Seven-year-old son eats too much and our food bill is astronomical07/09/2021
DEAR DEIDRE: MY seven-year-old son eats like a horse, and I’m worried about him.
He’ll eat a whole roast chicken and a big bowl of ice cream for dinner, then he’ll ask for a sandwich an hour later. He doesn’t have just one slice of cake – he eats the whole cake.
The food shopping bill is bankrupting me – he can clean out the fridge in a day.
And it’s embarrassing – if we go anywhere, he repeatedly asks for food and eats other people’s share.
He’s not fat – on the contrary, he’s slim. I took him to the doctor, who did tests and said he was healthy, with no issues.
I don’t think he’s unhappy either. I’m 40, and divorced from his dad, who is 42. We have a good relationship.
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I worry my son will become obese one day if he keeps eating like this.
I’ve tried to limit his food but he then cries because he’s hungry and he’ll sneak food into his room, to eat in secret.
His dad says he also used to eat a lot as a child, and that I shouldn’t worry.
DEIDRE SAYS: Boys of your son’s age grow very rapidly and are usually extremely physically active. It’s likely he needs the energy and will naturally stop overeating once his growth slows.
Try not to make him feel he’s doing something wrong by feeling hungry and make sure you always have healthy options to hand.
Sneaking food into his room isn’t a good habit for him to get into. You want him to think of food as fuel, not as something to be controlled or hidden.
Keep talking to him and make sure he’s happy at school, and feels he can confide in you.
If you still have concerns, contact Beat Eating Disorders (beateatingdisorders.org.uk).
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