"I want food papa (mama)"

So our son, Liam, has entered a stage where he’s apparently always hungry…no more than 10 minutes after he eats (no matter how much, or little he eats - big meals or small), he starts saying, “I want food mama (papa)”…

Wondering if any parent of a T1 toddler has experienced this and what they do to curb this? We’ve tried (and utilize) healthy alternatives, salads, light snacks, etc., but he just seems to always be hungry.

Is this just normal for his age? Any recommendations for parents that would rather their toddler not get overweight from overeating?

Sometimes I feel just like Liam does…and I simply can’t face any more veggie sticks with cheese or peanut butter… :crying_cat_face:


I am not a parent, but I feel this way a lot. What I would do is:

A) Eat fattier foods at meals
When I say fatty foods I mean either healthy fats like avocado, or fats in healthy foods, like whole yogurt or whole milk. This leads a double purpose as well. Not only does fat fill up a stomach very well, but it slows down the acting rate of carbs.

B) Drink plenty of water
Drinking at least 2 glasses of water at meals is very useful. It fills you up a lot, and of course, it is great for you! Tonight, I had 4 glasses of water (although my meal was a bit salty). Although some say to drink a glass of water instead of snack I would suggest to try to drink as much water at meals as possible, instead of snack time. This is because a glass of water often leaves me unsatisfied as a snack.

C) Make sure he is HUNGRY, and not just bored.
Many times, especially with kids (like me), we just want to do something that we like to get away from what we are doing, i.e. eat. Make sure that your kid is eating because he wants food, not just because he wants to do SOMETHING as opposed to nothing.

D) Have designated meal and snack times
With everything in life, it’s good to have a schedule. Whenever I come home from school at 4:30, I have a drink, and eat a small fat or protein snack. I think that if you make his body get into a rhythm of consistent meal and snack times, maybe he won’t be so hungry at other times, because his body has gotten used eating at certain times.

Now, I’m not an expert on this, but I would say that toddlers need to eat. A lot. Make sure that he isn’t eating an unusually large amount of food before you cut his diet. And, the fact is, if he ever gets very fat, then he will probably outgrow it if he eats responsibly.

Good luck!


Harold, as you know we don’t have a toddler :slight_smile:

I have the same concern with my son as you do with your son, though. Beyond what the previous poster mentioned, a few things we do:

  • we almost always have large quantities of vegetables at every meal, typically a large salad and a cooked vegetable (we use huge quantities of broccoli and cauliflower for instance), to make sure he is really full. By salad I don’t mean lettuce, but much more solid foods: one might be, for instance, tomatoes, cucumber, fennel, black olives, celery and shredded smoked salmon.

  • we make a lot of pulses (mixed with other things): pinto beans, black beans, favas, lentils (I found the latter need both onion and fat to be filling for my son). Somehow, it seems to pack him really well at dinner.

  • we try to make sure he gets treats often, such as ice cream, integrated to his regular menu, to make sure he does not get cravings that may cause him to sneak or overeat.

  • for snacks, see the post above: we try to make sure snacks occur at roughly fixed times. This ends up being fairly flexible given after-school schedules.

  • to bring up his BG when he needs to, we use mostly milk, so that this sugar is not added calories (since he needs to get about 24 oz of milk a day anyway, so only give him the milk he was short of the day before).

[EDIT] clarified “salad”



First, I entirely agree w/ @Kaelan regarding mindless eating.

That said, have you tried very low carb snacks loaded with protein?

(I posted this as strawberry, but usually make it with half raspberries – which are even lower carb. You can also sub unsweetened almond milk for up to ~50% of the hwc if fat’s a concern.)

  • Meat and cheese sticks or roll-ups – you can roll romaine and a bit of chopped tomato in as well

  • Double Cheese Tacos (Ex: Parm and/or provolone frico folded in half while still quite warm, filked with fresh mozza)

  • Homemade low carb butter-cream caramel w/ low carb nuts such as pecans, walnuts, Spanish/redskin peanuts or macadamias

  • Grainless Granola >> http://forum.diabetesunlimited.com/t/grainless-granola-britts/317

More ideas coming soon…

Honestly, we do go through this occasionally and we just strap in and expect a wild ride. I usually will look over his insulin total usage over the past day and make sure i’m adequately dosing for carbs beforehand, but other than that, I just let him eat whatever and dose accordingly.


I think these are good suggestions for adults or kids, but with a toddler he may be legitimately going through a growth spurt. So that’s why I’m reluctant to say no if he says he’s really hungry; he could be growing.

That said we do limit snacks before dinner – he will always prefer to snack on cashews rather than eat the snapper and broccoli dad cooked, but if he hasn’t filled up on snacks he’ll eat dinner okay. And we also try to make sure he sits at the table at least 15 minutes. Because sometimes he’s antsy to go play but hasn’t eaten enough to feel full, which is a recipe for complaining of being hungry later.

For snacks I also make sure that he is offered things like broccoli, bell pepper, cauliflower, cucumber, pickle, or tomato. while he’s watching a TV show. If they’re hungry and distracted by the Octonauts they can gobble up a lot of veggies and or lowish carb fruits, which usually tides them over till dinner.

The other thing we do, which I guess is not recommended per se, is that we will deliberately super-bolus or even over-bolus for a meal like breakfast, knowing that in an hour he’ll need a snack. So the breakfast we offer initially is smaller than we would offer if he was eating all in one go… instead of letting him eat a cup and a half of oatmeal, we give him a cup of oatmeal and offer him some fruit and a glass of milk an hour later. I know that’s not good food hygiene but building in this extra buffer can mean you have less anxiety about letting them snack.

The risk of course is if they’re not hungry and you wind up feeding them a bunch of jelly beans or other sugar to stave off a low.