Is my child eating too much?

Is my child eating too much?


Verena Dickson, MSc, RNutr

Child Nutritionist

Many parents worry that their little one is eating too much. This is especially true if the child is bigger than his/her friends of the same age. Comments from other parents, family members or even healthcare professionals, about their body shape or eating behaviour, may lead you to wonder; Is my child overeating?

Your enthusiastically eating baby or toddler will only become an overeater if you try to curb their enthusiasm and make them eat less than they want.

If children aren’t allowed to eat until they are full, they start being preoccupied with food, tend to overeat when given the chance and feel like there is something wrong with them for wanting to eat more.

Children are fantastic at self-regulating their food intake. As long as you offer a variety of foods during regular meal and snack times, your child will do their job at eating the amount of food that is right for them.  

Trust your child’s body and feed according to the Division of Responsibility in feeding. You, as the parent are responsible for what goes on the table, as well as when and where meals/snacks are served. It is then 100% up to your child to decide whether and how much to eat from the foods you have offered.

When you first establish the Division of Responsibility in your family, your child might “go overboard” and overeat for a short period of time, mainly to test if you keep your promises about letting them choose how much to eat.

But, after a short period of adjustment, they will balance out to eat the amount of food that is right for them. This might be a whole lot one day and hardly any the next day. Or your child may be a “good eater” and love food and eating.

As long as you keep your nerve and maintain the Division of Responsibility with feeding, they will grow into the body that is right for them.

Your child has a natural way of growing, which is vastly predetermined by genetics. As long as they are growing consistently and predictably, your child’s weight and height are fine and they are developing well.



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