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What is the perfect diet for kids?

(34 Posts)
Mollyfloss Thu 04-Aug-11 21:15:15

I have an 18m old and a 3 yr old and I am quite conscientious about what they eat. Every time I think they are eating healthily I read something that forces me to question myself. For example my 18m old is going through a phase of drinking tons of milk but I hear too much dairy is not good or not necessary at all. My 3yr old is mad about Kids Innocent smoothies which I think are good for kids but are they really? Otherwise they eat a well balanced diet of meat (mix of chicken, beef, cod, salmon & ham), loads of fruit and quite a lot of veg, plenty of carbs including bread, pasta, potatoes, couscous and cheese & yoghurts. I limit treats but my 3 year old mainly is allowed have ice cream (which I often replace with frozen yoghurt) from time to time and the odd cake.

Does anyone out there have an ideal diet plan for kids?

Reality Thu 04-Aug-11 21:17:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mollyfloss Thu 04-Aug-11 21:30:43

I guess so Reality. I probably sound a bit daft posting but really wonder do some Mum's have a great planed diet for their kids? I heard that some Mum's plan their kids meal for the week to ensure that they get everything they should... (varying fruit & veg, brain food, best protein, etc)

cyb Thu 04-Aug-11 21:31:57

You are overthinking it

Not many sweets/biscuits/junk food/salt

I reckon everything else is fine

Mollyfloss Thu 04-Aug-11 21:39:42

What about dairy. Is it ok for an 18m old to drink loads of milk?

JarethTheGoblinKing Thu 04-Aug-11 21:43:41

Just a varied diet without too much crap

RitaMorgan Thu 04-Aug-11 21:47:33

How much is loads? Eating/drinking anything to excess isn't a good idea.

Tee2072 Thu 04-Aug-11 21:50:18

It's fine for an 18 month old to drink loads of milk. Even full fat at his/her age.

Really, stop fretting so much. Next week they'll tell us air is bad for us. Or water.

The so called experts have no expertise....

RitaMorgan Thu 04-Aug-11 21:59:47

Don't know about "perfect" but my 1 year old's typical daily diet is something like:

3 portions of dairy
3 portions fruit/2 servings veg
1 serving of cereal (either wheat/rice/oats)
1 serving of bread
1 portion meat/fish
1 serving of rice/pasta/potato

He probably has a bit too much bread and cheese and not quite enough veg at the moment though, but he is fussy hmm

I meal plan for ease and finances, but have never considered what the best protein is, or what brain food is! I just try not to repeat the same things too often.

Mollyfloss Thu 04-Aug-11 22:00:23

Loads is about 700mls a day at the moment. Actually she is 20m old, don't know whay I said 18m. She just keeps screaming for it. Maybe I should chenge it to semi-skimmed at least...?

Does anyone know if innocent smoothies is as good as they say?

I probably am over thinking. I just wish there was a perfect plan I could follow to ensure they get the best diet so they get all the best brain food etc (which is funny really because I'm not really a strict routine person in general)

RitaMorgan Thu 04-Aug-11 22:15:12

700ml is loads - I think the recommended amount for a 1 year old is about 350ml. Is she just really thirsty because of the hot weather? Is it denting her appetite for food?

I'd think the smoothies are fine, but quite sugary like juice, so maybe not great for everyday.

noisylurker Thu 04-Aug-11 22:17:20

I'm no expert but I do believe that - to an extent - our bodies know what they need.

Obviously sugar and fat and salt are tasty and we crave them for reasons other than nutritional need. But DS often has days or phases when he mostly eats one thing - whether that's cheese, pasta, rice cakes, whatever. It can be a bit random! His diet is well balanced overall, though. It could just be that her little body needs the calcium at the moment.

I'm not a big believer in 'brain food' tbh - if you're giving sugar/salt in moderation, using fresh ingredients and encouraging a balanced diet overall, I don't think you can go far wrong. Their diet sounds great to me... and I'm going to steal frozen yoghurt idea, I reckon DS would love that.

I thought innocent smoothies were just fruit?

MrsGravy Thu 04-Aug-11 22:18:40

I tend to keep a vague check (in my head) and try and make sure they get their 5 a day, at least one portion of protein a day, carbs with each meal, a couple of portions of dairy and lots of water offered. I try to avoid lots of sugary snacks or drinks - so I wouldn't allow them to drink several smoothies over the course of the day but would be happy with them to have it once a day. The loads of milk thing would be fine as long as it wasn't stopping them eating a balanced diet and wasn't upsetting their tummy. I don't tend to worry about weight gain but mine are all fine in that respect.

I'm happy for them to have treats as long as it's not interfering with them eating the healthy stuff or likely to cause tooth decay. Never worried about brain food! I think that's a bit of a marketing ploy for the companies that make Omega 5 supplements....

Mollyfloss Thu 04-Aug-11 22:23:18

Rita: I need to find a way to cut back on the milk, maybe it is not quite 700mls a day but must be 500 at leasta dn this has been going on for a while. Will keep better track of it. She still eats fairly well but is also mad about cheese and screams for it - it's some kind of dairy obsession!

Noisy: Yeo Valley & Rachels organic both do a frozen yoghurt which is a much better alternative to ice-cream or you can make your own. My 3 yr old DD loves it!

I though Innocent smoothies were just fruit too. Is there any reason they shouldn't have one daily? (or more as they have had in the past couple of days due to hot weather).

MrsGravy Thu 04-Aug-11 22:24:45

They ARE just fruit but fruit is sugary. So one daily is fine but if it was their main drink it might be bad for their teeth.

vanimal Thu 04-Aug-11 22:27:39

700ml is probably fine if it's not affecting her appetite.

My 26mo drinks about that much every day, but then also eats alot too (main meals and usually healthy snacks in between).

I think you are supposed to stick with full-fat milk until they turn two, and then can switch to semi-skimmed.

So says the government poster at my daughter's nursery anyway.

Mollyfloss Thu 04-Aug-11 22:31:26

Vanimal: you're right about the full fat milk, I just thought as she drinks so much maybe to switch half of it to semi-skimmed but then I'm not even sure if the fat i it is the issue (certainly neither are remotely over-weight). I just heard too much milk is bad or some people say we shouldn't bother with milk at all. I drank loads of milk as a child and it didn't affect me though.

RitaMorgan Thu 04-Aug-11 22:36:12

I do remember something a couple of months ago in the press about toddlers drinking a lot of milk on top of a full diet being linked to later obesity? Something like a bottle of full fat milk being equal to about 10% of the daily recommended calorie intake.

Tee2072 Thu 04-Aug-11 22:38:27

Keep her on full fat until she's 2. Full fat milk is brain food. At that age fat make brain tissue.

My 25.5 month old drinks at least that much every day, maybe more and still eats 3 well balanced meals a day. The only thing he doesn't like is sandwiches! That's ok though, neither do I. grin

It really does sound like you're doing fine. Don't forget to brush teeth!!

musicmaiden Fri 05-Aug-11 17:04:13

As the mother of an extremely fussy eater I'd just like to say they are doing GREAT and you are very lucky in the range they will eat. I am green with envy. Personally I wouldn't start worrying about food plans and all that nonsense as long as they are healthy and a sensible weight.

Popbiscuit Fri 05-Aug-11 17:12:36

At their age, when eating patterns are so random it's better to focus on the big picture...are they getting a good variety week to week rather than trying to keep a tally every day.
Real fruit is better than fruit juice/smoothies and as long as you are trying to keep junk out of the house and filling up your trolley with "real" food then you're good to go.

brettgirl2 Fri 05-Aug-11 18:55:18

I think the ideal is to raise children who are relaxed about food and eat a range of healthy things. In terms of milk they go one way or the other I think. My daughter probably doesnt drink enough!

naturalbaby Fri 05-Aug-11 21:55:20

I'm weaning my baby so have all the weaning books out with the meal planners in and am trying to straighten out my toddlers diet a bit using those. one of them goes up to 5yrs i think. i worry every now and then if they're missing something so have some toddler multivitamin/mineral stuff in the cupboard for fussy phases. we've just been away for a week so they've lived off chips so now i'm stressing about salt!

Mollyfloss Fri 05-Aug-11 22:45:17

A meal plan does seem to be very high maintenance. I'll just keep trying to keep their meals varied. I always have a big bowl of mixed fruit in the fridge and try to vary the fruit. Veg is a bit more difficult but I manage to get it in for example in a bolognaise sauce (tomatoes, onions, peas & carrotts). I also have great recipe for broccoli & cheese bites. I hardly bring any junk in the house but we are out a lot and the three yr old is getting smart and asking for it when we pass shops or go for coffee but she is just going to have to understand the concept of a 'special treat'. I'm just a firm believer in you are what you eat. It's not the obesity thing that worries me but I just want to make sure that they get the right food to help them reach their every day potential in terms of learning & physical activities etc. if that makes any sense...

megkat Sat 06-Aug-11 12:09:50

As long as mine get roughly their 5 a day then I'm happy - sweets and crap are limited to two a day (two snack sized bars for example, or one "big" one).

I do try and do the hidden veg thing - and I thought smoothies counted towards their 5 a day too?? Easy way for mine to get pleanty fruit and veg is to give them those little snack boxes of raisins, they love those!

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