Nursery overfeeding 3yo(126 Posts)
DD(3.5) has been identified as being "a little bit overweight" (the HV's words) and I am keen to address this before it becomes a real problem.
She goes to a Nursery attached to the local primary school 3 days a week. She also attends breakfast club on those days. This is unavoidable due to my working hours. At breakfast they are given a choice of toast, cereal or both. They help themselves so portions aren't limited. There is also toast, fruit and milk available for morning and afternoon snack, again they help themselves. DD loves toast, would eat it all day if we let her. Same goes for milk.
When the problem with her weight was picked up we told Nursery about it and the Manager dismissed it as "rubbish" and told me to "ignore the HV" as DD "looks perfectly fine. I could see her point as DD does not look like a 'fat' child to me either, but I explained that DH and I don't want to disregard HCP advice so asked them to limit DD's bread and dairy intake as recommended by HV. Despite assurances, this hasn't happened and DD is still having several slices of toast a day (usually there, one at breakfast and one at each snack, but has been up to five slices in a day!) plus regular milk drinks. I have explained to the Nursery that we are concerned about this and I am met with assurances that it won't happen again and they will do everything they can to support us, but nothing changes.
At home we are being very careful with portion sizes, DD eats healthy, home cooked meals, she rarely snacks between meals, she doesn't have sugary drinks or sweets. Things like cake and ice cream are reserved for special occasions (meals out, parties etc) and given in small amounts. But I'm worried all our efforts will be for nothing if she's allowed to gorge herself three days a week and it's starting to frustrate me.
AIBU to expect the Nursery to work with us on this? I know they're busy and I don't want to be 'that parent'- but I don't want DD to be overweight either. When I go to the dreaded HV weigh in and am told "hmmm, she's still a bit overweight" I feel like they must think I'm a terrible mother, but I can't do anymore than I'm already doing
YANBU. But I'm sure the HV doesn't think you are a terrible mother! You sound like a great one. I'd put what you've written here in writing to the nursery, maybe with the relevant photocopied page of the red book so they can see you aren't being ridiculous.
How many slices of toast and glasses of milk are we talking?
She's only at nursery three days a week, so it seems a bit of a leap to assume they're responsible for her weight and you're feeding her perfectly.
She's 3!! If she's no grossly obese then it's baby weight and she will drop it. You are asking to give her a bad relationship with food and weight if you are super controlling like this from such a young age. My daughter is 4 and always been chunky from infancy. I was too and I dropped all that when I was about 12, and expect my daughter to do the same.
She is 3.5. both you and the nursery manager has agreed she doesn't look overweight, she looks normal. Why take her to the weigh in if it is stressing you out. She will grow, and weight will disappear if it's there to start with. You have said she is only there three days a week, there are seven days in a week, is what the nursery provide really that bad?.
As a paying customer they should be on board with you, I don't think it is up to the manager to "rubbish" it, however do be careful that you don't become obsessive about it and your dd will pick up on it. Put it in writing that she can only have X amount of bread/milk for health reasons.
I have a friend who was always wary of what her ds ate (she had diabetes in the family and wanted her ds to 'bypass' it) and at every opportunity she was constantly policing/monitoring his food and commenting negatively on it. He may have had a plate of fruit but it was still 'too sugary' or was going to give him diarrheoa etc. He is 10 now and at parties he is the child that goes mad for food.
OP I wouldn't reduce portion sizes, rather cut back a bit on carbs (if she eats a lot) and increase green veg. Is it possible to switch to wholemeal? Also increase physical activity as a family.
Plus you sound a bit strict on food at home, perhaps that's why she eats more at nursery. She may be hungry.
5 slices of toast for a 3yr old is A LOT. I wouldn't eat that much and I'm a very active adult. 3 days of that or extra large cereal portions or loads of milk could easily add on 1000-3000 excess calories a week, which will have an obvious impact.
I don't know why people think over-eating 3 days a week wouldn't matter if you eat properly the other 4. It all adds up, and the excess calories don't just disappear because you ate normally for a few days of the week.
Get in in writing from your HV or GP. Then the nursery should at least feel obligated to try and monitor her intake.
I see no problem with milk. Are you absolutely sure she is eating a full five slices. When my kids were at nursery, they may have put in the book "ate a slice of toast", but I very much doubt she ate the whole slice. Plus they are doing a lot of running round playing. Kids need more food than us to grow.
I would try to up her activity levels maybe to see if that helps?
I can see it from both sides. If the nursery allows the children to help themselves then it must be hard for them (and possibly against their policy) to say no more to a child who is still claiming to be hungry.
Could you maybe say she can have unlimited fruit at snack time but no more toast if that's what she tends to eat a lot of? And maybe send semi-skimmed milk? (HV advised me kids can move onto it early if they are gaining a lot of weight).
My kids were both the same in nursery - ate anything they could get their hands on! Once she's in school it won't be a problem - mine get 1 piece of fruit and a carton of milk at snack and no seconds at lunch time.
kmc check your numbers: a slice of toast is 100 calories (it's less but let's add something for butter).
5 slices a day is 500 calories. Presumably she's not eating this and a home packed lunch as well. Add in another say 600 calories all told for her dinner (as those 500 calories of toast are her breakfast and lunch! Also keep in mind that a 600 calorie dinner is a BIG adult sized portion).
So she's consuming around 1100, maybe 1,200 calories/day as a 3.5 year old. If she weighs in at around 30-35 pounds then she should be consuming around 1,300 calories/day.
If mum is giving her as strict a reigime as described above it sounds like she's probably hungry most of the time!
Is she really overweight though? Some hv may just look at a chart without taking the child into account.
I nearly had a heart attack when my child's bmi came in as overweight as she is always on the go... Her waist is average for a child two years younger than her and she's the typical height of a child a year older... She's just an athletic mesomorph. Anything outside average might look wrong on its own but you have to look at the whole child in context. And every kid is different.
If she looks slim rather than chunky then I wouldn't worry. Kids need to eat a lot during growth spurts. If you don't feed them enough at certain meals because you're trying to limit portion to certain sizes they may feel hungry and eat as much as possible at the next meal to make up for it.
I think a bit of extra toast and milk three days a week is no big deal. You can mention it to the nursery but you can't FORCE them to stop your DD helping herself.
If you feel so strongly about this, maybe you need to consider a nanny
What kind of bread? Maybe swap to wholemeal (send in a loaf if it's easier) and ask the nursery to, for instance, cut off crusts and an inch, so actual amount consumed is reduced.
But she is having lunch and toast as a snack. Milk can also be a source of extra calories for children over 2. A dietician I used to work with used to say that milk should be considered a food not a drink.
I've had this problem with my 2yr old at his nursery.
After a LOT of nagging from me that he didn't need second, or third helpings of dinner and lunch (and then pudding after!) they have now stopped. It's taken a long time though!
My DS has always been on 25th percentile for height and 90th for weight, and I don't want to encourage over eating when he gets a good balanced diet at home.
Don't be afraid to be "that mum". For some things I'm happy to do it, for others I let it pass and try not to make it a big deal.
My son still has full fat milk now and he's in year Six. No way would I give a 3.5 year old semi skimmed. It's so good for their bones and their teeth. You don't need to put a child that looks fine on a diet. You will be doing that child a huge disservice. She could be on a growth spurt.
I think you are quiet reasonable to be concerned. 3.5 yr olds don't need toast as a morning and afternoon snack if they're eating well at meals. Fruit, milk, yes, but toast seems a bit unnecessary. However, I am also aware that making your child the 'odd one out' at nursery by saying she's not allowed x y and z might not also do her any favours. Are you sure when they say 'slices' they don't mean pieces- e.g. a slice is cut into quarters and she's having 5 quarters in total? My sons nursery has a fruit bowl and milk and water available, no other snacks. It's a tough one to know what to do.
What does your dd have to eat before nursery? Bearing in mind healthy for a toddler isn't the same as healthy for an adult. Well to be honest, low fat diets are not great full stop.
Yes the nursery should work with you on this op. Why are they giving her more is she asking for it? I couldn't eat that many slices of toast as an adult. What about fruit or veg as a compromise if she is still hungry. It sounds like habit if she isn't asking for the same at home.
You're right to be frustrated with the nursery. Five slices of toast through the day is so much at that age combined with other meals as well.
Do you know what her bmi is? If she's been properly weighed and measured and is coming out as slightly overweight I think it's absolutely the right thing to nip it in the bud before it becomes a real problem. At the moment the nursery are undermining your efforts.
And semi-skimmed milk is fine from age 2 - I don't think it's lower in calcium is it?
>Kids need more food than us to grow.
>My son still has full fat milk now and he's in year Six. No way would I >give a 3.5 year old semi skimmed. It's so good for their bones and >their teeth.
Actually children need less calories than adults. Also, it is the calcium in the milk that helps their bones and teeth so semi skimmed is fine!
My 3 year old could easily eat 5 slices of bread and peanut butter a day. Plus cereal, yogurts, fruit(lots), eggs, bit of pasta with bolagnaise or pesto and milk. He is going through a fussy period but he is in no way overweight. His 5 slices of bread are spread throughout the day and he doesnt eat the crusts so its not a lot calorie wise. I don't know if its the bread that is the problem. Is she actually overweight for her height? Have you weighed and measured her? My ds is 2 stone 4lbs and is 4 in October. His cousin is 4 in May and is over 4 stone. He is actually a bit taller than her but a lot lighter. He gets a lot of exercise in playschool, walking to school and playing in the garden with his sisters on the trampoline and generally on the go constantly and is too busy to eat but makes up for it at different times of the day. My niece on the other hand is in a small creche all day. She gets 3 meals with seconds and 3 snacks in creche and another meal with her parents along with a bedtime snack and milk. She only has the small creche climbing frame for exercise and goes from creche straight home to eat and bed. I wonder if its not the bread but the amount of food throughout the day or even if your 3yo is limited in activities to burn off calories if she is in fact overweight which I think you and your nursery manager would see. Could you bring her to the GP and get her weight and height checked? Is she due a growth spurt, mine tend to get a belly then stretch up a few inches.
Suki....it's massively lower in fat and kids that age need fat.
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