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How many meals does your toddler eat in a day - and which is/are the main one(s)?

(10 Posts)

My 22mo was happily eating 3 meals a day until recently. Breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 12:00, tea at 5:00 (give or take). Plus milk before bed and a couple of small snacks mid-morning/afternoon.

Now it has all gone pear-shaped. She wants lunch earlier (11:30ish), is starving by 4:00 and has a second bottle of milk about half an hour after bedtime (hmm).

Usually her lunch and tea are both cooked meals (one leftovers from mine/dh's tea previous night and one cooked just for her). DH and I eat after she goes to bed. I was thinking of bringing lunch and tea forward and introducing supper, but have no idea what to give her for supper. Should tea be a sandwich and supper be a cooked meal (eating with me and dh maybe if we eat earlier?) Or should tea be a cooked meal and supper be light? Plus I start a part-time job next week and I had arranged to work 8 until 4 (3 days a week) so that I could be home for her tea at 5 - 5:30, so that's not going to work very well now either!

What does everybody else do?

jay11 Mon 24-Aug-09 17:51:50

mine have breakfast 7-9am (depending on whether school hols or not), snack, lunch 11.30 - 1.00am, snack, cooked dinner anytime between 4.30 and 6pm. Milk/smoothie/milkshake before bed depending on what they fancy. It really depends on what we're doing during the day. Me and DH usually eat later in the evening during the week and we eat together as family at weekends (in which case dinner is usually a bit later).

My kids are 6, 4 and 2.

Maybe another snack an hour before tea?

Seona1973 Mon 24-Aug-09 17:56:56

dd and ds have always had meals at 7.45am (ish), 12 noon and 5pm. They have snacks at 10.30/11am and 3pm (after school). Breakfast is cereal, lunch is sandwich, fruit, yoghurt, etc and dinner is a cooked meal with or without extra pudding. Neither tend to have a before bed snack although they occasionally have a small cup of milk and a digestive biscuit when dh gets in from work (6.45pm). Wouls she eat more breakfast? What sort of snacks do you offer? It could be a growth spurt and may well calm down again.

MegBusset Mon 24-Aug-09 18:12:09

DS1 has breakfast at 8ish (seems to be his main meal of the day) - toast, yoghurt and cereal.

A snack around 10.30

lunch at 11.30 - sandwich or similar

snack after nap at 2.30 and again at 4ish

tea around 5 - technically a hot meal but sometimes all he'll eat is a slice of toast

Banana around 6.30 before bath and bed

breakfast is toast or cereal plus fruit
lunch/tea includes yoghurt + gruit for dessert
snacks are usually cheese or teacake or Organix fruit bar, sometimes banana although she's more interested in peeling it than eating it, and she munches raisins a lot during the day too. I struggle a bit with snacks as she refuses biscuits, carrot sticks, rice cakes.
She never finishes all her meals - I give her plenty until she starts throwing food on the floor, which usually indicates she's had enough.

Jay - additional snack might be an answer - could do with more suggestions for snacks in that case!

obviously 'fruit' not 'gruit'.

bigchris Mon 24-Aug-09 19:41:41

3 meals a day
hardly ever have snacks unless they ask
and it is usually an apple

MrsMattie Mon 24-Aug-09 19:45:12

At 22 mths my DS didn't eat a huge amount, really. He'd have a decent breakfast - cereal and banana, usually - and I'd usually manage to get some sort of dinner into him, but he wasn't big on lunch or snacks during the day and ate only very little.

FuriousofTunbridgeWells Mon 24-Aug-09 19:50:45

My 22 month old has breakfast around 7, either toast, cornflakes or weetabix

then some fruit around 9am.

lunch 12ish sandwich or pasta or a plate of bits and bobs

usually something around 3ish or whenever he gets up from his nap, rice cakes, raisins that kind of thing

then dinner at 6 with me and DP

milk at 7 with stories

if he is still hungry at the end of the day, a banana seems to do the trick!

Sometimes he eats like a baby bird just picking at crumbs, and other days it's like he is hungry non-stop...

Egg Mon 24-Aug-09 20:02:10

My DTs are 19 months and have:-

Half a cup of milk when they get up (6:30ish)
7:30ish Breakfast (cereal and / or toast)
10:00ish Fruit snack (or sometimes breadsticks / oatcakes etc if we are out and have no fruit)
11:45/12:00ish Lunch - 90% of the time it is a hot lunch, generally more snacky than supper, like quiche, omelette, fishcakes, cheesy pasta etc plus pudding (yoghurt / fruit)
3:30ish Snack - varies, often we are at park so whatever I manage to stick in my bag, sometimes banana or biscuit or Ella's Kitchen fruit smoothie thing
5:00ish Supper - more substantial than lunch, like pasta bolognese, meatballs, salmon or other fish with mash, sausages etc
6:00ish Milk

Sometimes they do end up having another snack before bed but not often. DS1 who is 3 does have toast or crackers or something sometimes at 7ish before bed.

On Mondays they all go to nursery and get tea at 4:00pm. On Mondays they get a treat and all get crumpets at about 6pm as nursery tea is not as substantial as supper at home.

Sorry. Bit long blush.

Whilst it may work fine, I would not choose to bring her tea forward as mine all used to eat at 4pm and it is a nightmare. You find you have to cut your afternoons short to get home to cook if you are out (unless feeding while out) and ultimately I imagine you want her eating later rather than earlier.

My DS1 can wait til 6pm to eat supper now he is older, as long as he has a snack during the afternoon, so I am hoping that in a year or two I can feed them all a bit later (he obviously eats with DTs at 5pm now so I dont have to do two meals).

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