Are you worried your child might be overweight?
Your Toddler Is Eating Too Much
If you answered ‘yes’ to the question above, but can’t figure out why you believe your toddler is consuming too much, it may be time to pay a little bit more attention to your kid’s relationship with food and his eating habits.
Taking care of a child doesn’t have any manual you can check in case you feel something’s wrong with your toddler. Sometimes, parents have to resort to trial and error to get to the bottom of their concerns about their children.
So, if you feel lost about why your toddler is gaining weight like crazy, here are six signs your toddler is overeating:
- Constantly Asks For Food
A sign that your toddler is overeating is when they’re constantly asking for food. If your child frequently eats snacks between meals or gravitates towards junk foods, like chips, candies, or cookies, you may have a budding problem in your hands. Nip this habit in the bud and start teaching your toddler to eat only during mealtimes and avoid giving in to their charms when they ask for snacks in between meals.
Try to instill the habit of eating only during mealtimes with family in your toddler, so they won’t get used to using food as a coping mechanism. Teach your kids to eat only when hungry and not just because they’re bored or thirsty. Children usually follow what’s being modeled, so it’s best to observe your family’s eating habits to determine if your toddler is influenced by what they see in their immediate surroundings.
- Craves Unhealthy Food
Another sign that your toddler might be overeating is when they crave sweets and other unhealthy food. Eating unhealthy food most of the time means consuming more calories than what’s needed by the body.
Try to set up an environment where unhealthy food isn’t available to avoid tempting your toddler. Also, you may want to continue offering them healthier options, like fruits or food pouches, like the ones found on myserenitykids.com.
Having the patience to constantly offer more nutritious alternatives to them can train their tastebuds to get used to the taste of vegetables, fruits, or poultry, so they don’t depend on fast food all the time.
- Grazes All The Time
Grazing is the practice of eating small frequent meals throughout the day. Although some toddlers benefit from grazing, regular eating can cause toddlers to consume more calories, especially if your toddler likes snacking on chips, fries, or other junk food.
Grazing or snacking in between meals happens when toddlers are repeatedly given unhealthy food before mealtimes. Instead of feeling full by consuming nutrient-dense food, they may still feel hungry even after eating. To offset the effects of this habit, consistently try to offer fruits and vegetables, or even food pouches from Serenity Kids or other reputable brands to your toddler, and keep a feeding schedule.
- Responds Positively To Emotional Feeding
Emotional feeding is a learned trait that may, later on, lead to overeating. If you notice your child responding positively to food to cope with frustration, fatigue, or sadness, you may consider it a sign that your toddler might be overeating.
If your kid starts throwing tantrums or expressing their feelings, try to give them a hug, a nap, some quiet time, or a glass of water before using food to calm them down. Figuring out what triggered their emotions and teaching them to cope with these with other things besides food is a teaching moment you can use for your toddlers to practice handling their feelings.
- Clothes Are Tight, But Length Is Fine
They say ‘kids grow like weeds,’ and many parents typically shrug off their toddlers’ weight gain and attribute it to growth spurts. You may not know that one sign that your toddler is gaining too much weight is when their clothes suddenly look snug around the shoulder and chest area, but the length stays the same.
If your child is gaining weight while their height doesn’t change, then it’s time to pay closer attention to their relationship with food to check if they’re eating more than they need. If you find that your child may be overeating calories for their age, you may check with your doctor to determine if their growth is on or off track on the growth chart.
Babies and toddlers have a natural alarm where they stop eating once they feel full. Typically, overeating happens because a child is exposed repeatedly to family members or housemates; hence, it’s essential to be good role models to the toddlers in your family.
Overeating is a habit that can develop from having a skewed relationship with food. So, in order for your toddlers to grow up and remain healthy, you should teach them about having a good relationship with food so they won’t binge eat or starve themselves.