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Kids eat too much

(74 Posts)
user1457213512 Sun 20-Aug-17 20:33:14

I spend too much time on Instagram, mainly following accounts who post photos of their food, particularly their children's food. Day after day I see photos of 2 year olds eating a whole adult size portion of pasta, 6 year olds eating massive meals. Today when out I saw a one ish year old eat a whole shop brought sandwich plus a packet of crips. It just seems so much food. Also it seems like everywhere you go a kid must have a snack, even at a half an hour club (but maybe that's a whole other thread!).

I personally think balance is great and a pack of Pom Bears or a cupcake isn't going to do a kid any harm every now and then, but it's just the sheer quantity of food some kids appear to be eating that surprises me more than anything.

Aibu to think some parents are feeding their kids way too much? Will it affect their attitudes to food later in life? Again, this isn't about 'healthy' food as such, more the amount.

early30smum Sun 20-Aug-17 20:42:13

gets popcorn

Oh OP you are going to get flamed I think!

Clearly, kids who are overweight/obese are eating too much/too much of the wrong stuff.

Clearly, letting your child eat too for much for the sake of it or because they're bored even if they are a healthy weight is not a good idea. BUT some children eat a lot. They are slim, active, and healthy.

My DD is 8. Does a huge amount of sport. Is a healthy weight. Eats a lot. I myself am overweight so I do monitor it because I don't want her to end up with weight problems. But sometimes she does have a big portion, and sometimes in restaurants she will chose something off the adults menu. Generally, she won't finish it, but it's probably healthier than the rubbish on many kids menus.

There's no right answer to this one I don't think.

Witsender Sun 20-Aug-17 20:43:54

I don't think a snapshot really gives you a good impression, it depends what they eat over the course of a day.

lunar1 Sun 20-Aug-17 20:45:50

Oh god, the snacks I don't get at all! My two have done a few morning activities this summer. Meaning they get breakfast at home and are picked up for lunch. I sent them with an apple, everyone else pretty much has an entire picnic hamper each.

It seems people think children shouldn't go an hour without food!

My eldest does eat a huge amount, but he's a swimmer and probably does 400 lengths plus other sports a week. I took him to a dietitian to get suitable meal plans done as I was out of my depth. He's 8, and on the 75th percentile for height and just below the 25th for weight.

AztecHero Sun 20-Aug-17 20:45:52

Instagram isn't life.


grasspigeons Sun 20-Aug-17 20:47:46

I think portion size is a big problem in a national level.
Whether individuals children are eating too much is hard to tell from one photo or seeing them at one meal if they are currently looking a healthy weight.

LoyaltyAndLobster Sun 20-Aug-17 20:51:56

YANBU - It is very sad to watch, a friend of mine has a son who is very overweight, he is due to start secondary school next month and she is worried about him being bullied due to his size; but she wasn't worried about him being bullied when she was over feeding him and rewarding him and bribing with food.

AztecHero Sun 20-Aug-17 20:57:39

My point about instagram (and fb too) is that it's not real- none of it is real. I hate the word 'curated' but it is curated snapshots of people's lives that they wish to present to the world.None of it is real.

So, people might post pictures of the meal they are serving their kids, but they are not showing that actually the kid pulled the fillings out of the sandwich,licked the butter off the bread, and threw half the apple under the wheels of the buggy. It's performance parenting.

MuncheysMummy Sun 20-Aug-17 20:59:54

Some kids do need to eat more than perhaps you think they ought? My DS is 14 months old and is lean,tall and looks about 18/20 months old I am repeatedly asked how old he is (as he looks older but is only just walking and obviously not talking much sense yet!) then met with a response of "ooh he looks older I thought he was more 18/20 months old" he eats big portions.
For breakfast he will have 8oz formula then half hour later a weetabix or Ella's kitchen muesli with another 2oz of cows milk and some fruit then lunch can be a sandwich made with 2 slices of whole meal bread but the small sized loaf and either a small banana or a 60g yoghurt then tea is a small fish fillet,half a small sweet potato and some peas etc then another 8oz of formula before bed that's a lot! The same as I eat as an adult maybe a smidgeon less BUT he's growing like a weed and SO active he never stops moving and playing and exploring everything,some kids need a lot of food I struggle to keep enough weight on him hence all the formula still.

LorLorr2 Sun 20-Aug-17 21:01:26

You're right that we can overestimate little ones' portion sizes. I totally understand parents might feel anxious about not giving their kids enough to eat and 'starving' them but they are just unspoiled by our adult bad habits and have a more 'natural' appetite if I'm wording that correctly.

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Sun 20-Aug-17 21:01:39

I went on a school trip and the amount of food some children brought for lunch was astonishing. Some of them barely had time to eat it all: certainly if they had that every day their playtime would be seriously shortened.

However much like a school trip I imagine the Instagrammed meals are "special" - highlighted because they're at a restaurant or cafe or parents have cooked up a special meal to celebrate an anniversary or whatever.

YANBU to note that in these circumstances there is an awful lot of food served up, but I don't think it's necessarily the norm, nor the (sole) reason kids are getting bigger.

MuncheysMummy Sun 20-Aug-17 21:03:31

Oh and forgot the mid afternoon snack of fruit and or yoghurt or glass of whole milk with a small slice of whole meal toast (only 1 yoghurt per day so depends what he had for lunch)

goose1964 Sun 20-Aug-17 21:07:12

My boys always had huge appetites, they were always very active so didn't put on too much weight until DS1 had a nasty injury and had to give up sports. He's now clinically obese, DS who stayed sporty remained a healthy weight ( until he got married) it's not just the food it's the lifestyle

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Aug-17 21:09:45


Many babies seem to be weaned onto eye watering amounts of food, which in turn must surely stretch their stomachs, meaning they continue to eat larger and larger amounts as they grow older.

It's not unusual to read some MNetters saying their 7/8/9 month old babies will have 3 Weetabix for breakfast. Then someone else with say theirs could eat more.

Just because a baby/child could eat more, doesn't mean they necessarily should. Sometimes they need a drink, or even distracting until they start to digest and become full up.

lotsofconfuse Sun 20-Aug-17 21:11:26

My kids are 3&4 now and I'm just trying to teach them that they have breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can't just eat when they feel like it and being hungry won't kill them. The last thing I want is my kids being fat, unhealthy and greedy. From experience all kids moan they're hungry, and if parents are the types too scared to say no they will have an obesity problem by the time they hit their teens.
We exercise regularly and talk about healthy foods.
When they moan fur crisps and cakes at 9am I say no and offer fruit as a snack. Not hard really.

Fortybingowings Sun 20-Aug-17 21:14:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

lotsofconfuse Sun 20-Aug-17 21:15:43

People do go OTT with snacks though and drinks. Either they can't do with the meltdowns and lazily shove a packet of crisps in their have to shut them up, or they genuinely think if their child is hungry it must eat there and then or it will die!

abigailgabble Sun 20-Aug-17 21:17:04

you follow people's meals on instagram?


Lenl Sun 20-Aug-17 21:18:28

My just turned 2 year old eats a lot.
Today he had:
Big bowl of porridge (with almond milk as dairy free) with cinnamon and a tiny squirt of honey
3 fish fingers with half a tomato and pile of broccoli
Half a banana
45g of wholemeal pasta with a simple veg sauce (gave him half to begin with but he wanted more... half a bloody adult portion)
Then a small bowl of chick peas as he said he was still hungry ("moorree teeea")

He is just under 9th centile for weight.

Some days he eats loads like today other days he isn't bothered. So I tend to offer big portions at meal times, probably they'd seem to big to you. However we never push him to finish food and he's clear when he's had enough. I also don't use food as a reward. I think a healthy diet where you are free to stop eating whenever is key more than portion sizes. I trust him to know when he's full.

He doesn't snack loads though especially if we're out. Each meal time seems to come round too soon!

LadyMaryCrawley1922 Sun 20-Aug-17 21:18:36

stop gawking at what other peoples kids may or may not eat on instagram and get a life.
Also, its bought, not brought.

How is it any of your business?

Fortybingowings Sun 20-Aug-17 21:19:32

Because it makes a good daily mail story that's all

manglethedangle Sun 20-Aug-17 21:22:41

YANBU, portion sizes are a problem across society.

CupCakes00 Sun 20-Aug-17 21:22:44

I've just commented on another similar thread.

YANBU, some kids are fed far too much, but parents use the excuse that their child is active so it's ok to constantly shove food down their throat.

My DC are also very active and are rarely asleep before 10pm. They have breakfast, lunch and tea with a mid morning/afternoon snack and they have kid size portions, in fact my 6yr old barely has that, he's a nightmare with food but he eats what he needs.

Unfortunately, and I've seen it, it's parents that feed them large amounts of food from the start that courses the damage because the child gets used to all that food.

I hear from some of the school mums that they won't let their 6yr old have school dinners because it's not enough for them...they are measured out portions!!

And this is why we have an obesity crises in the UK

early30smum Sun 20-Aug-17 21:23:06

I do agree though that snacks are given far too readily. NT children do not need a snack half an hour before dinner. On the occasions I've given in (not often!) mine then don't eat their dinner. And snacks ARE used to placate children. I know it's controversial but I really enjoyed reading the French children don't throw food. I agreed with a lot of it.

d270r0 Sun 20-Aug-17 21:23:14

Well... obviously it depends on the kids. Kids that are overweight are obviously eating too much. But kids that are skinny? My 6year old can eat a huge amount when hes hungry, more than me sometimes, but is very active and skinny so theres no way I would stop him! If he isn't hungry he doesn't eat much and thats fine too. But personally I would rather make him a big meal so he has as much as he needs, and not bother too much if some is wasted.

Also small children often have small tummies and need to eat regularly, they can't wait 5 hours between meals. Breastfed babies in particular are fed as and when and as much as they want, in fact many snack hourly and never have huge amounts. Why would that suddenly change as soon as they start solids?

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