Food for Thought

Did you ever notice how when you go out to a big lunch, you generally tend to overeat, and you find that you’re not hungry come dinnertime?  But for some reason, the kids always are.

It never fails, when we go out for lunch, I eat more than normal and think to myself, Well, that’s good.  Guess I don’t have to cook dinner tonight.

But then 5:00 rolls around, and the kids are suddenly at my side, asking when dinner will be ready.

It’s like they have a built-in mechanism for eating only until they are full, and I suppose we program them to eat at regular intervals.  But somewhere along the way, we lose that mechanism for eating moderately on a reasonable schedule.

How does that happen?

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9 Responses

  1. ok your going to hate me but I actually stop eating before I’m full. I also eat small meals through out the whole day. I’ve always been like that I think it comes with being a vegetarian or maybe I’m just odd 🙂

  2. I totally understand where you are coming from. There are so many times that I am just not hungry when it’s dinner time and then it makes it so hard to cook simply becuase nothing sounds good to me. My family has dealt with many a nights where I jsut threw something together just becuase I wans’t hungry. I need to do better than that and understand that they need to east even if I don’t feel like it, AND they probably want more than the staple spaghetti dinner all the time!

  3. All of us are “grazers”–I, my husband, and our kids. Given our druthers, we’d eat small bits all day long. I used to fight this tooth and nail because I love to cook and I thought the ideal family ate big family dinners every night. Weird how we cling to an idea even when it clearly works against us. I actually think a kid’s natural approach–grazing–is the healthiest way to eat. You’re never starving and you’re never stuffed. So I try to keep us on a similar schedule of snacks and light meals, with a big huge Sunday dinner to fulfill my “big family dinner” fantasy (and I don’t feel guilty when I overindulge at a restaurant). That said, the kids are often hungry when I’m not, and vice versa, and I have to remember that they need to eat regularly even if I’m not hungry, and that much as they’d like, their Halloween candy does not count!

  4. I think it is (for me at least) because we stood in line for most of lunch period and then inhaled our lunch in under 3 minutes. Then got a job after school and inhaled supper in 5 min in the car on the way to work. Then went to college and existed on raisin bran, pizza and snicker bars (or ramen noodles, bleck) and stayed up way to late. After that many years, my body has no clue what full is, or what “normal” looks like.

  5. I hear ya. If you ever figure it out let me know 🙂 Sometimes we eat at my mom’s house – walk the ten steps to our apartment and the boys are hungry again – it’s amazing to me.

  6. I just read recently, (I think it was in the Schwarzbien Principle) that our bodies are designed so that we literally get sick if we overeat protein and or fats (meaning good fats), so we rarely overeat if we are eating just those things. (I think adults tend to eat more protein than kids)…We have no gauge, however for refined carbs and sweets. Even though they may seem, “filling” we can overeat those items very easily without getting sick. Thought that was interesting.

    When you think about the fact that our stomachs are the size of our fists when they are not stretched out, THEN think about how small a child’s fist is…it’s amazing how much they DO eat! I would say, that for the most part, their bodies’ digestive systems and metabolisms are not as damaged and messed up as ours so they can digest and assimilate their food much more efficiently. After years of eating all of the bad stuff and then years of dieting, I think I have completely screwed up my metabolism.

    Also, we have had plenty of time to get set in our ways and let our emotions and time schedules affect the way we eat or don’t eat. OK…going on too long…again…sorry. 🙂

  7. Agree with everything above….and definitely feel the same after eating out. But just another observation I’ve made, many kids are so used to eating on a schedule, that I’ve seen them ask for lunch and dinner at specific times even if they’re not hungry. Or say even if they had a really late breakfast on a weekend, around 11….at 12 they’re asking for lunch. So I think while kids may obviously eat smaller portions, there’s also the negative that they don’t necessarily understand what “being hungry” means all the time.

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