13 Month Old Eats a Lot (It Seems)!

Updated on July 08, 2010
D.P. asks from Minneapolis, MN
15 answers

I was wondering if I should be cutting my son off or only giving him a certain amount of food at meals. He is a big boy (27 lbs at 12 mos)and has been since birth. I feed him until he seems like he is done or the amount of food I think he would eat, but then he gives me the sign for hungry. (And he does know that it means hungry, he's not just doing it for fun.) I will ask the doctor at his 15 month but wanted to get some of your thoughts.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think what you are doing is just fine! Continue to let him be the judge of how much he needs to eat. Protein & fiber can make you feel fuller, faster. So, you could certainly up his protein & fiber if you wanted, but as long as he is eating a variety of foods, he is just fine.

My son is also 13 months old, and he weighs 29.2 lbs and is 30 inches long! Strangers *always* think he is 2 years old. He usually eats 3 meals and 3 snacks throughout the day. Some days, it seems like all he is does is eat, and other days he refuses his snacks.

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answers from Cedar Rapids on

My dd was 27lbs at her 15mo apt. She has evened out a little and at 20mo is 29 1/2. She doesn't sign, but she's always eaten everything I've given her. Which only became a problem when we got to the point where she was eating finger foods. Because she's my first and because I've always heard that kids are suppose to self-regulate their intake, I gave her way too much food. When I talked to my doctor about why she went from the 50th percentile in weight at her check ups to the 95th percentile, we came to the conclusion that she DOES NOT self regulate. So we discussed serving sizes and how much I should actually be giving her. The Dr. told me a serving size of something is literally only the size of her little fist. Which I did not know. I had been giving her WAY too much food! -But my dd is also not as active as a lot of kids, she takes things in and studies everything. I can understand if she was more active then maybe she would need that much food, but I feel like she was just eating cuz she liked eating and liked the taste or something. Just like so many adults do, myself included! We started taking it back a notch on how much food we gave her and at first she fussed, but the second she was out of the high chair, she was just fine and off and playing..

So I guess my advice to you would be to take into consideration that yes, he may be still hungry.. Expecially if he's an active little one using up all that food-energy.. But, if it's a consistent thing, maybe he isn't self regulating and does need to be cut off. Talk to your Dr. and go with your instincts. Good Luck!



answers from Sioux Falls on

This makes me feel so much better! My 22lb. 13-month old is the exact same way. He can polish off an entire can of sliced carrots in one sitting and still look for more. I refuse him all sweets and will check with the pediatrician at his 15-month appointment but until then...I guess he's just a growing boy!!



answers from Minneapolis on


As long as you're feeding him good foods, feed him. Our first little boy was quite an eater too, and we thought he would be a real bruiser, but he hit growth spurts where he just ate more. Then he would stretch out. Now he's almost 3 and eats only a good meal at lunch time. He's at the 95% for height and about 75% for weight. I wouldn't sweat it if I were you.

Good luck and bon appetit!




answers from Des Moines on

My son went through a growth spurt at that time and seemed to eat a lot as well. I fed him until he was very easily distracted from the food, and then we went to play. If he flashed the sign for eat, I gave him milk, then a snack if the milk didn't do the trick.

I have also wondered about whether he will overeat, but just in the last week has started eating less. I think it all evens out:)



answers from Des Moines on

I don't think that his size is excessive. It may be on the higher end of the growth charts but I wouldn't worry. As long as you are offering him healthy foods, his weight won't be much of an issue. I have a daycare and the 14 month old boy I have weighs 32 pounds. I just found out that he is still taking a couple bottles at night, so I think that is his issue. He may be teething and sometimes they will eat because it makes their gums feel better especially if it is his one year molars. Just wait, when he's 2 you will think he's starving himself. It's just a phase.



answers from Minneapolis on

My son is now 18 months old and was almost 27 lbs at his 15 month check up and is tall also. He would eat a lot at that age to. He has just recently stopped eating so much within the last month. I used to wonder the same thing since he could take down more than me at a meal. Your son may just be growing. He may be growing taller and not nessicarily gaining weight. I think as long as he is active and healthy let him eat. Im sure he will mellow out eventually for a while till the teen years. I would cut my son off after a while just because i knew he would get a tummy ache if he ate to much so i did stop him but i still let him get plenty. They are growing kids and need thier nurishment. I always just thought at least he likes to eat and isnt picky!



answers from Appleton on

I have a small 12 month old (she's not even 18lbs), but she also eats like a horse! I have no idea where she puts it all or how she can fit that much in her little belly. But the ped said that it is fine to let her eat as much as she needs as long as she is doing it in a meal or snack setting (sitting at the table or in her highchair; not "grazing" all day long). She is very active and it sounds like your son is, too. Since they expend so much energy they need a lot of fuel. Hope that makes you feel better!



answers from Rapid City on

Does he look overweight? Is he active? I wouldn't worry about the foods as long as you are giving him healthy choices the majority of the time. He is growing and to withhold food would make him obesses with it. My granddaughter is 28 pounds at 2 years old and has been 28 pounds for a long time. They do get to the point that they don't gain as much weight as they do the first year. Their growing slows down and their activities go up. I remember my youngest at 5 told me he was starving and I asked what he had for lunch. He told me "I only had 5 pieces of pizza!" He also ate a big mac meal and wanted ice cream afterwards when he was around 3 or 4 and went to McDonalds for lunch with his aunt and uncle. They couldn't believe how much he ate. Thing is he never was heavy or had an ounce of fat on him.

Kids seem to eat a lot when they are going through some growth spurts. I always knew when my kids were going to sprout because first they would always be hungry, then they would out grow their shoes and not long after that they would wake up 2 inches taller and their pants were too short.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi! Our son was 24 lbs at 6 mo; no lie. He had silent reflux, which caused him to want to eat a lot. Swallowing temporarily relieves the throat. He was 30 lbs at 11 mo, and has stayed steady at 30. He is now 15.5 mo.

Likely you are still doing formula. You will likely begin to decrease it, which will cut out a lot of calories right there. Our pediatrician said not to worry, so we haven't. Talk to your pediatrician to see what they think. I wouldn't limit unless you have had guidance from them. Your little one needs lots of nutrients for his growing body :-). It will likely decrease as the previous poster has mentioned.



answers from Minneapolis on


Kids are really amazing with their eating habits. Some manage to survive on practically nothing, others must have hallow legs because they fit in so much. If your son doesn't have a weight problem, I would say give him food until he is disinterested. One of my sons (age 6) can outeat his dad, but he has a high motabolism and is very active, so he is fit as a fiddle.

Good luck,



answers from Duluth on

Has your doc at all expressed concern about his weight? My baby was a HUGE baby, but now that he's a toddler, he's pretty average. He also seemed to eat and eat and eat and eat...but especially when he was constantly consuming, we made sure we gave him only healthy foods--to make sure he wasn't doing it just for the taste. Also, something I've thought about w/ my 16 mo is that he doesn't care for the texture of meat, and we don't do a lot of crackers, so he doesn't even get many starches. He likes pasta and rice, but that's only if we're eating them at supper. Overwhelmingly, his diet is yogurt, fruits and vegetables--none of which "sticks with you" like the proteins and fats do.Now that he's 16 months, he's starting to eat more meat (and eating less food, oddly...) but for about 5 months, he was just constantly hungry--and chunky! Assuming you're not feeding him cupcakes and popsicles by the plateful, and assuming he's otherwise healthy, it's very likely he's just got "baby fat" and will outgrow it as his body weight catches up with his activity level!



answers from Minneapolis on

i say feed him...as long as he is not getting sick afterward feed him until he gives you the clue that he has had enough. feed with healthy things not just filler foods and he should be fine. like the other poster said, he is probably going through a growing spurt. Babies will not normally overeat, so he is telling you that he needs more food.



answers from Green Bay on

My son just turned 12 months, and he's 31 inches and 27 pounds. I let him eat what he wants when he's hungry.

My nephew is 9 months old, and is about 30 inches and well over 35 pounds. His brother and sister were both "big" - very big - until they were nearly 18 months old. Then they just shot up and slimmed down.

My oldest son was also "big" at 12 months, and grew out of it as soon as he started running more around 15-18 months.

Depriving children at a very young age of food when they are hungry can lead to very bad habits later in life. Both my daughters are adopted and were malnourished through the first years of their lives. They both "hide" and "sneak" food into their rooms, and eat voraciously when given a chance. One has a weight problem, the other fights it constantly. Despite the ready availability of food for both girls, they still have an almost instinctual need to hoard food - probably because they were deprived in their developing years.

Given that it's winter out and at this age (12-13 months) it's not easy for them to "go outside" and run/play, they aren't going to be nearly as active, so they aren't going to work off the food they are eating and they're going to store some up. I wouldn't worry about it at all at this age. If he's hungry, feed him. He may be growing through a growth spurt or he just may be growing faster than most children.

Try to instill good eating habits now, no matter how much he's eating, and he'll even out his eating/growth eventually. I don't think it would be a problem until he's quite a bit older. It's very hard for children to overeat at this age. They eat when they're hungry and won't when they aren't. They know what they need and when.

Society's obsession with anorexic body shapes right now is dangerous for young children. A chunky/hefty/stocky baby is a healthy baby. That's why they call it "baby fat". It will melt off when he's older and more active. I worry more about my granddaughter, who is so thin she looks ill sometimes, than I do about my "chunky" happy son.



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter did that too. She would out eat me some days! Now that she is 14 months her eating has slowed down a lot. I think it's just a phase. Must be having a growth spurt!

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