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5 year old always asking to eat....suggestions?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 



My 5yo DD is constantly asking to eat. I can tell she is doing it sometimes because there is a lull in the day and she is bored. I don't want this to turn into a control thing, but I also don't think it's healthy for me to feed her constantly. Today at breakfast and dinner she ate more than I did and then still was saying she was hungry. So I gave her some more food and capped it at that, but she was still saying she's hungry. I have been explaining to her that her body needs a break from digesting and that she could get cavities. We also talk a lot about social norms around eating and how at school you get one snack and when snack time is over you have to wait until lunch. She says she has no problems then. So I had the idea to let her eat carrots in between snacks and meals if she is still hungry. Any other thoughts or ideas? I don't want her to have eating issues because she thinks I am being controlling or something. But she will literally eat a ton and then say "I;m full!" and two minutes later come back and whine, "I'm hungry!" 


What should I do!?

post #2 of 19

Mine is constantly asking for food, too. Generally, I give it to her, but she has to play by my rules, like eating cheese or celery and almond butter--good snacks that will stay with her. Sometimes "I'm hungry" is code for "I want a treat" and sometimes, she really is hungry. I figure if I offer something healthy and she eats it, she really was hungry. 


How big is your 5YO? Mine is a little whisper of a thing, very thin, and I think her metabolism burns high. I've really come to believe that she really is hungry most of the time she asks. 

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

that's good to know. makes me feel like it's normal at least. sometimes i think it is code for wanting a treat, too. dd is pretty solid--i think she is 40 pounds and average height for her age. she also has a pretty big belly and some kids have already teased her about it. dh and i are both fairly thin--he is 6'1 and 145lbs and i am 5'4 and 112lbs and we both eat a lot, so i'm thinking genetically she will probably thin out. i try to not eat so much around her though because i want to practice what i preach:) 

post #4 of 19

If you need ideas I have a similar thread, only mine is 3 and eats like an army crap.gif


post #5 of 19

my DD will be 5 in 2 months and she is constantly asking for snacks .. she goes to school 2 days a week and hardly eats anything there.. i recently started limiting it to breakfast lunch dinner and a snack at 10 and 3 .. i pick the snacks and she generally eats more than i do at the other meals.. (she is 45lbs and i can't remember but very tall for her age..) i try to offer fruit, veggies, etc. for snacks .. 

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

thanks! that makes me feel better. i guess they are just growing kids:)

post #7 of 19

My kids don't ever stop eating. 

Dd is 6 now, but honestly, she asks for food all day long. 

They eat like starving wolves. 

I guess I can't ever refuse a child food.  Refuse a *certain* food, sure, like candy, pop, sweets, junk, etc - absolutely.  But i guess I don't think it's right to ever tell a child they can not have SOMETHING to eat, unless it truly is like...5 minutes before dinner, and even then, honestly, 1 piece of carrot won't "ruin" a nice dinner.   It makes my heart hurt to think of hungry children...

post #8 of 19

Growing kiddos can eat amazing amounts of food - my 4 yo out eats myself and my husband some days!  The only thing that came to mind for me that wasn't mentioned yet is making sure they aren't thirsty and perceiving that as hunger.  Maybe offering a glass of water while you get the snack together?

post #9 of 19

My 6 year old has been able to eat more than I do since he was 4 and he's so skinny that he needs to wear a belt on any pair of pants that are long enough for his legs (like, really, even some elastic athletic pants are too loose).  It's unbelievable some days.  


We started leaving snack plates out (you can do a web search for "monkey platters" but ours aren't really that elaborate) and it seems to have helped.  We used to do the whole "you can have apples or carrots when you're hungry any time" thing but he'd eat like 4 apples and half a pack of carrots each day between meals (where he would finish his plate, 2 more, and eat anything his brother rejected from their plates).  We joke that he has a tapeworm.


We have one of those tupperware veggie plate things with all the compartments and we usually put baby carrots, celery with PB and raisens, whole wheat goldfish crackers, fruit slices (orange usually), dried cranberries, sometimes hard boiled egg chunks, almonds or walnuts, and other veggies with dip (whatever we have) and other random things like maybe cheese chunks.  This thing is party sized, and we fill it up, and it is GONE by the end of the day, but the kid still inhales his meals.  It's nuts.

post #10 of 19

I would first get a check up.  Diabetes can present itself this way.


After that, if you know she has recently eat ask her to drink a glass of water and come back in few minutes.  I found with one of my children I'm hunger actually meant I'm board, I'm wanting attitition, or something else. 


Also, make sure you are balancing out your meals and snacks with good fats and proteins. I have one child this is more important than my other child.  If the "Im hungry came after eating something with a lot of carbs give a small serving of protein and fat."  


Yes, non-stop eating is normal but so much snacking can be done on carbs and they really do need to be balanced out... apple with cheese or PB.  Baby carrots and nuts or a full fat yogurt.  I know they promote low fat milk, switch to whole.  Fat give full feeling and this can lead to less calories by nibbling for sugar.   

post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

I would first get a check up.  Diabetes can present itself this way.


I had never looked into juvenile diabetes, but I just looked it up and I just wanted to let you know that I will be starting another thread with some questions since I don't want to hijack.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

hijack away;)

post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by queen b View Post

hijack away;)

Hey!  Awesome, I guess I have permission, lol!  Thank you!


So, my 6 year old that I speak of is actually my nephew, but we've had him since he was very young.


I keep seeing the same list of juvenile diabetes symptoms on all the other websites (now that I looked) but I am unclear on whether they can onset gradually or whether it is always sudden.  He has literally EVERY SINGLE ONE but has had most of them for years.  The websites talk about it always being sudden or taking merely months though.


Frequent urination:  We joke that he has a bladder the size of a walnut.  He gets up at least 2 or 3 times a night to pee.  This has pretty much always been the case though, and since he drinks more water at each break it would explain why he got up later too.  My bio son does not do this.


Drinking a lot:  All the time...but we thought that went with the above issue.


Bruises easily:  We figured he got that from my sister.  I have the same issue and am prone to anemia.


Pain or tingling in extremities:  We told him it was growing pains and his physicals always came up fine.


Hunger:  See post above.


Fatigue:  His birth mom and dad were pack a day smokers from the day he was born until he came to live with us full time.  We took him for several breathing treatments in the first few years, so we figured this was related to allergies or some kind of undiagnosed mild asthma.  He is extremely active around the house and at the park, but he will often sit down breathing hard and say "I need to take a rest" in a way where you can tell he is totally spent.  This has been happening for at least two years though.


Weight loss:  Well...he's a string bean, so he never had much weight.  He doesn't have an ounce of fat on him, despite the eating.  His bio parents are both a overweight but were small as kids.


Irritability and mood swings:  We just figured he inherited that from my sister.  She has a mood disorder, though we HAVE noticed that his crabbiness and ADHD type symptoms are totally dependent on food and sleep.  I am hypoglycemic so I saw that in him and now he eats when he's cranky and gets better.


Blurred Vision:  He wears an EXTREMELY strong prescription of glasses that he got when he was 4.  One of his eyes still crosses when he's not wearing them.  I wear glasses but I am his aunt and got them in 6th grade, plus my eyes aren't anywhere near as bad as his.  My sister and the bio dad both have perfect vision.  As far as I can tell from pictures, no one in our family or the dad's family had glasses as a kid.   


So anyway, I am going to get him checked out just in case, but can these things really happen for years without any kind of major episode if they are a result of JD?  I'm a bit spooked because it's so dead on, but on the other hand these aren't new.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

i would definitely get him checked. i know nothing about diabetes, but it sounds like if he has all the symptoms you could be on to something. i'll keep my fingers crossed that it's just coincidence:)

post #15 of 19



I would have him checked out.  He could be normal and overall healthy.  


He could have a small bladder (I do).  


Also, it all sounds like muscle control issues....or lack of control.


Crosseye can be muscle control, then bladder, are motor skill issues and connective tissue.


The first two things that pop in my mind is Marfans and Von Willebrand's Disease. But that could be because these are related to my life..I have a friend that has a child with Marfans and my grandpa had aquired Von Willebrand's Disease.


Don't go running to your doctor saying that you think, but I do think your nephew needs medical review.  It does sound like there is something going on with him. 


post #16 of 19

If he does have diabetes, a lower* carb, high fat diet will help regulate his blood sugar levels. I mean, it'd help if he doesn't have diabetes, it's just more important with insulin problems.


(*Lower than a typical flour-based diet. Still getting carbs from veggies and fruits.)

Edited by sapphire_chan - 1/13/11 at 12:07pm
post #17 of 19

In kids I hate the term low carb.....I prefer to use no-refind sugars and cauliflower the only white carb. 

post #18 of 19

My youngest has something called Ketotic Hypoglycemia.  She was needing to eat ALL.THE.TIME.  She is 4.5, and very tiny, 30 pounds soaking wet:)  She had an episode where she was lethargic to the point of being almost unresponsive.  I finally got her to eat something, and then we took her in to be checked.  Her blood sugar was 364, so they sent us right to the hospital.  When we got there, it was down to 60.  After observing her overnight we were able to go home, and then saw a specialist who diagnosed her with this.  Basically she eats all day long, and has not gained any weight.  I don't let her have much sugar, just lots of proteins and carbs.


Good luck to you!

post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

In kids I hate the term low carb.....I prefer to use no-refind sugars and cauliflower the only white carb. 

Oops, let me fix that.



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