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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Can a 5 year old eat too much?

Posted by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM
  • 14 Replies

My son turned 5 on May 4th and is big for his age... he is 97th percentile for both height and weight. Sometimes I feel like he eats too much in one sitting, but at the same time there are meals (especially something he hasn't eaten in awhile/before) where he will hardly eat. Before he turned 5 he would eat two peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and I just felt like that was too much. Now I wouldn't just give him two I would make one, he would eat it and say he is still hungry and eat another. Sometimes he would say he is STILL hungry and I would just tell him to wait for snack time. Also when it is snack time he will wine and cry that after he eats his snack he wants more, but I try to explain to him that a snack is not a meal and you aren't supposed to fill up on it. I also try to give them healthy things to snack on like fruit or crackers... occasionally veggies for snack. He isn't fat in the least bit, like I said he is just a BIG kid and very solid. A few people have told me not to worry about how much he eats because it's not like he is eating horrible food and at this age he only eats what he needs. The only time I push him to eat is when he doesn't want to try something or he just isn't eating and is just sitting at the table playing with his food. Here is a picture taken maybe a month ago of him and his 3 year old brother.

by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Traci_Momof2
by Silver Member on Jul. 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm going to go with the classic "He's a growing boy".  My oldest is like that.  (And I just talked about my youngest in a post about not eating enough.  I've got both ends of the spectrum. lol)  My oldest is 7 but he regularly eats more than I do at a meal.  Sometimes I just don't know where he puts it.  Plus he loves meat.  He will eat twice as much steak in a meal as I do.  But he's not overweight either.  Weight-wise, he looks very similar to your older son.  I just chalk it up to the fact that he is growing by leaps and bounds and needs that energy to do so.

Every once in a while he will eat too much that he then complains that his tummy hurts.  I just remind him that it means he ate too much.  I tell him to remember that feeling and to make sure to stop before getting to that feeling in the future.  Just to try to teach him good eating.  But that's rare that he gets to that point so I know most of the time it just means that his body really needs that much food to do what it needs to do.

As long as most of the food he eats is healthy, and as long as he is not overweight (which in the picture he doesn't look it at all) then I really don't think you have anything to worry about.  If he's hungry, let him eat.  His body will tell him when he's had enough.  I really believe in letting kids listen to their own bodies when it comes to eating, not just listening to what we tell them.  I believe that will lead to healthy eating habits in adulthood.  We just need to teach them now to make healthy choices  (ie. if you're hungry, eat an apple, not a bowl of ice cream).

BTW - I love the outfits they are wearing in the picture - matching but not identical.  I love when I can do that sort of thing on my two boys.

Mom2jngnc
by Stephannie on Jul. 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I agree with Traci. 

Also, I had to take my 9 yr old to an endocrinologist for growth issues. What does your sons over all eating pattern/food pyrmid look like on a weekly basis? I had mentioned to the ENdo that I didn't pay much attention to my kids on a daily, but weekly. Some days they want nothing but starches (bread, potato, pasta), other days they would be vegans... veggies, friuts, that type of thing.... She had said that she wished more parents would look at it in a "bigger" picture than a daily freak out.

I wouldn't worry, he looks very healthy. 

JulesFairy
by Silver Member on Jul. 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I married into a family of all boys, and my mother in law laughs at meal time when my girls flip from eating me out of house and home to not eating hardly anything because with three boys, they were ALWAYS eating her out of house and home. I personally notice my girls will eat a lot for a few days right before a growth spurt and so long as he isn't making himself sick,I would lean towards him just being a growing boy, especially if he is eating healthy things.

chinosruca
by Gold Member on Jul. 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Any kid can eat too much. It really isn't too much if it is fruit, veggies, water, lean protiens. It is too much if it is processed, sugary, fattening, unhealthy stuff. I never put a limit on healthy foods.
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AidanTiarra
by Bronze Member on Jul. 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Honestly I wouldn't worry or limit his food as long as he is eating healthy. My son is also really big for his age. He was 9lb 3oz when he was born and has almost always been off the scales in his growth charts. At his 7 year check up about a month ago he was in the 95th% for his height and 92nd% for his weight. He looks more like a 9 or 10 year old than a 7 year old but he is perfectly healthy. He has his times when he can eat a ton and other times when he doesn't eat much at all. Like your son most of what we offer him is healthy food and even when he does have junk food he doesn't eat much of it. For example he would easily eat 2 apples or 2 plums in one sitting but he doesn't finish a single scoop of ice cream or a single cupcake.

I don't know exactly what you give him to eat, but there are foods that help fill you up faster such as whole grain bread vs white bread...

llheet8586
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Thanks a lot! He is so opposite then his little brother... My 5 year old actually doesn't eat that much meat, except hot dogs and chicken nuggets, he will pick at the other meats and he does love his vegetables! My sister was joking saying he could be a vegetarian (she is) but like I said he loves chicken nuggets and hot dogs lol. Now my 3 year old is much leaner then his older brother, but the boy loves meats and not so much the veggies! I also noticed recently I think he may be going through a growth spurt (do they at this age?) He seems taller and some of his shorts just in the past few weeks are tight on him.

I love matching my boys even though my husbands hates it lol... That's why I got those outfits because they are not identical.

Quoting Traci_Momof2:

I'm going to go with the classic "He's a growing boy".  My oldest is like that.  (And I just talked about my youngest in a post about not eating enough.  I've got both ends of the spectrum. lol)  My oldest is 7 but he regularly eats more than I do at a meal.  Sometimes I just don't know where he puts it.  Plus he loves meat.  He will eat twice as much steak in a meal as I do.  But he's not overweight either.  Weight-wise, he looks very similar to your older son.  I just chalk it up to the fact that he is growing by leaps and bounds and needs that energy to do so.


Every once in a while he will eat too much that he then complains that his tummy hurts.  I just remind him that it means he ate too much.  I tell him to remember that feeling and to make sure to stop before getting to that feeling in the future.  Just to try to teach him good eating.  But that's rare that he gets to that point so I know most of the time it just means that his body really needs that much food to do what it needs to do.


As long as most of the food he eats is healthy, and as long as he is not overweight (which in the picture he doesn't look it at all) then I really don't think you have anything to worry about.  If he's hungry, let him eat.  His body will tell him when he's had enough.  I really believe in letting kids listen to their own bodies when it comes to eating, not just listening to what we tell them.  I believe that will lead to healthy eating habits in adulthood.  We just need to teach them now to make healthy choices  (ie. if you're hungry, eat an apple, not a bowl of ice cream).


BTW - I love the outfits they are wearing in the picture - matching but not identical.  I love when I can do that sort of thing on my two boys.



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corrinacs
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

He looks normal to me :) :). Are you or his father tall?  My oldest son is like that, he eats like a teenager (he's almost 5) but people mistaken him for a 6 year old all the time!  I like Traci's comment, I think that's right on the nose :).

llheet8586
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM
That's funny because he was my smaller baby at 8lbs 8oz and right away he wanted to eat a lot all he wanted to do was nurse, nurse, nurse lol. My younger son was 9lbs 13oz and the first few months he was literally off the charts, but I made too much milk and growing fast/a lot was one of the symptoms. Once my milk leveled out so did he and he was always smaller than his older brother at the same age (comparing their height and weight in my baby books lol) he is still tall for his age, but so much skinnier and doesn't eat as much.

I try my best to give them healthier foods and stay away as much as possible from candies and sweets. My husband is all about cookies and chips so it's hard to not give them any especially when daddy does. I do buy whole wheat bread and again do my best to pump them full of fruits and veggies.

Quoting AidanTiarra:

Honestly I wouldn't worry or limit his food as long as he is eating healthy. My son is also really big for his age. He was 9lb 3oz when he was born and has almost always been off the scales in his growth charts. At his 7 year check up about a month ago he was in the 95th% for his height and 92nd% for his weight. He looks more like a 9 or 10 year old than a 7 year old but he is perfectly healthy. He has his times when he can eat a ton and other times when he doesn't eat much at all. Like your son most of what we offer him is healthy food and even when he does have junk food he doesn't eat much of it. For example he would easily eat 2 apples or 2 plums in one sitting but he doesn't finish a single scoop of ice cream or a single cupcake.

I don't know exactly what you give him to eat, but there are foods that help fill you up faster such as whole grain bread vs white bread...



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llheet8586
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 1:02 PM
We are, but not crazy tall... He is 6' 1 and I am 5'9. I did the height predictor on babycenter and out said he would be 6'4 give or take an inch! I did the same for my younger son and it said he'll be around 6'1, but my 5 year old is definitely built more like my husband.


Quoting corrinacs:

He looks normal to me :) :). Are you or his father tall?  My oldest son is like that, he eats like a teenager (he's almost 5) but people mistaken him for a 6 year old all the time!  I like Traci's comment, I think that's right on the nose :).


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goodluck_charm
by on Jul. 11, 2012 at 1:06 PM

My 5 yr old, Liam eats that way too. They're growing.

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