Advanced search

Do you let your kids eat as much dinner as they wish, ie seconds, thirds etc?

(69 Posts)
sandyballs Mon 03-Aug-09 22:50:12

My twin girls were given large bowls of spaghetti bolognaise tonight by DH. DD1 fiddled and fannied about with it, as usual, she is not a good eater. DD2 wolfed hers down and, after asking her sister if she had finished, started to eat hers as well.

I took it away from her and DH thinks I was wrong.

She can't possibly have still been hungry and i worry she is losing the ability to know when she is full. She isn't fat but she is quite a solid girl, although obviously this is never discussed near her. I just told her it wasn't necessary to eat two big bowls of dinner.

emkana Mon 03-Aug-09 22:51:23

Difficult to say, depends what else she had to eat that day and if she does it regularly.

RubyBlueberry Mon 03-Aug-09 22:51:27

Depends on what she's eaten all day? I would love my two to ask for seconds smile

janeite Mon 03-Aug-09 22:52:15

If it's normal, healthy food, yes, I'd let them have seconds or thirds. If it's pudding, I wouldn't.

sandyballs Mon 03-Aug-09 22:52:55

She had eaten a lot as she had spent the day with the in laws and I know they give them all sorts of stuff whenever they fancy it - crisps, biscuits, cake, huge lunch.

thisisyesterday Mon 03-Aug-09 22:53:14

yes, i do.
my children know when they are hungry better than i do!

emkana Mon 03-Aug-09 22:54:11

I would limit intake of unhealthy stuff but not of healthy-ish dinner

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 03-Aug-09 22:54:45

No I don't. It's not good to allow them to eat so much at any one time that their stomach stretches too much. Over time they get used to that quantity of food, and then they start to need that much to feel full, and then you've got obesity!

You don't need to feel full! If you feel stuffed, you've eaten too much. (as a fatty this is something I know a lot about!)

My grandma always used to say that you should leave the table feeling like you could have eaten a bite more.

That's because it takes 20 minutes for your brain to realise you are full!

sandyballs Mon 03-Aug-09 22:56:21

She does do this regularly. She would eat as much as her 6ft 3" father if allowed grin. The other day at the in laws they had sausage and mash and DD2 ate 6 big sausages shock.

anchovies Mon 03-Aug-09 22:56:36

I would have let her to be honest but having said that I do often engineer it that there is nothing left that I know my ds1 (5) would choose out of preference (garlic bread, roast potatoes etc) but there is always lots of salad or veg or whatever in case he genuinely still hungry. However I know with ds1 he goes through stages of eating loads and then hardly eating anything which is why I just leave him to it.

sandyballs Mon 03-Aug-09 22:57:38

That is exactly my concern Hecates. I'm worried she will get used to eating like this and consider a 'normal' portion to be far too small. She's only 8.

Quattrocento Mon 03-Aug-09 22:57:47

I used not to - but I do now. I used to let them help themselves at the table until they felt they'd had enough.

DS just carried on eating solidly and has lost the ability to feel full. So despite doing sport every day he is now one step beyond chunky, and he doesn't enjoy being overweight.

ChasingSquirrels Mon 03-Aug-09 23:01:20

I wouldn't but that's because I cook the amount that we are likely to eat, there isn't food left for seconds or thirds.
They can then have desert or eat fruit, yoghurt, have a sandwich if they have finished the meal and are still hungry.

anonandlikeit Mon 03-Aug-09 23:01:53

ds2 is 9 & is going through a bit of a growth spurt & seems to be eating for England, clearing every plate.
But he is never still & burns it off.
DS2 is not so mobile so I would be a bit careful wiht him.
Could your dd be having a bit of a growth spurt, is she an active girl that will quiickly burn it off.

Go with your instinct, if you thnk its aproblem then control it a bit.

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 03-Aug-09 23:02:13

You need to put a stop to it now. Not every child self regulates!! I suggest a portion plate like this

A fat child will most likely become a fat adult. you have no control over how she will choose to eat when she's grown up but it is entirely within your control to send her out into the world a healthy adult.

I know that I am biased on this, because I was a fat child whose parents did it to me! became a fat adult with massive emotional problems and eventually had to have a sleeve gastrectomy (removal of most of my stomach).

I know how much it matters. It frustrates me when people tell you not to worry about it. At this age it's all in your hands. I think you are right to be thinking about this!

Kbear Mon 03-Aug-09 23:33:08

My DD is 10. She would eat her own dinner and everyone else's if I let her. I have to closely watch what she eats and have recently reduced her portion sizes as I am concerned that this puppy fat will turn into something more sinister. She wolfs her food down too, far to fast, and is always looking round for the next thing to eat.

DS is 7 and can take it or leave it with regards to dinner. He is average build but never asks for more, rarely asks for food between meals etc. They are wired very differently.

I would probably have done the same as you with the second dinner.

hmc Mon 03-Aug-09 23:36:30

No - because whilst ds stops when he is satisfied and often leaves some of his dinner because he is full, dd seems to lack the ability to do this, and if she particularly likes something would eat it until she felt quite nauseous. I'm afraid I have to limit what she eats

hmc Mon 03-Aug-09 23:40:05

"A fat child will most likely become a fat adult. you have no control over how she will choose to eat when she's grown up but it is entirely within your control to send her out into the world a healthy adult. "

Hecates - I'm with you on that one. There is a risk when my dd buggers off to university or something she will balloon in weight - but not on my watch. Currently - she is BMI 22/23 which is just right

I was allowed too many cakes etc as a child too (quite chubby around the age of 8 / 9 although mum seemed to wake up to this and corrected the problem to some extent, normal weight thereafter) - and have struggled with managing weight on and off all my life

EyeballsintheSky Mon 03-Aug-09 23:41:36

I think you're better off trying to arrange it so that there are no leftovers if possible though. I'm also a fat adult and I think one of the worst things you can do is make any sort of issue about food. Taking the second plate away tells her that food has the potential to be forbidden and therefore bad and is more important than just something you eat to give you energy to live. This is a message that becomes especially problematic when dealing with proper meals rather than crap. I would have allowed her what she wanted and worked on making sure it couldn't happen again.

Kbear Mon 03-Aug-09 23:43:10

I am really monitoring the fat intake for all of us at the moment - we've slipped into bad habits, dinners too big, too many cakes etc. Not stopping all treats, life would be dull and I don't want food to be an issue BUT I am swapping out the unhealthy stuff and substituting far more salads, fruit and even down the lollies I bought this week - the ones I usually buy at 287 calories each. FABs are 80 calories.

Mumcentreplus Mon 03-Aug-09 23:45:22

I allow more a smaller portion most children can self regulate..I also don't force them to clean their plates either I will ask for a certain amount of spoons if they have eaten very little but a clean plate is not essential...if they ask for thirds I may offer an apple or's not only about portion size..but also what you feed them..children often eat what they need when they need can tell if they are over eating and can offer something healthy or light.

hmc Tue 04-Aug-09 09:13:56

"children often eat what they need when they need it"

Yes but some of them eat what they like (could be healthy but still not good in high quantities - my dd favours meatballs made from lean mince in passata) because they want it.....

BonsoirAnna Tue 04-Aug-09 09:18:15

No, absolutely not. I try to make enough food for one serving each. Sometimes there is a little left over, which they can divide up between themselves if they want.

TrinityRhinoIsInDetention Tue 04-Aug-09 09:20:41

but eyeballs it was her twins unfinished dinner that she asked her if she could have

tricky to not make it available or to stop her having it without drawing attention to the whole issue

BonsoirAnna Tue 04-Aug-09 09:20:58

Portion control is one of the keys to healthy eating - it is very wrong to send children the message that there are some foods you can eat as much as you want of.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: