I am one of those constantly singing and rhyming mums,so it was no surprise that my son´s favourite tune was “no more monkeys jumping on the bed” . He quickly learnt that “no more” could be applied to many situations like; brushing teeth,going to nursery,wiping a runny nose and then eating. In turn we learnt to respect his wishes (where applicable) and stop whatever it is we were doing so he knew that what he said was serious and that we were listening.
It is sometimes hard to stop feeding him after what seems to me only a few teaspoons, but it is important for him to know when he is full and to establish his limitations.
From a epigenetic point of view, it seems that the oversupply of calories combined with a increasingly sedentary environment is contributingv to the alarming rates of obesity we are currently seeing across the world. Leptin is a protein which is produced by the fat cells and is a key regulator of food intake (appetite) and energy expenditure (metabolism). Leptin acts in the brain and signals that the body has had enough to eat providing a feeling of satiety. Levels of leptin are related to the level of fat mass, so the higher the fat mass, the more Leptin is present hence the feeling of satiety is not reached, possibly leading to more eating.
It is therefore crucial that we avoid overfeeding children, by “oversupplying” food and allow them to learn to listen to their inner signals of satiety no matter how hard it is for you. No two days are the same, but if they are growing and thriving you are only teaching good habits and avoiding obesity later. I also usually provide a small healthy snack in between meals if I see that he is hungry.
Some good ideas are: Cranberries, cut up fresh fruit, vegetable sticks,cheese cube
Whilst Leptin is not the only culprit to blame for the obesity epidemic, it has been identified as one of the important hormones leading to overeating. So next time your baby says “mo more”….stop
Keim N, Stern J, Havel P (1998). “Relation between circulating leptin concentrations and appetite during a prolonged, moderate energy deficit in women”. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 68 (4): 794–801. PMID 9771856.
Mars M, de Graaf C, de Groot C, van Rossum C, Kok F (2006). “Fasting leptin and appetite responses induced by a 4-day 65%-energy-restricted diet”. International journal of obesity (Lond) 30 (1): 122–8. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803070. PMID 16158086.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is not a substitute for medical advice. For specific advice on a health condition contact a medical healthcare professional.