Three year old and eating!

(13 Posts)

Sorry if I have posted this in the wrong place, I'm not sure where to put it!!

My daughter is 3yo and is really funny with eating.
She won't eat a lot at home and rarely complains she is hungry. For example, I have just made her a (two slices of bread into quarters) cheese sandwich. She ate 1 quarter, then half of another and said she was full. I managed to get her to eat the cheese from some of them but she left one whole quarter of the sandwich. Fair enough.

At nursery they tell me she eats really well. She often has two helpings of her lunch and all of her pudding. I know she has this early, at around 11.30am but often complains of being hungry after I've picked her up at 1pm.

Also, on Monday, she only ate half of her lunch at nursery, only half of her pudding, had nothing else at home until dinner time where she had about 7 chips and said she was full.

Is she eating enough? How will i know that she is eating enough? I know she will eat when she is hungry but I'm always in the mind that she should eat at mealtimes, she does have fruit at snack times. We haven't loads of money and I really hate waste so I don't like it at all when she doesn't eat the food I make her.

Nishky Wed 12-Mar-14 18:06:10

My mum took me to the doc when I was little as she thought I was hardly eating anything. He asked if there was a change in my energy levels.

Perhaps speak to a health visitor. My children always seemed to eat more at nursery then at home. If there are no other issues I wouldn't worry too much - we all feel more hungry some days than others.

brettgirl2 Wed 12-Mar-14 18:14:57

I think you need to relax they go through hungry and non-hungry phases. I don't understand the point about money I mean it costs the same whether she eats it or not surely confused .

ZuleikaD Wed 12-Mar-14 18:48:35

At this age they do have hungry phases and non-hungry phases depending on whether they're growing. DS1 (also 3) will sometimes eat loads and sometimes practically nothing. I also hate waste and would love to know in advance when a non-eating phase is starting!

Don't place any reliance at all on what they say at nursery - half the time their memories are unreliable and the other half is mendacity.

Glasshammer Sat 15-Mar-14 08:23:23

If she's not eating main meals, stop snacking. Use meal left overs as a snack if she really has to have one occasionally

Glasshammer Sat 15-Mar-14 08:25:21

Also stop forcing her to eat more, it could turn into a fight of wills. Stop fussing. When she stops eating, say that's fine but if you get hungry she can eat the rest of the sandwich

estya Sat 15-Mar-14 15:17:10

Read 'my child won't eat'. Can't remember who it's by - Spanish guy, it'll be on amazon. He basically says your child won't eat if they aren't hungry but they won't starve themselves if they are.

Sorry I haven't replied! Completely forgot about this thread!!
I guess you're right about it costing the same, I would just rather see it go into a mouth than a bin!!

It has turned into a battle of wills. She doesn't eat, I get annoyed, she shouts, I shout, we all get upset. I just hate the thought of her going hungry.

I do trust nursery as they write it all down. She often gets stickers for eating well but then other days she'll only eat half of her lunch. They do notice, as I do, that she seems to prefer veg and potatoes to meat. If they make hot pot or shepherds pie or something, she'll eat just the potato. Should I be worried she isn't getting enough protein? She is tall though.

Listen to me! I sound so PFB (which she is!) but I do have a younger DC who eats anything I place in front of him!! I'm not worried about him!
Should I just resign myself to the fact that she will eat when she's hungry and look no more into it?

Goldmandra Sat 15-Mar-14 20:30:25

I managed to get her to eat the cheese from some of them

This is the root of the problem.

Stop trying to get her to eat anything ever. That's not your job and you will never win.

The more pressure you put on her the eat, the less she will eat when you are around.

The reason she eats in nursery is that the staff don't have an emotional investment in how much she eats. You need to pretend to be the same.

Serve food that you feel makes up an acceptable balanced diet and allow her to choose which bits to eat. Don't try to influence her choice in any way. When she's had enough, take it away without comment.

If you can do this consistently for long enough she will start to eat in the same way at home as she does in nursery.

Children don't need every meal or even every day's diet to be balanced and they don't need to eat the same amount every day. They just need to get all the food groups and in reasonable proportions over weeks or months so don't stress about what she has or hasn't had unless there is a severe bias towards or away from one group consistently for a very long time.

Okay, will definitely try to appear less interested!!
Funny thing is, she never has a problem with breakfast!! She would eat a breakfast type meal at every mealtime if I would allow it!

matana Sun 16-Mar-14 18:10:38

some days ds eats like a sparrow. Others he just doesn't stop. There is never any reason to it. I just tend to trust his appetite. If he were losing weight, looked fragile and lack lustre i'd worry. But he never stops. What's her energy like?

Scaredycat3000 Sun 16-Mar-14 18:30:16

Put a balanced meal in front of both of you and have a conversation about anything but food. Like you would with any adult, except maybe you are having a conversation about Peppa pig rather than an adult topic. Don't teach her to ignore her body, when she is full she is full. Don't worry about balanced diet on a meal by meal level, more a day by day or week by week. If no emotional attachment is made to food she is more likely to eat what her body craves and needs rather than 'good girls get chocolate' type bollocks. DC1,4, will eat 2 Weetabix for breakfast at 8am, DC2,2, would much rather have a banana about 9:30, so would I! I read the BLW book for DC1 and realised how much society creates these problems, just one more, good girl finished your food, would you like a treat, they won't eat that (it's their favourite!), etc.

Goldmandra Sun 16-Mar-14 22:23:16

She would eat a breakfast type meal at every mealtime if I would allow it!

My DD2 would happily eat all her calories for the whole day in one sitting at breakfast time then virtually nothing at lunch or tea time. I also have a mother who thinks that love is piling a child's plate high and persuading them to clear it. It's a nightmare combination and has caused some considerable friction during Sunday lunches at her house.

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