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feeding a chubby 1.5 year old...do I just give her what she wants? say no?

(34 Posts)
mamaesi Mon 26-Sep-11 15:11:16

I have always just given my baby as much food as she wants. I make almost all of it from healthy fresh ingredients, except for a few of those ella's fruit pouches as a snack if she is freaking out on the bus.

She is in the 98th percentile for weight and 75th for height, but my husband and friends and family keep commenting on how big/fat she is and keep asking what I feed her and telling me to stop feeding her so much.

When do children need to be restrained? Do I say no when she asks for more food?

JellyJenko Mon 26-Sep-11 15:13:36

No ideas I'm afraid, but my DS (11 months) eats everything in sight and I was wondering the same thing. Watching with interest!

BlueberryPancake Mon 26-Sep-11 18:10:11

I'd say no. I say no to my kids every day. ie. 'You've had your tea, you've had a desert, you've had a biscuit, you've had a banana, you've had a yogurt, you've had a glass of milk. Surely you can't still be hungry...' They are not overweight at all, actually one quite skinny. But some days they just eat and eat and eat. You have to be the judge of what's good for them.

Mind you they are 4 and 5...

An0therName Mon 26-Sep-11 19:16:53

my 18mo will eat and eat sometimes - I say all gone - and he trots off -
and I would say fruit and veg would be good snacks maybe - like bits of apple, satsumas - and make sure portions are not massive - and maybe don't give sweeten yoghurts that kind of thing - and how active is she? I suspect when she starts walking more that might make a difference

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Mon 26-Sep-11 19:55:38

I guess it depends what it is and if it's enough variety- most foods are healthy in moderation. But, for eg my 15 month old loves babybels, which I think are fine for a snack but I wouldn't give her more than one at a time. Or she loves those organix gingerbread biscuits, which are in theory 'healthy' as they are organic, no sugar etc, but I also limit them. I guess I'm saying if you're worried then try and make sure she has an appropriate mix of carbs/fat/fruit and veg etc.

I'm sure she's fine though, in my experience lots of young toddlers are still tubby. Then between 2 and 3 they suddenly shoot up and turn into little girls/boys!

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Mon 26-Sep-11 19:55:39

I guess it depends what it is and if it's enough variety- most foods are healthy in moderation. But, for eg my 15 month old loves babybels, which I think are fine for a snack but I wouldn't give her more than one at a time. Or she loves those organix gingerbread biscuits, which are in theory 'healthy' as they are organic, no sugar etc, but I also limit them. I guess I'm saying if you're worried then try and make sure she has an appropriate mix of carbs/fat/fruit and veg etc.

I'm sure she's fine though, in my experience lots of young toddlers are still tubby. Then between 2 and 3 they suddenly shoot up and turn into little girls/boys!

Sirzy Mon 26-Sep-11 19:59:38

Of course you have to say no IMO. Some children will eat and eat and eat but as parents it is up to us to make sure they have limits in place and eat the right things.

DS (22 months) would eat 24/7 some days but I don't let him and never have. He has his 3 meals and then 2 snacks (generally fruit) and thats it. If he asks for more I tell him no. I know he isn't going to go hungry!!

happygilmore Mon 26-Sep-11 20:23:20

I disagree - children can regulate their own appetites. Who are we to say they're full? I'd be pissed off if someone told me I was full and couldn't eat anything else - some days I eat loads, others not so much (and I'm a size 10 so it's not led to me being overweight).

My DD is 16 months, and although I don't know what she weighs, she's definitely a chubby baby - she has bingo wings and a little pot belly. I'm sure she will grow into her own size as she gets to be a bigger toddler, I don't know how we could limit her food intake anyway as she would just cry and cry if we did (she's a baby!).

I agree with the healthy snacks bit though - DD has all home cooked food, snacks are healthy and I just let her get on with it.

Iggly Mon 26-Sep-11 20:30:49

Tell everyone else to sod off. She's 18 months FFS. Not 18. Toddlers are supposed to be chubby - when they get ill and don't eat, the fat helps hugely. Plus when they have days of running about like a loon and don't eat much, the reserves sort them out.

DS is chubby. He doesn't ask for food all the time but he does get hungry more frequently than i do as he's very active. So I let him have an apple or banana if he asks, for example. I don't make him wait until a designated time for snacks or make him hang on until dinner because otherwise he'll stuff himself as he's so hungry - best to let him self regulate. He's losing the chub as he gets older (nearly 2) and he's had some nasty viruses where he's visibly lost weight so I'm grateful for his chub.

Just make sure she eats decent food and gets lots of physical activity and is allowed to stop eating when she's full.

shirleycat1 Mon 26-Sep-11 20:33:37

I agree with Gilmore, children can and should regulate their own appetites and if you give them the opportunity to they will then understand what it feels like to be hungry and what it feels like to be sated. Personally I think this is an important lesson that kids should teach themselves and will help them when they're older.

Animals can eat what they want, but they don't over eat and neither will small children.

Did you breast/bottle feed on demand? Why now suddenly decide you know when you're child is full, when you trusted her to tell you when she was a baby?

Obviously chocolates and Mcd's shouldn't be on your list of snacks...

An0therName Mon 26-Sep-11 20:37:10

well - when my 18 mo wants a snack just before tea should I always say yes?

and I find it helps to put food where they can't see it - in my experience for lots of children if they can see it they want it

Wholelottalove Mon 26-Sep-11 20:42:09

I've just pulled DD's red book out as she I remembered at one point as a toddler I was concerned she was overweight (after similar comments made to me). At one point she did go up to 91st centile (usually on 50th) but then slimmed down again. I remember her putting away huge plates of food as well- probably the same portions at 18 months as she eats now! Don't forget they grow in fits and spurts so they could put on weight and not the height which would make them go up the charts before it all evens out. FWIW DD is now 3.5 and a really skinny little thing.

Sounds like you are feeding her a healthy diet. I'm feeling a bit cross on your behalf and your DD's behalf that you're being made to feel there is something wrong with what sounds like normal toddler podge. As long as she's getting healthy choices and knows she can stop eating when her tummy is full then she should be fine.

NormanTebbit Mon 26-Sep-11 20:42:54

I wouldn't restrict food as long it's balanced and healthy. Chubby I'd nothing to worry about in a toddler. It will fall off from age 2-3 when they become 'busy' and fussy and impatient with food.

Trust her to regulate herself. As long as she is getting plenty and a variety of good food there is nothing to worry about.

Birdsnotbees Mon 26-Sep-11 20:43:17

Another- why not just bring their tea forward if they're hungry?

Totally agree with others who've said kids this age can and should regulate their own appetite. Seems weird to impose food on them at some times because they are 'proper' meal time and then to say no at others just because it's in between meals.

When DS was this age some days he would eat more than me, others barely anything at all. But I didn't have sweets, biscuits, cake or crisps in the house and he only had juice at brekkie. So he was generally eating good stuff.

Some kids are massive when they're little, others are not. Only you know if she's eating wall to wall c**p or not, or whether she's getting enough exercise. If you're happy with her diet then everyone else can (and should) do one.

TastyMuffins Mon 26-Sep-11 20:44:43

I would avoid giving her the processed food for freaking out on the bus, this sends the wrong message by rewarding bad behaviour with a snack. Is she hungry or just bored?

Iggly Mon 26-Sep-11 20:52:06

An0ther you can tell them tea is nearly ready. I do that with DS and show him what's happening. He won't be starving so will be ok. Hardly hanging on if he got to wait five minutes. Sometimes
I do give DS a little something - I know I nibble before my dinner. And I leave food out for it to be seen by DS - although he knows food is in the fridge and cupboard so no point hiding it.

I lived in a home where me and brother used to get hungry and had to sneak down to the kitchen to steal food. That's not in any way healthy IMO.

IndieNile Mon 26-Sep-11 21:01:16

I expect your DD will slim down a bit as she reaches 2 - 3 and becomes even more active. As long as she is eating a healthy diet, which is apparently the case, I don`t think there should be a problem.

My DS1 was plump (fat, to be honest) at 15 months but slim by the age of 2 as his appetite didn`t increase any more as he grew. He is grown up now and has remained slim. My DS2 was a thin child (I used to practically weep with gratitude when he ate) and he`s the one who has to watch his weight a bit now.

I think your DD is still too young for her current weight to be indicative of her future size, lots of toddlers are chubby. If she is still big in a year`s time you should perhaps reduce her snacks - even healthy ones can provide a lot more calories than she needs.

happygilmore Mon 26-Sep-11 21:02:00

I do exactly the same iggly. If the worst thing that happens is that DD eats a little less at dinner, not a big problem.

I know she eats what she wants/needs as she hands me back food when she's had enough. Sometimes that's after loads (she ate twice as much as me at lunch today) or after not much at all, like dinner. She also turned down half her milk at bedtime.

At that age they really do know how to regulate their own appetites - why try to override that?

Iggly Mon 26-Sep-11 21:06:31

happy, DS does the same. I lose track of the half eaten apples I've found in my bag when I get home after being out with DS grin

I find myself getting twitchy when people try and encourage DS to eat a little bit more during meals when he's pushed his plate away. If he's finished, leave him be!!!

mamaesi Mon 26-Sep-11 21:43:31

even here on mumsnet there are mixed responses...

hmmm...I know she is getting a variety and eats well. Snacks are always fruit or a rice cake. And I dont give her the processed food as a pacifier, but mainly to tide her over when I am trying to get home to give her a proper meal.

My GP said 'as long as its healthy' then its ok, but everyone else seems to say something different.

And what about milk? She currently has 12oz a day or 340ml... is that too much? Should I reduce that?

mamaesi Mon 26-Sep-11 21:44:41

and she is very active..been walking since 10 months, so I know that exercise is not a problem

Iggly Mon 26-Sep-11 21:47:32

Honestly? Leave her be. If she drinks that milk, and it doesn't interfer with her solids then it doesn't matter IMO. Does she look healthy? She's active so she's fine, I think! We worry about body image at far too young an age and it's sad.

happygilmore Mon 26-Sep-11 21:47:45

I asked the question about milk the other day and was told 350ml at that age, so spot on.

RitaMorgan Mon 26-Sep-11 21:57:26

12 oz is fine for a 1 year old.

I'd give small portions, and let her ask for more if she needs it, rather than piling her plate high. Maybe cut down on fruit/fruit juice/things sweetened with fruit juice as snacks as they are still high in sugar - offer veg instead.

Also, does she get enough protein? Protein rich foods will keep her feeling full so she'll snack less on sweet fruit.

An0therName Tue 27-Sep-11 10:28:15

mamaesi - I could be wrong but if you are giving her ella's pouch are you spoon feeding her/ giving her purees - may make no difference but I would expect a child that age to be able to manage most foods one their own and mght mean she eats a bit slower/less - but don't stress too much

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