5 Things to Do When Your Preschooler is Overeating

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 04/01/2021 . 3 mins read
Share now

Meeting your preschooler’s nutritional needs helps them grow and develop holistically. It’s tough for young children who exhibit picky-eating or undereating to meet these needs; that’s why parents find themselves looking out for ways to feed them. But, what if your preschooler is overeating? Should it raise concerns? How can you reinforce healthy eating habits in them?

5 Good Eating Habits to Teach Your Kids

My child wants to eat all the time; should I worry?

Seeing your preschooler happily eat the foods you prepare for them will surely make you feel satisfied. It might make you believe that you don’t have to worry about their diet and nutrition because they have a healthy appetite.

However, you also have to know when your child is overeating regularly because it can lead to childhood obesity. Your preschooler may be overeating if:

  • They constantly ask you for food, even if it’s not mealtime yet.
  • They request for extra servings.
  • Their weight gain is more than the expected weight gain for their age.
  • They are wearing clothes an age or two above their real age.

preschooler is overeating

What can I do if my preschooler is overeating?

If you have a feeling that your child is overeating, you can intervene by doing the following:

Do things slowly

If your family regularly consumes high-fat food products, fast foods, and sugary desserts, don’t remove all of them from your meals at once. Consider eliminating one type of food at a time to avoid frustration. Experts say that doing things slowly increases your chances of success.

Swap less-nutritional foods with healthy alternatives

One of the possible reasons why a preschooler is overeating is that they are hungry; this hunger could come from consuming empty-calorie foods that do not meet their nutritional needs.

Try finding healthy alternatives to their less-nutritional foods. For instance, instead of giving them candies for desserts, offer them cut-up grapes.

Set mealtime schedules and stick to them

Preschoolers may still be young, but they are old enough to follow simple rules. If you tell them that your family will have regular mealtimes (and snack times) from now on, they’ll most likely listen, especially when they see that everyone in the family is following the schedule.

If your child wants to eat all the time, setting mealtime schedules also help regulate their appetite. You’ll help them realize that they have already eaten earlier, so there’s no need to eat now; after all, they’ll eat again later.

Use kiddie-sized plates

Remember that your preschooler’s portions are smaller than yours, so consider using kiddie-sized plates and glasses for them. You can also use the plate portion guidelines from the Pinggang Pinoy by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI):

  • The serving of vegetables should be as much as the serving of carbohydrates.
  • When combined, vegetables and carbohydrates must cover more than half of your child’s plate.
  • The serving of fruits should be as much as the serving of proteins; these two food groups will cover the rest of your child’s plate.

As for examples, you can consider filling up your preschooler’s plate with the following:

Carbohydrates

  • ½ cup of cooked rice
  • 2 slices of loaf bread (small)
  • 2 pieces of pandesal
  • ½ cup of cooked noodles (pancit, spaghetti, etc.)
  • ½ piece of root crop like kamote (medium size)

Vegetables

  • ½ cup of cooked veggies like malunggay, pumpkin, carrots, etc.

Proteins

  • ½ piece of fish (medium variety, like galunggong)
  • ½ slice of fish (large variety, like bangus)
  • ½ serving or 15 grams of lean meat, like chicken and beef
  • ½ piece of small chicken egg

Fruits

  • ½ to 1 piece of medium sized fruits like banana and mangoes
  • ½ to 1 slice of large fruits like watermelon and papaya

Practice the 20-minute rule

And finally, if you’re preschooler is overeating, try the 20-minute rule. The idea is that if your child asks for more food after a meal, ask them to wait for 20 more minutes.

Experts say this is usually the amount it takes before children feel that they are already full.

Nutritional Needs of Preschoolers: Guide for Parents

Reminders

If you’re worried about your child’s weight and nutrition, set an appointment with their doctor. They can help determine if your child’s weight gain is unhealthy or it’s normal due to their growth spurt. Moreover, they can guide you in meeting your preschooler’s nutritional needs.

Learn more about Preschooler Nutrition here

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Was this article helpful for you ?
happy unhappy

You might also like

Teenage Circumcision Surgery: A Guide for Parents

Many Filipino boys consider circumcision a rite of passage. What should parents know about the teenage circumcision surgery?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Adolescence Health 12/01/2021 . 3 mins read

Things To Discuss Before Your Daughter’s First Period

To prevent them from worrying or getting scared, it's best to discuss these essential topics before your daughter's first period.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Adolescence Health 10/01/2021 . 3 mins read

4 Simple Tips on How to Prevent Bungang Araw in Children

Prickly heat rash is common among children, especially during summer. Here are some simple steps to prevent bungang araw in kids.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Child Skincare 10/01/2021 . 3 mins read

Tips to Prevent Wounds from Scarring

Cuts, scrapes, and even burns, are normal among adventurous kids. But, they can do well without scars. Here are some tips to prevent wounds from scarring.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Child Skincare 10/01/2021 . 3 mins read

Recommended for you

childhood obesity causes and effects

Childhood Obesity: Causes and Effects

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 22/01/2021 . 3 mins read
early adolescence milestones

Early Adolescence Milestones: 5 Crucial Tips in Parenting a Teen

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 14/01/2021 . 3 mins read
my child is being cyberbullied

My Child Is Being Cyberbullied – How Do I Intervene?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 14/01/2021 . 3 mins read
how to manage teenage acne

How To Manage Teenage Acne: Tips To Beat Skin Breakouts

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 12/01/2021 . 3 mins read