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How much should 4 and 5 year olds be eating?

(3 Posts)
joster Mon 05-Oct-09 18:11:43

Is it normal for a boy (5) and girl (4) to eat almost as much as I would make for myself? Day in, day out they eat absolutely masses, mostly "proper" food I am relieved to say.

They start asking for lunch around 10am, and then again at 11am (despite snack being given on first lunch request). I just about string them out til midday and then we are simply on countdown to five o'clock for tea... I know they eat everything in front of them at school as well.

He is as skinny as a rake, she is less so but still not exactly chubby. They are pretty active, so I just put this down to energy burn off/ a constant growth spurt. Other parents almost always comment on how much they eat, although are usually tactful enough to say instead "how well" they eat...

I just worry that it is kind of a habit now that they eat so often and so much and that suddenly one day they will just balloon out. It has been like this for at least 2 years with absolutely no periods of lapsing into lighter eating.

Am I wrong to worry

silentcatastrophe Mon 05-Oct-09 19:08:23

Are they quite tall? My girls eat a lot, and people say how well they do. If they are eating good food, then really I wouldn't worry in the slightest. They are using masses of energy growing and thinking and running around.

Children eat what they need. When they don't need to eat, they won't. You sound as though you are feeding them a good balanced diet, and they are getting plenty of exercise. It sounds unlikely that they are eating out of boredom.

I don't worry about the amount my dds eat, but I would certainly be concerned if they were eating nothing but chips and ice-creams and biscuits, which I'm sure they would love!

ThingOne Mon 05-Oct-09 19:22:23

The energy requirement for a five year old boy is something like 1500 calories, and for an adult woman about 1900. There's not actually a lot of difference in that - maybe a bowl of cereal with full fat milk or a couple of glasses of wine.

If they start getting chubby, increase the exercise or reduce the food very slightly. If they don't, just leave it.

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