Changing eating patterns

(26 Posts)
odyssey2001 Sun 04-May-14 17:51:59

Our son (3.4) is eating less and less as the day goes on. He eats the same every day (other than lunch) for various reasons I'm not going to go into on here.

Breakfast - two Weetabix and half an apple
Mid-morning snack - 8-10 grapes
Lunch - decent sized meal with two age-appropriate portions of veg + banana
Afternoon snack - Heinz 2 fruit portion custard pot
Tea...

A few months ago he would polish off a whole sandwich, a Cathedral City cheese stick and a few Organic crisps plus a yoghurt. Then it dropped to half a sandwich and the other bits. The that became too much and we switch to buffet snack items (sausage rolls, mini sausages, egg bites etc) plus cheese, crisps and custard.

These days he struggles with one buffet item, the cheese and crisps. We have added a few slices of cucumber or carrot but they are so minimal they barely count!

Is this loss of appetite normal? Is it a weather thing or are we just getting better at feeding him in the day?

RabbitSaysWoof Sun 04-May-14 17:57:28

I think it totally normal.
Is there any room in hes routine to put tea back until later?
Would you consider dropping the custard pot before and using it as a pudding? most children would make room for custard but not try so hard to fit in savoury foods if they already had the treat.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 04-May-14 18:28:43

What time is lunch and what time is the snack and then tea? Does he still have a nap? He could just be tired in the evening smile

Agree with rabbit. I'd be tempted to offer the cheese stick and water for the afternoon snack and the custard pot after tea.

odyssey2001 Sun 04-May-14 18:31:50

Thanks Rabbit. We can't really push tea back much later. He has it as 4.30 and doesn't normally finish until 5. His bedtime routine starts at 6pm. He used to have it at 5pm and it didn't really work for him as he never had enough time to do anything after tea (because he takes so bloody long to eat!)

I think we have two options
a) drop afternoon snack and make tea earlier (4pm). That way he might be hungry but not too hungry.
b) drop banana at lunch time and push it to afternoon snack, moving custard pot to teatime pudding

The problem is he will be starting two full days at nursery in September and neither option follows their pattern exactly (although plan b is closer). Do people think that will matter?

I get the feeling that whatever we do we will need to change it again in a few months anyway!

odyssey2001 Sun 04-May-14 18:36:38

Thanks Jilted - cross post. I hadn't thought of moving the cheese. Lunch is irregularly times due to morning activities. Noon at nursery three time a week but anywhere between 12.30 and 1.15 with us. I have no clue whether there is a correlation!

He doesn't have a nap but is full of beans all the way through to bedtime. He is less grouchy when he eats all meals and snacks though. I should probably do a food diary.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 04-May-14 18:52:45

Food diary sounds good. You need to look at 2 weeks really to try to get a picture smile

If he has issues that affect his food choices, have you seen a Paed dietician?

RabbitSaysWoof Sun 04-May-14 19:19:20

If he has a 1:15 lunch so must be finishing lunch between 1:30 and 1:45 then the just under 3 hours isnt a long gap anyway after a good size meal, I'd be tempted to skip snack altogether and still have a 4:30 tea if it were me.
Obviously everyone has different routines but FWIW my ds eats 8:30, 1:30 and 6pm with no snacks (exact same brekki as your ds and 2 main cooked meals with fruit/ yogurt as pudding) he never seems irritated by hunger and isn't used to being given food in between meals so it doesnt occur to him to ask.
At his nursery they are on a bit of a newborn schedule of eating every couple of hours and the meals are tiny I'm sure he does better nutritionally when he has bigger main meals instead. but he doesnt have a problem adapting to two different routines.

Geraldthegiraffe Sun 04-May-14 19:24:38

What does he need to do after tea? We have tea at 5.30 (I couldn't eat any earlier than that!) And then bath/pjs/story bed.

4.30 is v early. I suspect he's not hungry?

We see morning and afternoon snack as really important, planned for, and a good opportunity to have something nutritious withouy having to binge at meal times.

odyssey2001 Sun 04-May-14 19:44:26

Thanks Gerald (great name by the way, one of my favourites!).

I may be missing something, but what is the point of feeding children just before bed? Food is for immediate energy and energy stores and our takes hours to digest fully, so won't they be going to bed in an almost full stomach?

Feeding before winding down for the evening seems counter productive. Do they really need food at that time of night?

odyssey2001 Sun 04-May-14 19:50:36

Thanks again Rabbit. Our LO is adopted and we have always followed FC's timing but completely changed contents of meals and snacks. He is watching ITNG before bed by 6pm and routine wise (ignoring food), 4-4.30 is best for him generally. I think we are moving toward dropping snacks but I'm not sure how he will cope with different routines at home to nursery. The food diary should help see any problems / patterns.

RabbitSaysWoof Sun 04-May-14 19:56:32

In alot European countries families eat together when everyone is home and a meal has taken time to prepare I don't think its just immediate fuel so much as nourishment to serve the body in the long term to grow and be healthy.

RabbitSaysWoof Sun 04-May-14 19:57:39

sorry crossed there!

odyssey2001 Sun 04-May-14 20:09:13

We have had number two issues when he eats late. He tends to have morning bedtime accidents when he eats his main meal late in the day (which we have done when we have eaten out with family). That may be an age thing (and it is linked to other issues). He needs the 6 to 8 hours for his food to digest when he is awake so that he can have a second or third poo throughout the day (if necessary, which it normally is). I think we have just found that the schedule I posted initially is the best thing for him all round but the food part just isn't working for him anymore. Thanks everyone so far.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 04-May-14 21:32:54

What hours will he be doing at nursery and do they provide the food?

Have you tried the offer something they like along with something new? So if he likes chicken nuggets and chips give him that but put a little of the new thing on his plate?

Have you asked about his food in the adoption section too? You might get some people with more experience smile

Kissmequick123 Sun 04-May-14 22:59:50

They stop snacking. Stop giving snacks and instead let him just eat breakfast, lunch, tea. Also try and give lots of veg and less processed rubbish.

Kissmequick123 Sun 04-May-14 23:02:18

Mine have a banana before bed because it helps them sleep and they often just want a little top up

odyssey2001 Mon 05-May-14 13:21:59

Do you know what Kiss, I was going to scorn you for your total lack of manners but I can't be bothered. Thank you everyone else for your constructive comments.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 06-May-14 12:33:40

Odessy did you think about posting in Adoption? How are you getting on today?

odyssey2001 Tue 06-May-14 20:16:10

He has stinking child so appetite is minimal. However, we moved the cheese to afternoon snack (with a few more grapes) which went very well. Thanks for asking.

I did think about posting in adoption but I wanted a perspective that didn't have baggage. But thanks for the thought.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 06-May-14 20:46:17

Glad having the cheese in the afternoon seems to have worked. How did his evening meal go tonight? smile

odyssey2001 Tue 06-May-14 23:40:49

Tiny with the custard pot for dessert. Went in without a fuss. Removing the cheese from tea (his go to favourite) seemed to make everything equally desirable instead of everything playing second fiddle to the cheese.

Got HV coming tomorrow. Will discuss with her as I am become concerned about his weight. May be time to switch to full fat milk (he has been on a diet for the last 18 months).

odyssey2001 Tue 06-May-14 23:40:54

Tiny with the custard pot for dessert. Went in without a fuss. Removing the cheese from tea (his go to favourite) seemed to make everything equally desirable instead of everything playing second fiddle to the cheese.

Got HV coming tomorrow. Will discuss with her as I am become concerned about his weight. May be time to switch to full fat milk (he has been on a diet for the last 18 months).

odyssey2001 Tue 06-May-14 23:41:50

Tiny with the custard pot for dessert. Went in without a fuss. Removing the cheese from tea (his go to favourite) seemed to make everything equally desirable instead of everything playing second fiddle to the cheese.

Got HV coming tomorrow. Will discuss with her as I am become concerned about his weight. May be time to switch to full fat milk (he has been on a diet for the last 18 months).

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 07-May-14 20:25:04

How did it go with the HV today? smile

odyssey2001 Thu 08-May-14 08:57:09

She is going to do a weigh in in about six weeks and then we will be able to see whether he has lost any weight. On the food front, things have settled down now. We seem to have found a new status quo. The grapes and cheese for afternoon snack are working well, as is the custard pot for teatime pudding. We have also moved tea back to closer to 5pm again and he seems to be eating more willingly (at the moment). This whole setup will work for a little while and them we will need to change again.

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