5-yr old doesn't feel full when eats

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2006
5-yr old doesn't feel full when eats
Sun, 04-29-2007 - 9:27pm

When my child was a baby, we were amazed at how fast he sucked down his bottles- like he was absolutely starving, every time! And if I let him, he'd continue to eat, so we had to really watch how much we fed him.

Now, as a 5-year old, it seems he still has this desire to eat, eat, eat! He's not overweight by any means, but he constantly asks to eat. I know kids his age do this anyway, but it seems more like he really doesn't feel full. 20 minutes after he eats a full meal, he'll say, "I'm hungry!" and we'll argue over it until I threaten him! LOL!

Does anyone else have this experience? I wonder what his eating habits will be like when he's older, if this doesn't remedy itself. We are really careful about what he puts into his body, so now he's getting what he needs. But it's wierd how he just doesn't know what it's like to feel a full stomach (even when it is very full).

Just wondering if we are alone in this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Mon, 04-30-2007 - 3:36pm

My 8yo ds & 12yo dd are as you described (except they weren't big eaters when younger because of sensory problems). They are always hungry. They were recently referred for genetic testing to make sure there's not a medical problem that's causing their constant hunger. Because both my 8 & 12yo have sensory problems (low sensory awareness in some areas, over-sensitive in other areas), it's also possible that the problem is that they can't feel and recognize the body's signals telling them they're full. Because my kids are older and understand the food pyramid, etc., the pediatrician talked to them about eating the proper kinds/quantity of food and then quitting since they can't rely on their own body's signals. It's only been nominally effective. Because they FEEL hungry, they just can't not focus on food. I've read about biofeedback for improving awareness of body signals and, depending on what we hear from the geneticist and whether insurance will cover it, we'll probably pursue something like that.

In some ways it's been nice to have other kids without this problem because it reassures me that it's not something I'm doing wrong.

Good luck.