Hominid evolution is marked by very significant increase in relative brain size. Because relative brain size has been linked to energetic requirements it is possible to look at the pattern of encephalization as a factor in the evolution of human foraging and dietary strategies. Major expansion of the brain is associated with Homo rather than the Hominidae as a whole, and the energetic costs are likely to have forced a prolongation of growth rates and secondary altriciality. It is calculated here that modern human infants have energetic requirements approximately 9% greater than similar size apes due to their large brains. Consideration of energetic costs of brain allow the prediction of growth rates in hominid taxa and an examination of the implications for life-history strategy and foraging behaviour.