Why do people say "I could eat you up"?

I think it is all about the choice of words and presentation. Try using a different phrasing next time and don’t look at any specific body parts while you are doing it.

Don’t mamas regularly “nibble” on their babies toes? I’m a pediatric nurse with no children (and no desire to have them), but I find myself with cute babies and toddlers thinking, I want to nom those widdle corncob toes! NOM NOM NOM!"

It’s the same reason that people kind of want to hurt cute things by pulling on their nose or twisting their cheeks. Humans are just bizarre.

I absolutely want to eat cute things. At least bite/nibble them. I’m always nibbling on my son–he’s just so damn cute!