Everybody knows that children only eat when they’re hungry and they always stop when they’re full. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Some children don’t have the same built-in hunger and satiety signals. Other children have their internal signals disrupted early in life. These children veer towards being overeaters. So how do you parent an overeater?

In this episode of The Happy Bite podcast, I talk to Eileen about her daughter’s focus on food and how to parent an overeater.

What not to do with an overeater?

  • Don’t limit food.
  • Don’t talk too much about hunger.

Both of these techniques backfire when dealing with an overeater. Why? Limiting food creates a sense of insecurity or urgency for more food. And talking too much about hunger can teach children to say they’re hungry even when they aren’t. Read How Parents Teach Kids to Lie about Hunger.

What should you do with an overeater?

  • Teach them to better identify their feelings of hunger and fullness.
  • Create a structure around when food is and isn’t available. Also known as Eating Zones.
  • Talk about the different kinds of hunger.

For more on this topic read:

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~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~