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5 Reasons Your Child Is Hungry All the Time

From the first moment your newborn baby is placed in your arms, what they eat is one of your biggest concerns. Breast milk or formula? When should you wean? And what do you do if you have a picky eater who won’t eat anything you put in front of them? An issue that’s not often

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What your newborn baby eats is one of your top worries from the time they are placed in your arms. Formula or breast milk? When ought one to wean? What should you do if your child is a fussy eater and won’t consume whatever you provide them? Why your child is always hungry is a topic that is rarely addressed. A child’s incessant hunger may indicate something more serious than merely having a strong appetite, even though this is the case for some children.

Here are five typical causes of some kids’ constant hunger, along with some solutions from experts.

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They relate comfort to food.

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Children frequently engage in this kind of disordered eating behavior, proving that emotional eating is not just a problem for adults. Danelle Fisher, M.D., vice chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SheKnows that children who are constantly hungry may use food as a comfort when they are anxious, agitated, or sad.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, if you suspect your child is eating for emotional reasons, this isn’t inherently “bad,” but it can become a problem if eating is their primary means of coping with their feelings. Start by asking your child about the emotions that are driving their urge to eat; common ones include boredom, anxiety, bewilderment, loneliness, enthusiasm, and uncertainty. Offer your child alternatives to eating, such as going for a walk if boredom is the problem or playing a game if they are using food to cope with loneliness.

According to a University College London-led study, which was published in the June 2018 issue of the journal Pediatric Obesity, children’s propensity to eat more or less when stressed out or disturbed is mostly driven by the family environment rather than their genes. If this hypothesis is correct, you must provide a positive example for your children by establishing a positive relationship with food. Your body needs it to be nourished; it’s not meant to relieve loneliness, grief, or stress.

They experience lack.

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According to research, it is common for kids who are heavier and more likely to have their mealtimes restricted to exhibit “eating in the absence of hunger.” If a child isn’t permitted to have dessert or seconds, they could get obsessed with food and eat more whenever it’s offered. Gina Posner, M.D., a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, tells SheKnows that “some patients have food issues.” When food isn’t constantly available, this occurs. As a result, they might eat as much as they can when it’s accessible. Even in situations where there is no longer a food shortage, this can result in overeating.

It’s crucial to have a consistent family dining schedule and to allow children decide when they’re full. Be mindful of your own connection with food; if you restrict your consumption but binge on treats, it’s likely that your children will do the same.

They don’t consume enough satiating foods.

It’s straightforward: if you don’t give your child the proper meals at mealtimes, they won’t feel satisfied and are more likely to request additional food 30 minutes after leaving the dinner table. According to registered dietitian nutritionist April Burns, “Kids need a lot of nutrients for optimum growth, but fortunately it doesn’t have to be difficult or highly restricted.” Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as other items from all the dietary groups. Not to mention the good fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, salmon, and olives. If you believe your child would never eat avocados or olives, the trick is to introduce them to whole foods at a young age and keep exposing them to them. Burns advises parents to keep offering foods to children who reject them. Children will probably discover that those items are a part of a healthy diet and start making more daring eating choices, according to research.

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To make sure your children eat their vegetables, you might need to get a bit inventive. You’d be amazed what some flavor can do to pique a child’s interest in chomping on broccoli, Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietitian nutritionist, tells SheKnows. She proposes guacamole, vegetable dip, ranch dressing, sesame soy dressing, or these combinations with vegetables.

They don’t receive the foods they like.

When you serve food to your children at mealtimes, if they don’t enjoy it, they may take a few bites, declare themselves to be full, and then return to you an hour later begging for snacks.

Even while your child can still indulge in their favorite foods, like chocolate, you should try to strike a better balance. “ Say, “You know what, I can offer you some yogurt with chocolate chips in it or a banana with peanut butter and a few chocolate chips,” to get the desired result. Which one sounds good?,” Scritchfield advises.

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Make sure there are at least a few foods your youngster is likely to consume when you plan meals. Even better, raise the fun aspect and serve meals family-style in bowls that are passed around, allowing children to select what they want. Family-style dining teaches children how to ration food and determine what they want to eat, says registered dietitian nutritionist Shana Spence for SheKnows. She also suggests enlisting the aid of your children in grocery shopping and meal preparation. She claims that simply being exposed to them will inspire them. “Yes, finicky eaters will be common among children. Continue exposing them to the meals. Encourage them to at least put it on their plate if they refuse. Encouragement is vital, not enforcement.

They are experiencing a growth spurt.

All children experience growth spurts where they crave the boob or the bottle all day long; it doesn’t just happen to babies. Growing children require more calories and experience extreme hunger, according to Posner. They’ll eat anything in the house, so it’s crucial to only keep healthy options on hand because they’ll also be drawn to higher-calorie harmful options.

No magic solution exists for this one. Simply keep up the pattern of feeding your children, allow them to control their intake, give them a variety of filling, nutritious foods, and watch them develop!

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If you’ve tried everything and your child is still constantly hungry, it’s time to seek out expert guidance and assistance. Fisher suggests speaking with your child’s pediatrician to rule out a medical problem and working with a dietitian to determine the best course of action.

A piece of this narrative was released in March 2019.

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