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Struggling with how much food to give DS

(7 Posts)
HensMum Wed 22-Jul-09 10:58:31

DS is 21 months old. He's always been a good eater and has always been big. He followed the 75th centile before weaning and has been on the 98th ever since. I had him weighed the other day and was pretty shocked to find him still on the 98th centile as he looks like he's slimmed down a bit although he has still got quite a tummy!

He has a big appetite and I never know whether I should be restricting what he eats. Obviously I limit the amount of biscuits/cakes/chocolate he has - he probably has biscuits a couple of times a week, the occasional bite of a cake and a few chocolate buttons a couple of times a week. Apart from that it's all healthy stuff.

Do I let him eat as much as he wants? If he has a massive bowl of pasta, then yoghurt, then wants fruit is that OK?! Sometimes I get the impression that he's just eating because he likes it (especially fruit and cheese)

I wouldn't worry about it if he was skinny, but he's not. Those adverts about "me sized portions" have got me worried - how am I supposed to know what a toddler sized portion is? And surely it won't be the same for all toddlers?

Jammybodger Thu 23-Jul-09 07:00:59

Limit meal times to 3 times daily and if he is hungry in between these times give him fruit or slices of veg like carrots or cucumber only. In fact before a main meal you can leave out a bowl of what we called 'crunchy munchies' which was chopped up peppers, cucumber, carrots etc.

For his meals make sure he has a child's plate and only put on enough for 1 plate.

A yogurt is fine for dessert.

Then he can have a cake or biscuit too but make sure it is part of the 3 meals.

If he is hungry only give him fruit or veg, the cheese must be part of a main meal.

Get him out and about doing lots of outdoor physical exercise and remove junk from your cupboards and fridge completely.

When you are getting somewhere bring back a packet of crisps or sweets but limit them to 1 or 2 a week.

Good luck!

Jammybodger Thu 23-Jul-09 07:04:35

BTW he should not have a 'massive' bowl of anything, it only stretches the stomach. It does sound as if he likes the comfort that food brings him. Get him out of the house more!

HensMum Thu 23-Jul-09 09:25:46

Thanks for your response Jammy.

Not sure how well limiting snacks would work. He tends to be a little monster when his blood sugar dips so he does need something mid morning and after his nap to keep him going. Snacks are fruit most often, or sometimes rice cakes, or a biscuit.

We have very little junk in the house - I think at the moment the only thing that could be counted as junk is half a packet of custard creams. It's not like he's constantly snacking on crisps and chocolate. He's never had sweets other than chocolate and that's no more than once or twice a week.

He won't eat raw veg, other than tomatoes. I do offer it with meals and he sometimes chews on cucumber but I'm not going to push it as he eats a lot of cooked veg.

And we are out of the house lots - swimming once a week, park several times a week. I encourage him to walk rather than using the buggy for short trips. When we're at home, he runs around and we like to listen to music and dance around.

Sorry if I sound defensive but it's not like he's sitting in front of cbeebies stuffing his face with crisps all day long.

I think my question was more about should I be limiting the amount of "good" food that he has? Or do I trust him to know his appetite?

peanutbutterkid Thu 23-Jul-09 09:50:14

Personally I would trust him to know his appetite.

At this age, I understand that they still need lots of snacks for their energy levels and growth rates. Also his weight percentile is irrelevant without comparing to his height. You need to find (use Google) a children's BMI calculator to figure out if he's relatively heavy compared to his height and age.

You could also ask HV for their advice; it is their job, after all.

Personally, I would focus on quality food above all else, only limiting the obviously not so healthy stuff (like crisps/sugary items). There's nothing wrong with trying small portions and seeing if they fill him up as well as an initial big bowl of something. I found that offering small portions just leads to DS asking for seconds, mind .

HensMum Thu 23-Jul-09 10:18:11

Thanks. I will see if I can get him to stand still for long enough to measure him then work out his BMI.

I'll also try smaller portions and letting him ask for more. The massive bowl of pasta thing happened when I cooked too much. I thought I'd put it out and let him eat what he wanted (I don't believe in encouraging him to clear his plate) and he wolfed the lot! Then wanted pudding!

Jammybodger Thu 23-Jul-09 11:20:54

It's great that you both are active and that alone can increase the appetite! As long as his portion sizes are never adult sizes it sounds as if you are doing the right thing.

It's when dc become too uncomfortable to move about because of their weight that it becomes an issue anyway.

Muscle weighs more than fat and it's fabulous seeing young toddlers not needing a buggy. My own ds stopped using one at 12 mths as he preferred to walk everywhere. Your ds is the perfect age for a tricycle or small bike with stabilisers, mine loved going out and about on his.

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