Does my child have a food obsession?

Sarah - posted on 07/15/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be 3 in September. Recently she seems to be obsessed with food. Normally she eats a small snack before breakfast (because she goes to daycare at 630a), breakfast around 830a, lunch at 1130a, snack at 3p, and dinner at 5p. This has been her schedule for a while and we have been increasing the amount of food as she grows. For the past month or so every time anyone else has food or open the cabinet or refrigerator she immediately says she is hungry and cries or wines for food. We do not give it to her, we have stuck to her schedule but yet she continues to try. Also, if we give her a special treat, she will frequently say that "it's not enough, there's only a little bit in there"... even though she ultimately doesn't finish what she has anyway. But it usually turns into to crying and fussing before she even eats it. We are trying to be patient, hoping that this would pass, but it doesn't seem to be. Any suggestions, comments, helpful hints, or stories of similar behavior would be much appreciated.

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Elfrieda - posted on 07/15/2012

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Maybe she's just going through a growth spurt. I'm not as organized with the eating schedule as you are, but my son (who will be 3 in December) also wants food every time he sees someone eating. He also obsesses over what he calls "cold snack", which is a peach/plain yogurt popsicle I make. He asks for it all the time, and I give him one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and otherwise try to get him to answer for himself whether he can have it, otherwise I would constantly be responding to his whining. So he asks and answers himself. "Cold snae? No cold snae." and he repeats it to himself for many minutes before moving on to the next thing.

Is it a problem that she's eating so much? Some days my son eats as much or more than I do, and I'm pregnant and hungry! Little kids move around so much, they need the extra energy, and also they're growing like crazy. Besides, maybe they won't eat much of anything the next day, so it all evens out. Maybe adding a nightsnack to your daughter's routine will help her not be hungry all the time. Or maybe she's bored and just eating for fun.

Sometimes I worry that my son is eating for the wrong reasons, especially since the other day he fell down, cried, and then asked for a cracker. (comfort eating at this age?) But I'm just keeping an eye on him. If he gets fat, I'll worry, but for now I just keep shoveling food down his throat and worry about what he'll be like as a hungry teenager. :)

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