Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

What does your 2yr old typically eat in a day?

(19 Posts)
jasmin27 Mon 01-Oct-12 09:10:06

I'm a bit confused regarding dd's food intake who will be turning 2 next week. Some days she doesn't eat much at all and other days eats well. Dh thinks she eats too much but my mum thinks she isn't eating enough. She doesn't have much milk at all other than in her cereal. Just wanted to get an idea of how much a typical 2 year old should be eating.

QTPie Mon 01-Oct-12 09:32:57

Mine (boy) ate (and still eats - 2yrs 8months) typically something like:
- breakfast: 2 crumpets with butter and jam, beaker of semi skimmed milk.
- snack: banana
- lunch: two pieces of toast and pâté, one pear.
- snack: 3 Organix gingerbread men.
- dinner: 150g portion of stew, 4 very small new potatoes and broccoli. Small bowl of blueberries.
- before bath: beaker of milk.

He is a very good eater and very active! They are all different and consumption will go up and down (illness/teething/growth).

I would say: look at your child - are they healthy? Also, do they have balanced nutrition?


ZuleikaD Mon 01-Oct-12 10:18:00

DS eats:
Bowl of cereal (Weetabix or honey nut shredded wheats) with full fat milk (they should only have full fat until age 2)
snack - toast and jam
lunch - sandwich (not plastic bread) with cheese or tuna mayo, possibly carrot salad. Apple slices or some sort of fruit.
snack - half a hot cross bun or something else carbohydratey, milk or yogurt
supper - pasta with sauce of some sort (won't eat potatoes or rice)

That's it roughly, though sometimes he's not hungry at all in the evenings and won't eat a thing.

I wouldn't focus at all on how much in terms of quantity your child eats. If he's active and tracking roughly the same centile (ie not losing or gaining centiles) then he's probably eating as much as he needs. Ignore anyone who tells you to limit his intake or try to 'get' him to eat more - both are routes to food issues.

wfhmumoftwo Mon 01-Oct-12 11:34:27

As a mum of a child who had extreme issues with food at 2 (who is 6 now and much better although not a perfect eater by a long shot) I really wouldn;t go down this route!. When my DS was 2 he would typically eat toast, a toasted bagel and a chocolate mousse with a bit of fruit throughout the day! A year going through feeding clinic, as well as removal of tonsils and adennoids and he started to get thorugh this and at 6 is a normal sized, smart boy who eats pretty well, and you wouldn;t know he ever had problems.

Please dont stress about how much she eats in a day - dont compare her to your friends children, dont force her to finish everything up.
The best you can do is offer a wide range of foods, and snacks throughout the day, keep mealtimes lighthearted and encourage her to try foods. If she is happy, relaxed and healthy he will likely grow up being a good eater. The more stress you bring the more you will get.
Somedays she will eat like a sparrow, others she will eat like a horse, please dont focus on each individual day

If she is active, full of energy and is growing then dont worry, just keep offering a balanced nutritional diet and she will regulate her own portions based on her own hunger - this is a real lesson for children to learn and one which children who are forced to finish their plate don;t learn.

Also, many of our parents and grandparents came from post war era where food was scarce hence the finish your plate mentality came from, quite understandably. FOrtunately we are not in that situation now, but the trend has remained and now our portion sizes are much bigger than they used to be.

Sorry, didn't mean for it to sound like a lecture, but having struggled for years it saddens me when people start stressing so much about food around their children. Use your DD as a cue - if she is hungry she can ask for more or have a snack, but its really not uncommon for children of this age to live practically on fresh air.

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 11:39:25

both mine seem to waver between eating tons and then eating nothing at that age. Try to think of food intake across a week rather than a day.

dd (2.8) at yesterday:

breakfast - Large cup of milk, 1 mini chocolate croissant and one slice of toast with butter, apple juice.

Lunch - boiled egg, soldiers, baked beans and sausages (at her request) - grapes for pud.

Tea - home made chicken nuggets (about three inch long ones), a handful of rice with butter mixed in, tablespoon of sweetcorn, four broccoli florets. Three petit filous yoghurts.

Large cup of milk at bedtime.

Some days she'll eat way more than that, some days much less, but like I said, think of it across a whole week rather than one day at a time.

amandapapke Mon 01-Oct-12 13:03:08

Here: you have a useful tool that will assist you in introducing solids. It gives you personalized recommendations for your little one’s specific needs.

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 13:26:21

Erm, amandapapke the op's dd is two, not weaning!

jasmin27 Mon 01-Oct-12 14:16:10

Thanks for all your replies. You're right i'm not going to stress myself about it. She is very healthy and always full of energy, her weight has never been an issue. I'll focus on offering a varied diet. feel much better now.

QTPie Mon 01-Oct-12 14:25:24

That is all you can do. I do encourage and praise good eating, but I try to never get stressed or make an issue over poor eating, fussiness, messiness etc: if you make an issue about it, it becomes a power struggle.

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 15:28:16

As far as I can tell it's a classic age to sometimes not really be interested in food. There's too much to do, so much going on in a 2 year olds head that food is the least interesting and most tiresome.

DS was a terrible eater, fussy, would never come to the table etc, now he's 5 he's just starting to come round to the idea of mealtimes. School lunches have helped. But dd will still wander off after only three mouthfuls. I say nothing, let her go and put her food to one side. when inevitably she wanders back saying she's hungry she usually finishes what she started. Sometimes it takes a few goes. I've even been known to take left overs in a box to the park to let her finish off!

We're trying to make an effort to sit down as a family for meal times much more often. It doesn't happen that much during the week, but sometimes at the weekends. Last week coincidentally dh and I both had a day off midweek so we had supper with the kids, and they both actually sat for half an hour <gasps> to eat with us. And we talked. Like a proper family.

It was a proud moment grin

jasmin27 Mon 01-Oct-12 17:34:58

headfairy- welldone on the family mealtime, we try to get a couple of family meals in a week. off to make some tuna pasta, hopefully dd will like it.

BeaWheesht Mon 01-Oct-12 17:43:42

Ds aged 2 (now 5) ate about 6 yogurts and a bowl of cereal a day - occasionally some bread or pasta. Lots of fruit and veg too.

Dd eats:
Breakfast: bowl cereal and yogurt
Snak: grapes and croissant
Nap time: milk
Lunch: beans on one slice of toast. Sometimes cheese or fruit. Yogurt
Snack: biscuit
Dinner: bowl of pasta and yogurt or occasionally ice cream

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 17:47:28

I tell you jasmin it felt like a huge achievement. My sister always looks so disapprovingly at my children during family sunday lunches as they charge around showing no signs of wanting to eat. But I dont' force my children to eat anything, and she does.

Both of us had our food very tightly controlled when we were young, I'm sure that contributed to our weight problems. I've been determined from day one that my children won't be forced to eat anything.

RockySpeed Mon 01-Oct-12 17:55:09

Today (nursery day) DS 2.6 has had

Milk, handful of cheerios and grapes
Shreddies and toast
Snack is usually fruit
Fish pie and angel delight
A m+s pot of pineapple and melon
A small gingerbread man
A cheese butty, tomatoes and cucumber
An Apple

Will have milk at bedtime

RockySpeed Mon 01-Oct-12 17:56:54

I've been told on various occasions by various people that you shouldn't focus on what they eat in a day, rather what they eat over a week. It's hard though!

FannyFifer Mon 01-Oct-12 17:59:07

DD who is 2 1/2 eats
Breakfast - cereal or porridge
Snack - usually fruit (at playgroup)
Lunch - small sandwich/wrap or pitta or sometimes soup.
Snack - oatcakes, raisins, banana or breadsticks & dip (choice of)
Dinner - whatever we have, big variety here but she has v small portion and a yogurt or dessert afterwards.
Supper - toast, pancake, crackers, cereal ( picks one)

She is dairy intolerant so mostly drinks water and oatmilk, she takes a multi vitamin supplement, mostly for VitD as we are in Scotland.

She is quite a small wee thing 26lbs, looks quite a lot written down but it's quite small portions. grin

oreocrumbs Mon 01-Oct-12 18:13:10

My DD 2.1 is another who will eat loads or nothing. She is doing well so I'm not worried.

Today her grand total intake is small cup of milk, 1 grape, 2 walnuts, 3 chicken nuggets and 2 bites of ryvite - she did lick all of the cream cheese off though. She will have milk before bed.

She has been offered food all day and left it. By equal measure she can eat huge meals somedays - almost as much as me.

The only thing I like to keep a track of is that she is eating a variety of food types - and she is so I will let her regulate herself.

We were at a party yesterday and she had a lot of sweet stuff so today she probably still feels a bit over stuffed.

Lionsntigersnbears Mon 01-Oct-12 19:37:45

I agree with other posters, it is so difficult not to get wrapped up in concern at what they eat. I think it goes back generations to when food was a bigger issue and providing food, just making sure kids had enough to eat, was evidence in itself of good parenting. My mother put a lot of sock in us having enough good food on the table. She struggled as an isolated mother of two in a rural market town where anyone who was not born there was an 'outsider' and never fully trusted. So when she saw us eating well, something her mother had struggled to give her as a child during wartime, then she felt she was winning the battle, and being a 'good parent'. Naturally enough some of our nastiest battles over the years have been about food. I developed an eating disorder when I was a teen, and my sister is very large and comfort eats. So I made a point of offering lots of different good quality food but repeating (over and over) to myself that 'its not my mouth, so its not my choice' and 'she'll eat when she's hungry' and 'she's a perfectly ok weight'. These are meal time mantras in my house because some days she eats virtually nothing, and other days everything that's not actually got a pulse, and little in between so I've had to work out a survival strategy.

QTPie Mon 01-Oct-12 20:00:19

My theory is "they are hungry or they are not", but I don't cater for fussiness. Like a previous poster, I keep neaten food and - if he suddenly starts banging on the door of the snack cupboard - he gets redirected to the uneaten food.

If he isn't hungry, then I just don't worry (and he has tracked at or just above 50 percentile and has always been extremely healthy). At 2yrs 8montbs he has a very healthy, very varied diet and knows that fussiness isn't entertained.


Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now