Minecraft: Here’s Why You Can’t Eat (& How To Solve It)

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One of the first crucial things you have to do when you start a new Minecraft world is to find food and for a good reason. If you start sprinting to move around your world faster, you’ll quickly go through your hunger bar and become slower as you get hungrier. Another concern is simply the fact that you might die of hunger. Sometimes it so happens that you can’t eat in Minecraft though so why is that and how do you solve it?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • If you’re playing in Creative or Peaceful Mode, your hunger bar will never go down so you won’t be able to eat ever.
  • The same rule applies to Survival mode Minecraft but the difference is that the bar goes down in this mode.
  • Once it goes down even just a little, you will be able to eat. Essentially, if you can’t eat try to move around and you will succeed.

What happens when you don’t eat in Minecraft

When you don’t eat in Minecraft, your hunger bar will slowly go down. When it reaches about half, you won’t be able to sprint anymore. This is to help Steve, Alex, and the new characters save energy. The hunger bar will then go down at a slower rate but won’t stop going down until you eat something.

If you can’t seem to find food, your hunger bar will eventually go to zero and will then cause you to slowly die. You will lose health rapidly but won’t actually die in easy mode or normal mode. Starvation only kills you in hardcore mode. This makes it appear as if hunger can be taken lightly in Minecraft but the opposite is true.

With 5 hearts of health remaining on easy mode and half a heart on normal mode, you become an easy target for hostile mobs that will kill you with one blow if you don’t regenerate health soon. Perhaps, what’s even more dangerous is simply the act of walking in your Minecraft world. If you fall from a height that’s more than 3 blocks, you will take damage and you risk potentially losing all of your items.

Hunger and health bars

The hunger and health bar are the first two bars you’re introduced to when starting your Minecraft world. Later on, you get introduced to the armor bar as well. Both are essential in keeping you alive in your Minecraft world and seeing the two deplete can cause many problems in the future.


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The hunger bar affects the health bar in multiple ways. Apart from the obvious depletion of health when you’re starving, your hunger bar can also heal you if the conditions are met. Upon world spawn, you start with a full hunger bar which equals 20. If your hunger bar is at 20 and there’s some saturation left, you will regenerate 1 health every 1/2 of a second.

Health and Hunger

If your hunger bar is at 18, or more, you still regenerate health but only 1 health every 4 seconds. The healing stops when the hunger bar is at 17 or lower. The hunger bar needs to reach a value of 6 in order for the player to stop sprinting. When and if the bar reaches zero, you’ll lose 1 health every 4 seconds so depending on how low you are on health, the situation can get tricky.

Still, You should have enough time to find a food source and fill up your hunger bar but how much food you’ll have to eat to fully replenish your hunger bar depends on the type of food you’re eating. Not every food has the same nutritional value, even in Minecraft which can turn out to be a great teaching tool about how certain food makes us feel in the real world.

Foods with the highest nutritional values in Minecraft

You might have noticed that certain foods that you eat in Minecraft provide you with more energy than others. Each food item has a saturation level which determines how quickly your hunger bar will deplete after eating the food item. You can view saturation levels as how long you are full after eating certain food items. Of course, certain foods that are usually deemed unhealthy and aren’t as nutrient-dense as others refill your hunger bar quickly but it’ll go down a lot faster as well.

By Hunger Points Restored

  1. Cake (14)
  2. Suspicious Stew (13)
  3. Rabbit Stew (10)
  4. Cooked Porkchop (8) Raw Equivalent (3)
  5. Steak (8) Raw Equivalent (2)
  6. Pumpkin Pie (8)

By Saturation Level

  1. Golden Carrot (14.4)
  2. Cooked Porkchop (12.8)
  3. Steak (12.8)
  4. Rabbit Stew (12)
  5. Cooked Salmon (9.6)
  6. Cooked Mutton (9.6)

I won’t bore you with the mechanical details so to cut it short, the foods that made it on both lists are the best foods you can eat in Minecraft for the greatest hunger bar rise and saturation levels. Of course, some foods are easier to acquire to acquire than others so that may also be a determining factor of what foods you’ll end up eating.

My best advice to you is to try and make a farm out of a resource you can get your hands on easily and spam those food items. I personally spam eat bread even though I know it’s not good for me, but it’s readily available, easy to acquire, and cheap.

Activities that take the most out of Alex and Steve

Not every activity that Alex, Steve, and the gang do will deplete them of their energy in the same way. That’s why we have exhaustion levels in Minecraft. Although you can’t see these levels, they directly affect the hunger bar with how fast it drains.

Sprinting and jumping while sprinting take the most out of them under normal circumstances. The game has a status effect called hunger. It has 3 levels and per level, decreases the duration of the effect but each level exhausts Steve and Alex more. The items you can get the Hunger status effect from are raw chicken, rotten flesh, taking damage from husks, and pufferfish so players should avoid eating those.

Attacking an enemy also exhausts you and actually exhausts you the same as sprinting does. The least amount of exhaustion comes from breaking a single block but since this can easily stack up, it manages to earn a spot in the upper ranges of exhaustion levels.

Worst biome to spawn in

People seem to have divided opinions on what the worst biomes to spawn in are but one beats the rest when it comes to having a reliable food source. Depending on its size and your exact spawn location, the worst biome to spawn in when it comes to food is the desert. There’s barely any food, only brown rabbits that are hard to catch when you have no weapons and are already hungry enough so you can’t sprint.

Whatever you do, save your energy and try to just walk. You want to keep your hunger bar high and try to find a food source before nighttime when hostile mobs will spawn and make your life miserable. It’s best to end up in a grassy biome because that’s where sheep will spawn. Then it’s just a matter of finding wood and you got the three most important resources: a bed and food.


Minecraft: Here’s How To Disable Hunger (With Commands)

Golden Apples & Milk

Golden apples and Milk are the only exceptions when it comes to not being able to eat food when your hunger bar is completely full. The difference is that they don’t actually heal you or provide any value in terms of actually feeding you. Milk helps remove some status effects like mining fatigue. Golden Apples do heal you but they also give some additional effects.

They give you 4 points in the hunger bar, regeneration II for 5 seconds, and Absorption for 2 minutes. Their uses can vary but people mostly use them right before a battle and in PvP. You can craft them on the crafting table by combining 8 gold ingots and one apple.

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