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My 8 year old wont eat much, is this normal?

2 answers
He eats breakfast, lunch and dinner but can take 5 bites and then says he is full. Its not because he wants to rush off to play because he sits at the table with us and waits for us to finish. My husband gets so irritated and makes him eat more. Then after he eats what my husband thinks is acceptable, then my son says his stomach hurts. I don't want to continue to tell him he has to eat more if he truly is full. Then again, I don't want to let him get by with only eating a small amount if he really can be eating more...What should I do?

answers (2)

Children are very good at determining how much they need to eat. They know how to listen to their bodily cues. If he says he is full you shouldn't force him to eat more. This only tells him not to listen to his own body and to overeat, which could lead to weight problems later on. Make sure he gets a snack after school. Also, remember that your stomach is only about the size of your fist. That means that your son's stomach is the size of his fist, which at 8 years old is probably still pretty small. The stomach can stretch, but it shouldn't get used to being overfull. Your son is still a child, he shouldn't be forced to eat what an adult thinks is appropriate since we are used to eating larger portions. As long as the food your son is eating is healthy, as long as he's still growing and is otherwise healthy, I wouldn't worry too much. Kids go through phases where their bodies don't need as much food. It's normal, and as soon as he hits a growth spurt he'll be eating more. Give him a multivitamin and a DHA supplement every day if you're concerned about his nutrition. And also make sure he isn't filling up on liquids right before meals since that will make him feel full.
I think a child knows when their hungry and will eat or ask for food when their hungry if its because he wants to go play with toys thats different but from what you said I think you should let him eat when he needs to.

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