Three year old eating more than I do!

(16 Posts)
greatscott81 Thu 30-Jun-16 20:54:39

Ok, so as not to be over-dramatic, I will pre-fix this by saying I have a small appetite. However, my 3 year old DD is eating so much and I'm can't keep up with her appetite!

So, a typical day would be:

Today:
Breakfast: pasta shapes (half tin), 1 x slice granary toast, an apple, oaty bar in the car to pre-school as she was hungry

Snack: (at pre-school) crackers, fruit

Lunch: Sandwich thin with cream cheese, yoghurt, carrot sticks, cucumber, satsuma, 2 x packet fruit treats (bear paws, humzinga)

Snack: Oaty bar. 3/4 prawn sandwich (we were meant to share this but she demolished it)

Supper: Beef stew, carrots, peas, mushrooms with rice. Yoghurt, strawberries.

She only drinks milk and water.

I know her diet is healthy (perhaps not the pasta shapes but we've always had a problem with breakfast), but I'm concerned about the volume she's eating - and the fact she is so hungry come mealtimes. Despite the fact she'd eaten nearly an entire sandwich at 4, she was crying for supper at 5.

She is going through a growth spurt at the moment and has shot up recently. She isn't remotely tubby and is VERY active but I don't want her to get into bad habits and am looking for some advice about whether this is normal?!

TeaBelle Thu 30-Jun-16 20:59:04

Personally I think that if a child is hu gry you should feed them. I think it's more important to teach self-regulation and good eating habits (eg 3 meals plus 2 planned snack or 5 small meals rather than picking at crap) rather than worrying too much about portions.

HallowedMimic Thu 30-Jun-16 21:00:37

She doesn't eat an outlandish amount.

Maybe up the fats, and pull back on the fibre/raw veg/fruit. Or have hoummous with the veg.

Van she eat eggs/chicken/soya for protein? And is the yogurt full fat?

MrsHardy1 Thu 30-Jun-16 21:07:20

That isn't a massive amount. Maybe it seems that way because you have a small appetite? Always confused at these threads

CatatonicLadybug Thu 30-Jun-16 21:10:28

It doesn't sound an crazy amount to me either. Growing requires a lot of fuel!

I would think she could do with upping fat in exchange of some carbs if she is feeling ravenous often. Eggs made a massive difference in our house- eggs for breakfast and through to lunch happily, toast or cereal and I'm making snacks all day long. Fat fills you up while carbs give you a high then a crash so you want more when you crash.

And ignore me if you've already done this, but check the box on the oaty bars. We bought a bunch once from a brand marketed to look so healthy and child-friendly and when I looked one day I did a double take. It had more sugar than a Snickers. it explained a lot when I realised.

toffeeboffin Thu 30-Jun-16 21:13:37

Needs more fat and protein to keep her full, less veg.

Try giving her ham /boiled eggs as snacks, or homemade flapjack, banana bread, peanut butter on apples etc.

greatscott81 Thu 30-Jun-16 21:14:23

Thank you for the replies. Annoyingly she won't eat eggs (I have them for breakfast every day so would be very happy to cook them for her as well). She's funny (annoying) about breakfast - I've tried cooking pancakes, porridge, scrambled/dippy/poached/fried eggs etc etc and she rebuffs them all. She'll eat crunchy nut cornflakes (I know) and I can get her eating oatcakes and peanut butter but it's the only meal she's fussy about. Strange child.

Generally she has protein with every meal, but lunch boxes are a little different as she's still a little fussy over sandwich fillings. But suppers always consist of a protein. Yes, the yoghurt is full fat, and she also eats nuts (just not today). Adding a pot of homous is a good idea - she's started to like that recently.

I'm happy to hear she isn't eating too much. She seems to be eating more than her peers but she's a lot taller than them so it's hard to measure. For what it's worth, I used to have an eating disorder so I'm very conscious about providing her with a healthy attitude towards food (and yes, she does have chocolates, crisps etc as a treat!)

calilark Thu 30-Jun-16 21:22:28

This is similar to my DD. For her lunches/teas, I try to include some rolled up ham or chicken pieces, chunks of cheese. She also really likes plain butterbeans. I dont often do her a sandwich! They are all healthy, and more filling than just veg. The fruit paws have basically no filling power or much nutritional value though so maybe swap one of those for some homemade flapjack or something?

greatscott81 Thu 30-Jun-16 21:22:31

MrsHardy1 - I am asking for advice - not to be patronised (the title was slightly tongue in cheek). Must be hard to be perfect and never need advice. And no, obviously I am not comparing it to my appetite - I am comparing it to the appetite of her friends, and she is eating significantly more than they do.

CataonicLadybug - I wish she would eat eggs, I really do. i have them every day. But no joy (and I routinely try). You are very right about the sugar content of these snacks though - I was horrified to see how much the yoghurt covered raspberry flakes contained!!

toffeeboffin (good name) - love the idea of the homemade treats. I used to do a lot of that but slackened as work picked up. We have a lot of peanut butter on oatcakes but spreading on apples is a great idea.

I'm just cautious of filling her up with empty calories so am grateful for the ideas of nutritious snacks. Thank you

greatscott81 Thu 30-Jun-16 21:26:35

calilark - I've always been a bit cautious about the sugar content in flapjack but the fact you can control the quantities means it must be better! There's a job for Sunday.

I don't eat/buy pork products (although happy for DD to have them when away) so ham is off the menu but do encourage her to eat meat/fish. I was putting chunks of cheese in her lunch box but she didn't eat them (I think I need to invest in a smaller tub to keep them separate as they may have been a bit sweaty which is unpleasant). Similarly, a home based snack is often apple and cheese. We tend to be out a lot so it's easy (lazy) to rely on these packet fruit snacks . . . and I know the answer to this!!

MrsHardy1 Thu 30-Jun-16 21:46:01

I'm not being patronising, just funny how we worry about them eating too much/too little when it's a non issue. I'm far from perfect, my son doesn't eat enough. It's not a problem unless the child isn't a healthy weight.

Eggs are a good idea

MrsHardy1 Thu 30-Jun-16 21:46:44

Ah just seen eggs aren't an option

greatscott81 Thu 30-Jun-16 22:00:40

Thanks MrsHardy1, I obviously misread the tone of your message. I wish eggs are an option- so easy!! The funny thing is that prior to six months ago I had struggled with a fussy eater, and then I removed her night time milk . . . and now she has a crazy appetite. But it's become even bigger recently. Thank you for your reply

waitingforsomething Fri 01-Jul-16 05:25:21

If she isn't overweight and she is active then I wouldn't worry. Kids that age are doing an enormous amount of growing. I have a very tall very thin 3.8 year old.
A typical day would be 2 weetabix at breakfast and sometimes a slice of marmite on toast.
A snack of crackers or dried first.
Lunch cheese and cucumber sandwiches with cherry tomatoes- 2 pieces of bread. A banana.
Snack of fruit or dry cereal
Dinner- an appropriately sized portion of normal hot food (pasta, fish pie, casserole), a yoghurt and some fruit.
Drinks are water and milk unless out.
She is very very active and swims daily!

VioletBam Fri 01-Jul-16 11:12:44

My DD has always been similar. Eats a lot (to me). I've found that I was giving her fruit, cucumber and carrots or apples with her lunch plus sandwich just wasn't filling enough.

She now has peanut butter sandwiches, sliced ham...a couple of slices, a portion of hummus and some carrot sticks, plus a muffin. That seems to fill her more. Sometimes I swap the ham or the hummus for some cheese...real cheese...cubed up.

greatscott81 Fri 01-Jul-16 18:54:49

Thank you both VioletBam and waitingforsomething I have been really worried that she's eating too much compared to other children so I'm relieved!! Lots of ideas to work with here. Thank you

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