/25/2014 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I have 2 kids (one is 5 years old and the other is 4) and they LOVE to eat. They wern't always like this, when they were younger, they would refuse food, but now they will eat ANYTHING you give them. Plus they will also eat a lot. They would eat a whole pizza each and still want dessert if i let them. Tonight, they had 3 slices of pizza and some veggies and they said they where still hungry. I said no. I don't always give them pizza, today was pizza night. The youngest one is obese and the older one is overweight. WHAT SHOULD I DO ITS DRIVING ME NUTS

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/27/2014

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First: Get the kids in to a doctor for a physical.
Second: Get some professional counseling for food issues, both for you and the children.

A point: one reason they may not 'feel' full is because they're inhaling their food, rather than savoring it. Get them to slow down when they eat so that their stomach can recognize that it IS full.

Guest - posted on 08/27/2014

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The obsessing over food happens often when food is restricted, but it can also be an indication that he just really likes food--some people love food so much they make a profession out of it.
Instead of quieting him, encourage him to talk about why he likes food so much, and let him help you make some new recipes. It may just be his creative outlet, like some kids use legos or paint. Food is fine, as long as it is used responsibly.

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Dove - posted on 08/28/2014

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You've taken your children to a doctor and mental health professional about this issue? That is, most likely, the ONLY way you will be able to see a change. Period.

Mommy - posted on 08/28/2014

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one of my kids eats very fast,and takes very big bites. I tell him to slow down and he does, but a minute later he is taking big and fast bites again.

Guest - posted on 08/27/2014

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That is a common behavior in children. There are several reasons for it, you have to figure out WHY he is doing it and address that issue at the root. Just restricting food for him will not fix the issue, and in many cases it can make it much worse.

Most of the time, when kids are hoarding food (that is what it is called when he sneaks off with it), it means they are lacking security in some area of their lives. Hiding the food, and being in charge of what they eat is a grasp at control over something in a life where they feel they have very little control. If that is so, restricting his access to food or asserting more control over what he eats will only make it worse, and could lead to a rebellion. The issue they are struggling with may be completely unrelated to food, so do a good evaluation of every aspect of his life. See where he may be feeling insecure or unsure of himself and address those areas of his life by giving him a more acceptable outlet to take control of.

Mommy - posted on 08/27/2014

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And I also think that my 4 year old has a very bad relationship with food. He obsesses about it. If we are doing something and food comes up he won't stop talking about it. and when someone is in the kitchen, he always come in and tries to get something to eat. Recently he has started sneaking food into his bedroom.

Dove - posted on 08/26/2014

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Never, ever, ever put a child on a 'fad diet'. If you are worried about your children... talk to their doctor and a nutritionist. If they aren't getting full there could be a physical or psychological reason for it that could be fixed by some meds or counseling or something (depending on the reason). Fresh veggies and fruits, lean meats and dairy products, and whole grains.... and lots of physical activity.

Other than that... I can't really help. My kids are all bottomless pits, but they are also very active and healthy... and not overweight at all.

Guest - posted on 08/26/2014

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Also, I've read about the Banana Girl diet before. It is basically a variation of the 80/10/10 diet, which has been around a while and can be a good option for some people. The problem with her version is that her focus for the 80% is mostly on fruit and carbs, whereas it should be mostly veggies with some fruit for a healthier more nutritionally balanced diet. If you are interested in this sort of fad dieting, look up the traditional 80/10/10 diet. It is a better long term solution than the Banana girl one. That said, fad diets are rarely good long term and it is important to note that Banana Girl has no nutritional background or formal education concerning nutrition or medicine, has suffered from eating disorders in the past and still struggles with them (as most people do, few eating disorder patients ever actually develop a healthy relationship with food, they just learn to live with and manage/ take control of the disorder), and that no clinical studies have been conducted on this diet, nor is it supported by any scientific research already conducted.

Guest - posted on 08/26/2014

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Well, I agree you should restrict their junk food. I don't think anyone said you shouldn't.

As for limiting carbs and comparing our diets to those of Asian countries, you have to consider that the average person living in Asian countries gets nearly TEN TIMES the amount of physical activity the average American gets, so even if their diets were actually heavier in carbs than American diets, they work hard enough to burn them off.

That said, Asian diets are not as high in rice and noodles as Americans are lead to believe. I and many members of my family have lived in Japan on and off throughout our lives, and while rice and noodles are popular staples in American versions of Asian meals, the quantity in American meals is much higher. For example, in America, if you order Hibachi veggies and rice, you get a giant plate of rice with about 1/2 as much veggies on top. In Japan, the same order will get you about 1/2 cup of cooked rice, and nearly a full cup of veggies. They also commonly use cabbage in place of noodles, which is not done in the US versions of their meals.
The Asian diet is healthy because of higher quantities of veggies and fish, and lower quantities of fried food, red meats, and high fat dairy products (cheese and butter). And believe it or not, the average American eats more carbs per day than the average Asian.

Jodi - posted on 08/26/2014

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Ok, so exactly what advice are you after? So far, you have thrown every piece of advice out the window and still complaining your children are obese. What you are doing isn't working, what do you want??? You have had some very sound advice.

Guest - posted on 08/26/2014

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The most filling foods are proteins and carbohydrates. Unfortunately, carbohydrates should be avoided unless the kids are very physically active, but you can use whole grain breads as a good filler. Choose breads that are heavy--I mean that fairly literally, if you pick up the loaf and it is very light, it is probably mostly white starches, but if it has some weight to it, it will be a denser package of grains and oats. Arnolds makes a really great Nut Wheat bread that is very affordable ($4 or less a loaf in most of the country) if you don't like to make your own bread.

Mostly focus on healthy proteins. Try adding nuts--almonds are best for weight loss--as a topping on their foods. Sunflower seeds also make a great topping for salads, soups, and sauteed veggies. Beans and legumes are great sources of protein as long as they are cooked healthily (don't smother the beans in creamy sauces or bake them in BBQ with sugar and bacon). Fish and scallops are also very filling and healthy (as long as you don't bread them or fry them).

I agree that pizza and other junk foods are okay in moderation. Like you, we do not buy junk food for the house, but I do buy it when we are out doing errands or if we have a party, occasionally. Pizza is a great treat 4 or 5 times a year, but I wouldn't do it any more often than that--I know families who eat pizza every week!! Of course they are obese! Cereal is actually a great breakfast food, as long as it isn't one of the sugary ones--again, pick up the box, if it is heavy, it will be more filling. Don't serve it with toast though, choose a filling fruit, like a banana and some water.

One other loophole people tend to fall into is drinking juice. They think it is a healthier option than soda, and it is, but it is still loaded with A TON of sugars, which turn to fat if not used almost immediately. Also avoid diet and sugar free drinks because the artificial sweeteners used in them have been linked to weight gain.

Mommy - posted on 08/26/2014

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Thank you!

I don't know what to do beacuse my children are already overweight and obese so i feel like i should restrict them from junk food.

Plus... I don't agree that they should limit their carbs. Look at countries like china, and japan. they have very slim people and no heart problems or diabetes. What is there diet like? RICE AND NOODLES. very low animal products and lots of veggies. Fruit is one of the most healthy carbs on the plant and wouldn't ever restrict fruit. You should check out freelee the banana girl on youtube! https://www.youtube.com/user/Freelea

Mommy - posted on 08/26/2014

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I know pizza is not healthy, but i don't want to be the parent that says no to all the junk food.

Right now i dont buy any chips, cookies, crackers, or snacks. I might buy some cereal but thats as close as i will get to junk food (besides the occasional treat) I buy LOTS of veggies and some fruit, as well as some other stuff. Don't worry i feed them very healthy, they problem is they don't get full

Jodi - posted on 08/25/2014

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I think you need to look at what you are feeding them rather than the amount they are eating. Also consider the amount of exercise they are getting. If they are intaking a large number of calories and not actually burning them off, it doesn't matter how well you plan their diet, they will gain weight. So you need to make sure they are getting a balance of healthy food and exercise.

Pizza's not particularly healthy. What other foods are you feeding them?

Guest - posted on 08/25/2014

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Cooking healthily is great, but it is generally not a good idea to limit food because, as you read, that can lead to them feeling deprived (even if they are not actually deprived) and over compensating.

If you are cooking healthy foods, their weight should stabilize over time. That said, beware of so-called healthy foods that are actually packed with preservatives and/or fats and oils.

Make sure their diets are heavy in veggies and very low in fruits and carbohydrates. (This means stay away from breads, pastas, and other starchy foods)
Meat is one healthy area where it is okay to limit quantity. Give them a healthy portion of meat and let them know they can have as many veggies as they wish if they are still hungry.
Also, make sure you are not cooking the veggies in a way that adds a lot of fat or empty calories to them. Usually a little salt and pepper, and a VERY tiny dab of olive oil is all the seasoning you need for veggies. Adding butter, sauces, and heavy oils will make them too fattening to eat in any quantity. Also, raw veggies are best.
Fruit is okay, but not great. Fruit is best used to calm a sweet craving--they are not very filling, so it is easy to eat a lot of it, and most have very high sugar quantities so if the kids are not active enough, that will turn to fat.

Also, make sure they are getting enough physical activity. Today's lifestyle can be very sedate unless we put forth effort to be active. Children should have at least 10 hours of good physical play per week--that can be through organized sports and practice, regular family workouts, or just letting them run or bike around your yard.

Mommy - posted on 08/25/2014

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I read on a website that they might feel deprived of food and feel the need to endulge at the next meal which i think might be the case because i started cooking healthy and limiting their food

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