1. Do children know how much to eat?

Yes they do!

Children are born with the ability to self regulate their intake of food. They know when they are hungry and they know when they are full. Research has shown that when infants are given food of varying caloric amounts, they will naturally adjust their volume of intake to meet their hunger and fullness.

Adults can support children by:

  1. Watching for signs of hunger and then ensuring food is available.
  2. Watching for signs of fullness and then avoiding the encouragement of children to eat or drink more.

Further, children’s natural hunger and fullness cues can be hindered when adults restrict or force children to eat. Fortunately, when adults provide reinforcement of internal cues, children can reestablish their natural ability to self-regulate intake of food.