14 answers

Health - Orangevale,CA

how often shold my six year old daughter eat? she eats ceral in the morning but by ten oclock she is hungry again. even if she has a full meal in the morning she is hungry two hours later.

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i think that she is bored and hungry i will pay more attention to see which one it is but she is a little chubby and her belly is getting big and she says she just likes to eat i dont want her to get overweight she alredy wear size 14 and gets mad because all her clothes go to her older sister who can still fit an 8

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Cereal alone is a very light breakfast, so a mid-morning snack should be expected. Try adding eggs or pancakes or waffles, or even leftovers from dinner. She won't get hungry so soon.

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Is it that she's hungry or bored? We used to go through that with one of the boys I babysat--he'd eat better than my entire family combined and then an hr later would be hungry again. It turns out that he was just bored and needed something to do.

If she is actually still hungry (possibility that she's going through a growth spurt) 5 small meals a day is acceptable these days. Hope this helps!

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I have heard that five small meals a day are good. It used to be that three were supposed to be fine. And a snack in the morning, snack in the afternoon. The thing you need to see is if she is in good health. If she is either too thin, or too heavy, lethargic and no energy or really hyper-those are signs of additional things. If she is eating because she is bored or sad (like a lot of us do) that might not be good. But if she is just eating because she is hungry, nothing wrong with it. Our bodies usually know when they are full (well not mine anymore-ha! I could eat the whole turkey not just a sandwich) but when we are little our bodies tell us when to stop. We seem to learn to eat for other reasons. I have subbed and worked in schools for many years. I do not think it's an accident that A Lot of teachers have snack about 10 and then lunch is around 11 45.

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Kids, being the individual creatures that they are, handle food differently. If your daughter is within norms for height and weight, she's probably not eating too often. Many children do best as grazers, eating small meals and frequent healthy snacks. MOST children seem to need mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.

Once kids are in school, even grazers have to adjust to a schedule. I have found that cereal, which is quick-digesting carbohydrates, makes me ravenous an hour later. I simply have never handled carbohydrates well. But I can survive for hours on a very small omelet, into which I put veggies of all sorts, sometimes cheese or yogurt on top, or a salad with a little cottage cheese, fish or chicken.

If you feel it's important to extend the time your daughter can go between meals or snacks, try increasing the amount of protein, fiber and healthy fats/oils she consumes, and reducing the carbohydrates (sugars and starches/grains).

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an early morning snack is just fine. also, eating protien in the morning will keep her fuller long.
and wow, to comment on 8kidsdad, your friend with the weight problem, it wasn't her weight that "held her back", it was this cultures obsession with emaciation, and people with opinions like yours. I hope you don't have any daughters.

1 mom found this helpful

Cereal alone is a very light breakfast, so a mid-morning snack should be expected. Try adding eggs or pancakes or waffles, or even leftovers from dinner. She won't get hungry so soon.

1 mom found this helpful

For young children having breakfast, lunch and dinner with a snack in between at about two hour intervals is a good thing. Working in childcare the requirement is that we serve a snack that includes something from each of at least two food groups I.E. a slice of cheese and a piece of fruit, crackers and milk, etc. Always be sure she gets some liquid with her snack. If serving the two food groups in solid food, give her a cup of water to go with it.
Cereal makes a good breakfast, but often is not filling enough to hold a child through until lunchtime. Children this age are normally busy and working off a lot of calories during their days so it's quite normal for them to want to eat more often.
And by the way, it isn't a bad idea for adults to eat smaller portions more often during the day too.

Just closed this and then noticed your mention of her being chubby. It isn't the amount of times a day she eats that controls that, but what she eats and how much exercise she gets. Be sure you're putting out a good variety of healthy foods. If you have sweets and/or junk food in the house on a regular basis and she's filling up on those, maybe just stop buying those altogether. Have veggie sticks around for her to munch on. And do be sure she's getting out and playing in ways to get in a lot of exercise that will help keep her weight in check. Outdoor play every morning for an hour even if she doesn't seem to want it, is a great idea. If nothing else, try starting a walking routine for the family. Get out and find interesting things to look at while you take a half hour walk around the neighborhood, or go to a nice public park and walk or play.
Also, you may want for breakfast to try varying the diet. Perhaps have cereal one day, an egg and toast meal the next, or even just some yogurt and fresh fruit with perhaps a cracker or slice of toast. Find some ways to add variety to the meal each day.

1 mom found this helpful

Is she active? And has she always eaten every few hours? I say just leave out some healthy stuff, like carrots, A string cheese, some fruit, and if she is really hungry, she can snack on that. Even snap pea pods with peas. Just leave them on a plate. If she really is hungry, she'll eat it. Leave out some water for her, too. If she likes flavor, add a dash of apple juice or slice of lime to it, but don't salt or sweeten anything. Let her snack on healthy natural foods, and if she isn't hungry, she will ignore them.
You are right, she probably is bored and eating is an activity. You are the momma, so decide that she has had enough food for breakfast and get her busy doing something else until lunch time. Even if you just give her water in a fun cup or something, distract her to where a full meal is not an option.
I do think if she really is hungry (this is how I test myself, LOL), she will eat what is available. Veggies don't really have much in the way of calories, and she will be full, regular, and all that good stuff.
Good luck!
-E. M

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Be careful. Its easier to keep from gaining weight than it is to loose it. The heavier a girl gets the tougher it is for her to find a boyfiiend and eventually a husband. I had a friend when I was in college. She said she lost 200 pounds to get down to 150ish. She said she lost so much weight she no longer had periods and we're not talking below 100 lbs. She really wanted to get married and have a family and it really hurt her to see all her "normal" weight friends dating and getting married while she stayed at home. She involved herself in all the activities for college age adults, but her weight held her back.

If you let your daughter get too heavy she will grow to regret it and may never find a normal man to marry. Its better to do the tough parenting now and keep her from getting excessively heavy.

If your daughter is hungry two hours after breakfast, give her smaller protions for breakfast. If 1 bowl of cereal is adequate for breakfast, give her 1/2 bowl for breakfast and 1/2 bowl for her mid morning snack.

I too have fought a weight problem all my life. Good luck to you and yours.

I started this with my kids and myself, cutting out all wheat and grains, as an experiment for my son's behavior. In myself, I saw that I am loosing weight (yeah) much quicker than before.
We would eat cereal, pancakes, waffles or steel cut oatmeal every day. We changed that to plain yogurt with honey, fruit and bacon (for a little fat and some protein). You should try to up her protein intake, which may make her feel full longer, whereas just cereal will make her hungrier more quickly. Taking out all the bread we were eating also made room for many more veggies. My son didn't like carrots, but now eats them with dip (hummus or cream cheese w/garlic powder). I am giving them bread, rice, etc., once in a while, but it doesn't dominate any meal.
Check out markdailyapple.com for more info.

The problem we have today is the soils have been depleted for 60 years and there is not enough nutrition in our fruits and veggies because of it, so our needs are not met and that is why the children are heavier today. I can also show you some healthy snacks. If you are interested in learning how to replace the nutrients that is missing in your child's diet let me know and I will get you the information to make a difference now.

Have a great weekend.

N. Marie

I find whenever I, my husband or my daughter eat cereal in the morning for breakfast that we are hungry again within an hour. I don't think it's filling enough. Not sure what you consider a "full meal" but you say she's hungry again then. She could be going through a growth spurt. My 11 year old did the same thing at 10 and now that she is approaching 12 she is doing it again. I know she's growing because she seemingly gets taller overnight and she has "growing pains". So that is probably what it is and I say give her healthy food options to eat every few hours to stave off the hunger and keep her full. Some protein with a carb seems to last longer. By the way, 8kidsdad's suggestion to give smaller portions at breakfast doesn't make sense when she's already hungry with the normal serving.

Hello M., I am the mother of 5 and the grandmother of several just so you have my experiance. I have just spent the past 2 weeks having children everyday from the ages of 3 days old to 7 years old and I promise you that those little bodies burn up the energy fast!! I have then actively playing outside, at the park, or being ruff and tumbled in the family room. I made sure that every 2 hours or sooner depending on how hot they stopped and drank something and ate something even if only an orange, or cheese and crackers.
These little ones are really needing the energy to keep those bodies healthy and going. I can tell you that even with waffles,egg, and fruit for breakfast at 7:30-8 by 10 am the 14 onthold was looking for something and not a cookie!
I keep veggies and dip or yougart on hand I am making Knox Blocks when they come back in 2 days.
Unless the cereal is a solid grain then it doesn't have much food value to it. She is normal according to my grandchildren's way of doing things!

You do have to figure out if it is boredom or true hunger.

My 15 yr old is a grazer....she is very health conscious. She needs food every 3-4 hours because her blood sugar starts getting low. Per our pedi, she eats several small meals a day. She is 5'5", 112# and not an ounce of fat on her body.

It seems like she eats a lot however, she works out a lot. She is a cheerleader and practices up to 2 hours a day and has a private trainer 1-2 times a week for an hour.

A typical day of meals for her is #1 breakfast, cereal/juice/vitamins. Mid morning, it's fruit of some sort..fruit salad, fruit rollups, etc., lunch is a salad, chicken, pb&j, or sandwich and milk, afternoon snack is popcorn,fruit or something like that, dinners are salads, pastas, steak, pork or chicken and heavy veggies with milk. Pasta is a favorite of hers. Occasionally, we will eat something small for dessert and it is usually fruit salad, strawberries, etc.

Just observe her habits of when and what she is eating. If she eats junk, I would cut that out first.

Good luck

She may be going through a growth spurt or have a high metabolism rate, or both. Stock up on healthy snacks like cheese sticks, yogurt, fruit (grapes, apple slices, bananas, etc) and let her snack. If she just seems to need to do the hand to mouth for a while, air popped popcorn and cheerios are good ones to give her that stimulation without adding a lot of fat or calories to her diet. Put them in a ziplock and let her carry them around with her.

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