Hunger and Fullness Cues: Teaching Students to Listen to their Bodies

Health Behaviours 3 min

Many nutrition experts agree that a better understand of hunger and fullness cues can enhance our overall wellness. This article will give you the tools to start a conversation with your students about listening to their body.

By DFC - PLC, Nutrition Team
Breakfast
Boy and girl eating yogurt for breakfast with their mother

Many nutrition experts agree that a better understanding of and respect for hunger and fullness cues can support overall wellness. Unfortunately, many factors can make these cues difficult to “hear.” Things like stress, marketing, poor body satisfaction and feeling rushed can distract us from listening to these cues.

Use this page as a guide to start conversations about hunger and fullness cues with students:

  1. Ask students where they feel hunger and fullness. How does their body communicate? We often talk about the stomach’s connection to hunger and fullness but there is so much more! Use the table below as a guide. Keep in mind that people experiences hunger and fullness differently.
AB a chart describing what it feels like to be hungry and full
chart describing how it feels to be hungry or full

2. Ask students what hunger and fullness feel like. Good or bad? This question can start a conversation about different types of hunger. It might feel good to feel a bit hungry before you sit down to a meal but it would feel bad to be ravenous. Similarly, it might feel good to be comfortably full after a meal, but bad to be so full your stomach hurts.

Circles representing how it feels to be hungry or full
circles respresenting how it feels to be hungry or full

Discussion Questions: Use these questions to start a conversation about hunger and fullness with your students.

  • What does it feel like when you are very hungry? Where do you feel it?
  • What does it feel like when you are somewhat hungry?
  • What does it feel like when you are content? How do you know?
  • What does it feel like when you are comfortably full?
  • What does it feel like when you are very full? Where do you feel it?

OverView

Grade
Schoolwide
Curriculum
Health
Theme
Hunger and fullness
Theme
Healthy eating