11

votes

Does my toddler have a satiety meter?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 13, 2011 at 7:01 PM

My 23 month old son has an enormous appetite on some days, and others he could care less for food.

On the days when he has an appetite he can eat more than me in a sitting (sometimes he eats his portion and then half of mine). I have been obliging his appetite, but I'm wondering if this is the right course of action, or if I should try to portion control.

What are your thoughts?

Extra info: He's 32 lbs and 3 feet tall. His daily diet can consist of: eggs, sausage, ham, chicken, beef, salmon, broccoli, kale, and any other green veggies sauteed in bacon grease, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, strawberry, raspberries, craisins, blueberries.

EDIT: I'm asking this question here because when I have asked it in my mommy groups or to friends with kids, their response is "no wonder he's so hungry - poor guy doesn't get any bread" I hate this response!

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on June 14, 2011
at 06:20 PM

We dpn't even remotely have access to the same foods as the inuit do. I was eating plenty fat, in fact the more fat I ate the harder it became to increase portion size, fat is unbelievably satiating for me. Maybe the reason you are always amazed at the statement is because you hear it a lot? I had vertigo from not getting enough cals. Take the low carb dogma somewhere else.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 14, 2011
at 04:04 PM

I am always amazed at the statement, "I find it hard to eat enough cals when eating low carb."What do you think Inuit babies eat or the traditional Plains NDN babies ate? There is 9 calories in a gram of fat, only 4 in a gram of protein or carb. You are just not eating enough fat.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on June 14, 2011
at 02:09 AM

That's so funny. I thought my basil plant just up and died one day till my daughter told me she ate all the leaves! (but in one afternoon)

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on June 14, 2011
at 02:06 AM

She eats fruit. I meant cereals, grains, rice tubors. I am a bit easy going with this, but go with the flow. She doesn't ask for the stuff so I guess she's doing Ok. Some days she'll eat more fruit than others. I let her decide, but I do wonder if more carbs wouldn't be better. So many different points of view out there. Thanks for the input.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on June 14, 2011
at 12:49 AM

I think carbs would be a good addition to a young child's diet. Gluconeogenesis is not optimal, and its not really a stress you want to add to a developing kid. I personally would not feed a young child low carb, but instead I'd add in some fruit and tubers, and maybe even rice.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 14, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Wise words, and interesting that the difference is so dramatic in the one family.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 13, 2011
at 10:43 PM

I am so jealous. I have to practically force-feed my 3 year old.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:52 PM

I guess I was just worried that I was letting him eat too much - Ya - the other moms laugh quite a bit at us - but a suprising amount ask questions later, just because my little guy is so healthy

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:49 PM

I think it's great - when (and if) we have #2, my hubby is going to take half of the maternity/paternity leave this time. I'm sure the people are also watching what you are feeding your little guy too! I get the strangest looks at the park when I pull out beef jerky!

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:49 PM

I think it's great - when (and if) we have #2, my hubby is going to take half of the maternity/paternity leave this time. I'm sure the people are alson watching what you are feeding your little guy too! I get the strangest looks at the park when I pull out beef jerky!

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:47 PM

I should have added - ya for dinner I make homemade yam fries for him about twice a week. And he does get high-fat greek yogurt in his lunch. I think that I will add some more pototes though

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:30 PM

Yeah, agree on the yoghurt as well - my little girl gobbles up natural plain organic pot-set yoghurt (not the sugary fruity crap), and sometimes demands cream be added.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Agreed; restricting his food intake would likely stunt his growth or harm him in other ways.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:43 PM

This is too funny. I hope I'm not the only male to answer this question. I am self-employed and as I can set my own hours, I am the primary care-giver. Highlight of my day is watching people watching me, as I push the stroller for Baby/Daddy walks around the neighborhood.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:30 PM

AKD - ha! I just served my two guys lunch. My 17 mo old can eat twice what his 5 year old brother does, then he's on to mine, then he signs "more". Then, he went and ate half my rosemary plant when I wasn't looking! Second mortgage here we come! PS - my Dr. told me that kids self regulate beautifully.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:13 PM

omfg my 3 year old spends every second of every day asking for snacks. EVERY. SECOND. shes not really paleo, but example: eggs and blueberries and sausage and sprouted grain toast for brekkie, apple slices and dubliner cheddar for snack, carrot sticks in yogurt dip, raw almonds, and graham crackers for lunch, and that was all before 11am. a lot of milk, too. and ive been fighting her off all afternoon. im going broke feeding this kid.

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10 Answers

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8
A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

on June 13, 2011
at 09:24 PM

You haven't mentioned anything about potatoes but that diet strikes me as a small bit too low carb for a growing infant.

I find it hard to eat enough cals when eating low carb. I think growing paleo-babbies need a lot more calories than you'd think.

Some yoghurt or nuts might be a good addition too.

But I must echo other comments, you are doing phenomenally well!

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:30 PM

Yeah, agree on the yoghurt as well - my little girl gobbles up natural plain organic pot-set yoghurt (not the sugary fruity crap), and sometimes demands cream be added.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:47 PM

I should have added - ya for dinner I make homemade yam fries for him about twice a week. And he does get high-fat greek yogurt in his lunch. I think that I will add some more pototes though

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on June 14, 2011
at 06:20 PM

We dpn't even remotely have access to the same foods as the inuit do. I was eating plenty fat, in fact the more fat I ate the harder it became to increase portion size, fat is unbelievably satiating for me. Maybe the reason you are always amazed at the statement is because you hear it a lot? I had vertigo from not getting enough cals. Take the low carb dogma somewhere else.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 14, 2011
at 04:04 PM

I am always amazed at the statement, "I find it hard to eat enough cals when eating low carb."What do you think Inuit babies eat or the traditional Plains NDN babies ate? There is 9 calories in a gram of fat, only 4 in a gram of protein or carb. You are just not eating enough fat.

5
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:03 PM

When I look back at how my kids ate on the SAD way of life they did the same thing...some days eating like quarterbacks, other days not eating enough to sustain a robin. It's weird, kids seem to know better for themselves when to eat and what to eat moreso than we give them credit (when they're little and not jaded or trained to "eat everything on your plate"). I look at what you're feeding your little one now and he's so ahead of the game. As long as he's healthy, happy, "normal" weight for his height and bone structure (when I say normal..I mean, well..you know what I mean). I'm not a doctor, specialist or any of that stuff...just a mom of three grown healthy kids and that's been my experience. It's so nice to see moms feeding toddlers well :) I'm surrounded by those who feed them nothing but crap (not even good crap according to the food pyramid)...

4
2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:35 PM

Definitely don't try to restrict his food- as long as you're offering healthy choices, let him eat to satiety. Make sure he's getting plenty of fat, lots of variety, and he will stop when he's had enough. Like you said, some days they eat adult portion sizes, other days they can't be bothered by food. I agree with L., fruit should be a treat and I would avoid dried fruit, but I don't think there's anything wrong with a toddler with a healthy appetite. The other moms in your social circle already think you're crazy for feeding your toddler kale instead of puffs or cheerios, so don't worry about them.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Agreed; restricting his food intake would likely stunt his growth or harm him in other ways.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:52 PM

I guess I was just worried that I was letting him eat too much - Ya - the other moms laugh quite a bit at us - but a suprising amount ask questions later, just because my little guy is so healthy

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:13 PM

You are doing phenomenally! We do eat seasonally however, especially with fruit and even then, small amounts. IMO, any sugar stimulates the need for more. Maybe try a sweet potato? Very filling and quite the treat for the untainted taste buds. The lil ones can/should eat as much as they want. My 13 month old just finished 1/3 lb of buffalo roast, 1/4 lb of Liverwurst, and an avocado!

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:49 PM

I think it's great - when (and if) we have #2, my hubby is going to take half of the maternity/paternity leave this time. I'm sure the people are also watching what you are feeding your little guy too! I get the strangest looks at the park when I pull out beef jerky!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 13, 2011
at 08:43 PM

This is too funny. I hope I'm not the only male to answer this question. I am self-employed and as I can set my own hours, I am the primary care-giver. Highlight of my day is watching people watching me, as I push the stroller for Baby/Daddy walks around the neighborhood.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:49 PM

I think it's great - when (and if) we have #2, my hubby is going to take half of the maternity/paternity leave this time. I'm sure the people are alson watching what you are feeding your little guy too! I get the strangest looks at the park when I pull out beef jerky!

3
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 13, 2011
at 09:49 PM

A good friend of ours has a saying, "think of the week". Some days it is just a struggle with food, either they don't eat or they don't eat good food. Other days it's amazing how much they eat. Often, when you think of a 7 day span or so, you can remember some of both kinds of days, and it usually comes out ok.

As long as the kid's height, weight, poops, energy, sleep, and overall health are pretty good, I wouldn't worry much about the details.

The one thing that I have focused on is, when they're hungry, make sure they have good food in front of them. They'll generally eat almost anything when they're really hungry, and that is your chance to make it something good.

With my son the window between when he's hungry and when he really needs to eat can be 30-60 minutes so it is easy to cook him something. With my daughter I think it's about 10 seconds. We have learned that she gets hungry about the same time every day (5pm), which is not lunch, snack or dinner time. If we just give her snacks to tide her over until dinner, she won't eat dinner, and ends up filling up on some kind of sub-standard food. So she just needs to eat a full meal at that time.

My son is Mr. Square Meal and he'll wait for a big meal, eat everything in equal proportions, and know when he's full. Totally different experience.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 14, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Wise words, and interesting that the difference is so dramatic in the one family.

3
C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 13, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I have a 20-month-old daughter, and pretty much the same experience. My only wish is to be able to predict which days are which. NO! DOWN! vs MOAR! MOAR!

IF you want to make any change, and I stress IF, perhaps add some starches ("yams, sweet potatoes, that kinda jive", in my best @robbwolf voice). Little kids are growing fast and burning energy like crazy - relatively speaking, their big eating days are PWO meals.

There's no real reason to be as strict on the low-carb paleo as there may be for adults trying to lose a little.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on June 14, 2011
at 02:33 AM

I think kids self-regulate very well. You might see a big growth spurt from your son soon.

I think it's pertinent to mention: I am not a kid, but I am a skinny active person with a fast metabolism (like many kids) who has to eat enough for two to keep my weight up, and I get insatiable like this when I don't have starch. Ketosis was... not fun. I would eat green veg, fat, protein, fruit too until my belly was crammed so full it hurt, and still feel hungry. It was the exact opposite response most adults who have some body fat to lose report from ketosis.

So if I were you, I would offer him some sources of glucose (potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice) once or twice per day. You might see some changes in the huge appetite.

2
95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on June 14, 2011
at 01:22 AM

Based on my experience with two kids, I believe they are self-regulating and I wouldn't do portion control.

My youngest is 15 months old and there are days when I have no idea how she can eat so much and she's a healthy weight for her size. Then on other days, she doesn't eat nearly as much. For example, she can easily eat two eggs, a slice of bacon, some home fries, and some berries for breakfast on her ready-to-chow days. I'm very pleased that she loves real food and she hasn't yet turned down anything.

What you're feeding your son looks great!

Addendum: I do agree with some of the others here that a little bit more starch is a good idea in the form of yams or potatoes.

2
2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on June 13, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I learned to not push food on my daughter. Very slowly by really studying her I realized that when she wasn't hungry, she was often in the bathroom for a tough bowel movement 30 minutes later. Sometimes, she let gas (often) after wanting to skip a meal. Other times she will literally eat like a pig. She'll eat my husbands dinner and I'll have to cook more for him. Who can explain this? She can't. When she was 24 months, I removed milk. If she could have only spoke then and explained some of her symptoms to me, I probably would have discovered Paleo earlier. When they can't explain what they feel, you have no choice but to trust their instincts. I think they are usually right.............provided you are keeping them away from junk. As for carbs... some Paleo's are not giving their kids carbs. I don't. But then again she is almost 6 now. Not sure about a 2 yr old. OH, I did realize that if I put potatoes in front of her (especially pan fried in coconut oil, she will eat them). Guess what, I don't do it. I prefer she eats for nutrition when she's hungry rather than to satisfy her taste buds or a psychological need. So much junk food is also psychological since that's the way we promote it...birthday's, parties, rewards. If you're not promoting it and they want it.......isn't that just again treating a symptom of something without getting to the bottom line - the cause. If a child is bored.....they need some healthy fun not food (though food can be fun and healthy at the same time). 2 yr olds need lots of stimulation and get bored bored bored sitting still for meal.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on June 14, 2011
at 12:49 AM

I think carbs would be a good addition to a young child's diet. Gluconeogenesis is not optimal, and its not really a stress you want to add to a developing kid. I personally would not feed a young child low carb, but instead I'd add in some fruit and tubers, and maybe even rice.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on June 14, 2011
at 02:06 AM

She eats fruit. I meant cereals, grains, rice tubors. I am a bit easy going with this, but go with the flow. She doesn't ask for the stuff so I guess she's doing Ok. Some days she'll eat more fruit than others. I let her decide, but I do wonder if more carbs wouldn't be better. So many different points of view out there. Thanks for the input.

1
35b6ce9b7f9dda8d40d3e6a1812ab0a9

on June 28, 2011
at 02:40 AM

For the most part, kids are self-regulating. so, I could hit the "up" button on all of the above answers. Just want to add that there's a theory going around that PART of the current childhood obesity epidemic isn't just what's IN the bottles of formula, but also the way bottle fed (breast milk and formula equally) babies are fed. They are encouraged to finish the last ounce of an 8 ounce bottle even when they are spitting out the nipple. Don't want that $$ to go to waste! With naturally fed (breast milk from the tap) infants, they eat what they want and then roll away.

NOT JUDGING bottle feeders at all!! It's just a theory. There are plenty of bottle feeding parents who don't overfeed.

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