The Science Behind Children’s Appetites – The Multiple Stomach Chamber Theory
Summary: The shocking truth about why your child has limited room for broccoli but seemingly infinite room for desert.
So I’m feeding my daughter dinner.
“I’m full. I want some more pasta.”
“But you still have more broccoli left.”
“I’m just full for broccoli. I’m not full for pasta.”
Huh? How is this possible. It doesn’t make any sense, yet every kid I’ve met has the same problem. They get full very easily when eating vegetables but still have room for pasta. And when they’re completely full of pasta, they are still hungry for desert.
And then inspiration struck. Children must have multiple stomach chambers that are designed to hold only specific foods. As they get older these chambers combine until there is only one chamber left. This is why an adult can get completely full of broccoli and really be completely full. They will not be hungry for anything else.
Children are born with their skull in separate pieces so they can get through he birth canal without fracturing their head. The pieces slowly grow together as they age. Children also start out with no teeth, then get baby teeth, and then those fall out and are replaced by adult ones. So it’s entirely within reason that they are born with a fractured stomach that slowly grows together and is ultimately replaced with an adult one as well.
Below is a diagram outlining this theory.
As you can see, a child has four stomach chambers – a small one for vegetables, a bigger one for pasta, an even bigger one for cheese, and a giant one which is for deserts. So a child can easily max out their vegetable chamber and thus be too full for broccoli, but could still easily hold more pasta. If a child doesn’t fill all of their chambers, they will still feel hungry.
On the other hand, an adult’s stomach is one chamber and doesn’t make a distinction on content. It can be filled with anything until it can’t hold anymore. At this point the adult will say “I’m full, I just can’t eat anymore” and they will really mean it.
However a child may only be full of one kind of food yet have ample space for other types of food.
I know, I’m shocked as you are.
File Under: Why Kids Feel Full But Still Want Desert