Portion sizes for 3-4 year olds.(18 Posts)
DH and I keep having disagreements on portion sizes for our 3 year old. He generally has a greedy relationship to food and is over weight himself. He often piles our DD's plate with portions that I would consider far too big for a child of her age. He insists often it isn't enough.
Problem is, that she isn't a child that stops when full and will literally keep going, constantly asking for food etc (which I think she has picked up from DH eating habits)!!!
He will make her a sandwich with 2 slices of bread which is the same as what an adult would eat for lunch. Followed by crisps, biscuit or fruit etc.
I would use 1 slice folded over and also give veg sticks and fruit on a plate or yoghurt. I don't agree she needs the same amount of food as an adult does.
He serves x2 sausages, one whole potato cut up and boiled along with veg.
I feel like I have to monitor what he gives her and often take food off of her plate before he serves it because the portions are silly. I know that when I am not there he dosent listen to me and does what he thinks.
She has even started saying she wants daddy to serve her food because he does "a big one" and always asks for big portion before she has even started what's on her place. That's not normal.
It's worrying because I feel he is going to cause her to become over weight and just doesn't see it, and not just that but create unhealthy eating habits like he has himself.
Can I ask what you serve for your children?
I use the size of the child's fist as a serving guide size for lean protein and carbs and twice that for veg. Having said that I probably would offer a 4 going on 5 year old a two slice sandwich with fruit and veg but not crisps. And I tend to cut off crusts so it comes out a bit smaller
Google "Hand Portion Guide"
You should find a picture showing the general idea.
Adjust it to suit the child's smaller hand and you're good.
I would do a two slice sandwich but no crisps or biscuits.
Sausages I would do two slim ones or a third of a chicken breast with a medium potato as a baked potato.
Basically a full plate full, but a load of veg and a side plate sized plate.
The hand portion guide is a good start however isn't right for every child, I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and my 1 year old eats a lot bigger of a portion! Every child has a different appetite, I would say smaller is better than bigger that way he can ask for more if his portion is too big he may be overwhelmed and not want to eat it
Lunch would be one slice of bread, hummus with carrots & cucumber, grapes or half a apple, cheese cubes.
Dis is nearly 4 and quite greedy but his portions seem less than your DP serves. I do a 2 slice sandwich with crusts off and he'll generally eat 3/4 of it, served with 2/3 cherry tomatoes, a cube of cheese and maybe a 1/4 bag of hula hoops or mini cheddars. If it's sausages he'll have 2 chipolatas, a couple of tablespoons of mash and a couple of tablespoons of veg.
I think I go the other way and under do it, I thought the size of your fist was the size of your stomach so your whole meal should be as big as that? (Once chewed)
I'm not good at feeding people!
I have 4 yo twins. I would usually do a sandwich with 1/3 of a baguette (as they prefer that type of bread), I would put veg sticks on the plate but rarely crisps unless at a party. Fruit (1/2 a banana or 1/2 Apple) and yoghurt afterwards.
Sausages - my DD would eat 3 if I let her but I tend to do 1 big one or 2 chipolata, with half a plate of green veg and 1 small potato. DS doesn't eat much meat so he'd have beans instead of the sausage
Chicken - I would use 1 mini fillet each.
Pasta however is a different ball game, they would eat till it came out of their ears and often ask for second helpings (their plates are typical plastic toddler size plates not adult size)
4 year old here
-1 slice bread as a sandwich ( ham, cheese and spinach filling usually), with some raw veg/ a banana.
- 1 regular sausage, few small new potatoes (2 cut in halves so 4 small half pieces ), child size fist full of various vegetables
My DD age 3 eats big portions - but she's tall and slim and takes after DH who eats masses (needs to) and is still very slim. She would eat a 2 slice sandwich, plus some veg, then a yoghurt or fresh/dried fruit, no problem, and if crisps or biscuits were on offer she would eat those too... But she and DH are quite unusual.
How is your DD's weight? That is the best indicator of whether she is having too much for her own metabolism, rather than going by how much other children eat.
I will show this thread to my mum who thinks I underfeed DD
I have the same issue in my 5 year old DD will eat everything and anything and generally obsesses about food so we control portions quite strictly at home but when she goes to other peoples / relatives' houses for tea etc they see what a "good " eater she is and offer her more which of course she does not refuse.
I generally feed her a third to half of an adult portion - so 35/40g dried pasta with three meatballs, half a small chicken breast with a small potato + veg, 2 chipalata sausages , 2 slices of pizza , half a pitta and hummus, half a sandwich etc.
She is a good eater in that she will eat and try most things and will always eat all the veg first before she eats the meat / potato so try and focus at least half the plate on veg .
I have a just turned 5 yr old.her portion sizes haven't changed much since she was 3/4
a sandwich would be one slice of bread folded over. some veg sticks maybe a small handful of crisps or unsalted popcorn once or twice a week.
pudding would he a yogurt and blueberries or raspberries. or sone strawberries or an apple.
dinner wise I do one sausage a small serving of mash or two small roast potatoes and some steamed veg.
what your dh gives does sound excessive. my 9 year old still only has one slice of bread as a sandwich
I'd base this largely on your daughter's weight and her activity levels.
My Dd, who is 2, eats more than the portion sizes your husband gives your daughter. My LO is tall and quite slim and never sits still. She burns off the calories that she eats.
Perhaps measure her height, weigh her and check where she is on the percentiles in her red book. For example, my daughter is 91st for height and about 75th for weight. I figure that she's plenty tall enough for her weight, and her appetite!
I try to do small portion to start with and you can come back for extra - rather than large portion from the outset as an approach.
It doesn't sound massively excessive, but certainly on the larger side.
I would use one slice of bread with veg sticks, and maybe a few crisps on the side as well, but certainly no more than a handful. Fruit and a yoghurt for dessert as well.
However DD would happily put away two sausages and veg and one-two roast potato size portions, and probably have dessert afterwards. But she does love sausages a hell of a lot.
I do try and remember the fist-portion thing when I serve her up food, and would always go for smaller portions first with the option of extras afterwards if she is still hungry, though normally I'll ask that she eats all her veg first before getting second helpings.
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