When the Sugar Snaps were babies, our pediatrician told us that babies and toddlers know when to stop eating and naturally stop when they are full. Unlike adults, they do not mindlessly eat while watching television. The last part is true. The first part is not true for our multiples. They would eat more than they need if we let them. Why? Because there is competition. I remember testing this theory when they were younger. Grayson ate so much that he got sick. And that experience did not change his desire to continue eating until we cut him off. I have a friend whose husband came from a large family. To this day, he holds one hand over his food while he eats. He needed to do that as a child so his siblings would not take his food. Even though his wife and children would not take his food, the habit stuck.
We have been working on eating only what is on our own plate and
stopping when we are full. Greg and I model this for them when we go
out to eat. We tell them that we are full and are not going to eat any
more. We will bring the rest home and put it in a box for later.
Slowly, they are starting to recognize when they are full. The food
guarding, however, is still happening. Once we make sure hands do not
wander to other plates, hopefully we can stop the food guarding habit.
Right now, it is still practical.
I am curious, if you have multiples, more than one child or came from a large family, have you experienced food guarding or not stopping when full? It would be interesting to know how often this happens in large families. I can picture it happening even with two children. Please share your experiences in the comments.