24 answers

Help My Three Year Old Is Eating Us Out of House and Home

i have a three year old son that loves to eat. he does not eat unhealthy just eats a lot. he wakes up and can eat three bowls of cereal a waffle and some of my breakfast, and stills ask for more food. he eats pretty well for a young child, not a lot of junk loves fruits and vegetables. three good meals and snacks during the day lots of water and milk little on the juices. i am wondering if there is something i could try to fill him up more or hold him over longer. if he does not get to eat he is soooo crankie and irritable. please help

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So What Happened?™

i would like to thank everyone on the advice that was given. to answer a few questions he just went to the ped a couple of days ago and he is about 33 pounds and taller then 7 out of 10 kids. healthy other whys, and does urinate a lot but does drink a lot of water. he goes to school around eight and gets home around 1230. right after lunch and comes home wanting more food. he does eat alot of oatmeal for breakfast and wheaties and oatmeal squares, so i do try to stay away from kids favorite cereals. he get waffles with little syrup, and drink a lot of milk. i am going to write down what he eats for a few days and see how he does with more protein, but then today he ate hardly any dinner and just had goldfish when he got home from school around 3. (stays later at school on Mondays and Fridays) if things don't change i will think about the diabetes check. thank you again.

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I'm not gonna say much but that does seem excessive for a three year old... Some have suggested diabetes. Could be but I have heard of a disorder called prader willi that causes excessive hunger. I'm not suggesting that is what it could be but you might just read up on that.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried adding fiber powder to his foods. These help them feel full. Also, you are allowing this , so try 3 meals, 1-2 snacks and no more. It sounds like he controls you on this food issue. If he gets what he wants all the time where will he learn restraint later when necessary? Gradually limit portions and times to eat and interest him in other things . I am glad he likes fruit and veggies, but enough is enough!

May be off the track . . . but what else is he doing? Is he playing or just eating? Could he be bored and not know what else to do? I know that I eat when I'm bored even if I'm not really hungry. Does he have so many toys out that he's overwhelmed and not know what to play with -- so he asks for food?

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I agree with Ashley, that it is probably a good idea to give him a predictable schedule with meals and snacks.

I would also suggest that you do examine your diet. For example you do not say what kind of breakfast cereal he eats, but most cereals (ESPECIALLY those aimed at kids) are really not very filling - just empty calories. Have you ever tried to sustain through a morning on a bowl (or even two or three) of cheerios or rice crispies (and those are the better cereals). I have, and I am hungry by the time I get to work 30 minutes later. The same goes for most toaster waffles or pastries... I really wanted a good shortcut, but even though they may not be "junk", they are also not really satisfying foods.

That said, if you can, try to start the day of with whole grains (for example whole grain toast - they are more filling) and protein (eggs are great, or dairy like yogurt). Oatmeal is very filling too, healthy and cheap and easy to make in the microwave. Don't bother buying the "ready to eat" kind - just get old fashioned or quick cooking oats and add applesauce or other fruits, cinnamon and maybe some brown sugar to taste. For snack we often add cheese or lunch meat as a "side" to veggies or fruit.

Other than that, if he is active and of healthy weight, he might just need the energy. I don't know if he eats as much for his other meals, buy my 2.5 year old definitely is a breakfast person as well and then it gets less during the day. She is VERY busy though and really needs that energy in the morning.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

I would suggest that you mention this to your pedi, excessive hunger can be a symptom of many things. One mom mentioned Prader Wili, although that is a symptom, I doubt your son has that, Prader Willi syndrome is mostly found in mentally challenged children and adults.

Another thought, You mention a lot of high carb foods which do not sustain hunger for long, try giving your son more protein and fat in the morning. We hear alot about how bad fat is but we do need some fat in our diet. An egg or hardboiled egg with his waffle or something with peanut butter (without jelly) on it might help decrease his hunger throughout the day.

His irritability is most likely from the drop in blood sugar. Not because you are feeding him alot of sugary foods, but foods high in carbs break down into sugar and cause that drop which causes irritability.

2 moms found this helpful

Excessive urination is another sign in diabetes. It is triggered by hypercalcemia. Cutting down on the milk and increasing magnesium is key.

You should have his blood sugar tolerance checked. Excessive hunger is a sign of diabetes. His appetitie seems excessive. The other clue is that he is grouchy when his blood sugar drops.

Magnesium can help prevent combat blood sugar issues, so i would get him on Mg daily- right away. Mg is extrememly safe, any extra will just leave the body.
Magnesium citrate is the most readily absorbed, but it can cause loose stool.(there is a product caled kid calm online, or go to your local health food store.) Magnesium oil (aka: magnesium Chloride) rubbed on skin is another way to get it -without causing the stool issues.

Beleive it or not many cases of diabetes can be totally turned around without medicine but with proper magnesium levels and watch intake of high fructose corn syrup- which is in everything.
Hi sugar/carbs, high milk and dairy intake, high vit D intake (from food or supplements) or high phosphorus from sodas causes MG deficiency.

2 moms found this helpful

My three year old can eat like yours, and he's skinny as a rail! I have found that having mostly protien instead of all carbs at breakfast helps him fill up for longer. Lately his favorite breakfast is two eggs, scrambled with a half cup of frozen spinach, some diced ham and some grated cheddar. It's our version of green eggs and ham, and it keeps him going for a long time.

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How long has this been going on? Is it about time for a growth spurt? My daughter goes through this and then she will flip and she wont eat for a while.

2 moms found this helpful

Is he like this all that time or just withing the past week or so?? If it's all the time, just about every day then you should take him to the DR and discuss this. That sound like a lot of food for a 3yr old to eat and could be a sign of diabetes, or could set him up for being over weight later down the road.

If this just started then it could be a growth spurt and shall pass just as fast as it started.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Its probably a growth spurt.
My Mom, says this is nothing... just wait until they are teenagers. She saw her younger brother eat just like that growing up.

My daughter, since last summer... has had a ginormous appetite... she literally is hungry every 2 hours or less. Hungry hungry. Not just a little hungry. Only recently, has this slowed down. But, for the past few months she literally and visibly grew about 6 inches. She grew before our eyes. But up until then, leading up to that, her appetite just grew exponentially. And the Doc said... she's probably growing. And wow, she sure did!

He probably also gets cranky if he does not eat because it affects his blood sugar levels. If depleted, a person gets mega irked/irritated/fussy/cranky. My daughter gets like that, and I get like that too sometimes.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not gonna say much but that does seem excessive for a three year old... Some have suggested diabetes. Could be but I have heard of a disorder called prader willi that causes excessive hunger. I'm not suggesting that is what it could be but you might just read up on that.

1 mom found this helpful

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