Recognizing Your Hunger Signals

Because hunger is the best indicator of whether or not we are full, it’s important to learn to listen to what our body is telling us. Your baby is also capable of listening to her body’s signals. For example, when she’s full, she knows it’s time to stop nursing.

How can we learn to listen for and respect our hunger and fullness signals? And how do we know when our baby has had enough? Both these issues are sources of concern for many parents.

Here are a few tips to help you learn to listen for and respect your hunger and fullness signals:

  • Try to gauge your appetite before serving your plate. It will keep you from eating more food than you actually need.
  • Snack between meals. You won’t be starving by mealtime and you’ll be able to better gauge your appetite and avoid overeating.
  • Serve smaller portions to begin with. You can always have seconds if you’re still hungry.
  • Take your time and enjoy your meal.

As a parent, your role is to make sure baby’s mealtime environment is appropriate (where), that a meal or a snack is served at the right moment (when), and that your baby is eating healthy foods (what). Your baby’s role is to decide how much to eat according to her appetite (quantity)!

By not pressuring your baby to eat more, you are teaching her to listen for her own fullness signals. A lesson she will carry with her for a lifetime!