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my 4 year old eats too much - she eats adult sized portions and still wants more

(63 Posts)
franklymydear Tue 04-Aug-09 17:39:31

she eats and then stops and then wants more.

Just eaten a bowl of pasta (adult portion) then seconds (3/4 adult portion) and wants pudding but is refusing a piece of fruit

she's not fat, she is tall (probably size of average 6 year old) and she is "solid"

what do I do?

belgo Tue 04-Aug-09 17:40:59

Has she always been like this?

I would give fruit instead of pudding.

belgo Tue 04-Aug-09 17:44:15

and give her a smaller portion initially. My five year old has just eaten about half a plate full of pasta, and is now eating a plum.

franklymydear Tue 04-Aug-09 17:45:40

no pudding on offer, just fruit

it's not a spurt she has always eaten large portions and she seems to say "I'm hungry" in an attention grabbing way which has lead me to recently say no you're not or you can't be or deny food which I'm not sure is a good idea

she likes salads and veg and fish and carbs but not fond of fruit - but we're not virtuous and she does eat crap too I'm afraid

just worried (wouldn't be if she was one of the boys but that's unfair I admit)

franklymydear Tue 04-Aug-09 17:46:38

smaller portion won't work

the pasta she has eaten (2 portions) she asked for another portion before asking for pudding (but it was gone)

Weegle Tue 04-Aug-09 17:47:24

My 3 year old eats adult portions - he's very tall and muscular and he is good at regulating his own appetite. If it's getting to the ridiculous stage (large dinner, 2 slices of toast, yoghurt) and he still says he's hungry I offer fruit - if he accepts I know he really is, and will give him the fruit and something else after - if not I know he's not. I really try to trust him - he has a huge appetite but really is not in anyway fat (in fact positively lean for 3) and incredibly active. As long as what we provide is healthy and nutritionally balanced I don't see the problem if the child is not overweight.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Aug-09 17:47:25

It might be an idea to get a reality check on her 'solidity' as that does sound like she packs away a lot.

Just today, as it happens, I found that the NHS has a good 'healthy weight' calculator for adults and children
here

When you say 'a bowl of pasta' is that mostly pasta or is there a lot of veg in there too? makes a big difference if its veg+pasta or mac'n'cheese!

belgo Tue 04-Aug-09 17:48:05

There's nothing wrong with the occasional bit of junk food.

If you are really worried, have you spoken to the school nurse ( if they exist), dietitian, GP?

belgo Tue 04-Aug-09 17:49:35

Agree with Grimma - pasta with vegatables and a bit of lean meat cooked in olive oil is a lot healthier then food loaded with cheese, butter and sugar.

franklymydear Tue 04-Aug-09 17:52:07

Good link

"your child is a healthy weight (80th centile)"

which is a relief

franklymydear Tue 04-Aug-09 17:53:04

this pasta was just tuna, pasta, mayo (light) and steamed sweet peas

FAQtothefuture Tue 04-Aug-09 17:58:15

Gimme - I looked at that the other day - and I'm afraid I don't trust it (even if it is NHS) - it indicated my humongous appetite DS2 is on the 3rd centile - verging on underweight - yet he eats mountains of food is is solid. I'm have no doubt that if he were on the 50th centile then he would be visibly obese hmm.

charis Tue 04-Aug-09 17:59:13

Make sure she is getting a decent quantity of protein. Protein makes us feel fuller faster than carbs or fat. Switch to wholemeal pasta and make sure it is al dente. They eat less/ feel fuller if they have to chew.

Finally don't worry if she feels hungry, she is not underweight and feeling hungry doesn't do any harm.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Aug-09 18:03:35

Odd, FAQ ... the results we got chimed with reality. Unlike a US one I looked at - their centiles are quite obviously based on a fatter population.

Tee2072 Tue 04-Aug-09 18:06:54

That is a BMI calculator. BMI is totally inaccurate, I'm afraid. It doesn't take into account anything but height and weight.

Fine, lovely, but a swimmer who is 100% muscle and no fat will register on BMI as Obese, because muscle weighs more than fat.

BMI shouldn't be the only calculation you use to determine if you are overweight. Or if your children are.

Kaza1 Tue 04-Aug-09 18:07:06

Your daughter sounds exactly like mine I could have written the post she constantly wants to eat. It's not just 1 piece of fruit but 2 and 3 at a time I can't keep up with her. Sounds like you're doing a great job I think if you don't give them junk in moderation it makes them crave it a little bit of sweet isn't going to do any harm. Karen x

deleting Tue 04-Aug-09 18:07:39

ds1 is like this. eats like a horse, adult portions and wants more. he's always been like this, even when bfing. very skinny, don't know where it goes. i make sure it's healthy stuff, so hope that when he's older he will stick to that, otherwise he will have problems. i can distract him though when he keeps asking for more and that seems to works. dd is much more choosy about what she eats, but again, if she likes it she will eat loads of it.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Tue 04-Aug-09 18:07:46

Dd can be like this she eats LOADS but is tall and a total bean pole to look at but to touch she feels more solid than children of the same build if that makes sense. Friends dd is about the same height and build but weighs less anf feels more fragile for want of a better word.
The one thing about my dd is that she can be feast or famine. Some days all she does is ask for food food food others she eats like a sparrow. I have always tried to let her regulate her own food intake and not force it and so far seems to be working.
There has been occasion where I have given some guidance but generally have left her to it.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Aug-09 18:17:00

You're quite right Tee - but I think those calculations and charts can help give some indication as to whether things are out of kilter or not.

timmette Tue 04-Aug-09 18:27:26

Sorry don't mean to but in but not sure that NHS calculator works it says my 3 year old 15 kilo and 105cm is very underweight in the 1st centile.

He eats like a horse too which is why I was reading this thread and is most def not underweight.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Aug-09 18:35:13

hm - could be the data for some age ranges is wrong then. Take with a large pinch of salt then, unlike your food!

Maybe you're better off judging by whether trousers the right length for their legs fit their waists.

timmette Tue 04-Aug-09 18:38:01

Actually a height and weight growth chart may be a better indicator - ds is in proportion and not overweight I am just amazed at his appetite but mil is not and says dh was the same.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 04-Aug-09 18:43:22

Focus on protein and fat and cut down the refined/processed carbohydrate. Wholewheat pasta/brown rice are much better.

Children need fat to grow/develop as well as for energy, so don't use light mayonnaise.

Give vegetable snacks rather than fruit based - eg. celery/cucumber/carrot sticks, to cut down on the carbs here as well.

Does she drink enough? Often thirst can be istaken for hunger. Why not try giving her a large glass of milk about 15 minutes before her meal?

franklymydear Tue 04-Aug-09 18:45:20

she's 92nd centile on height and 91st centile weight

franklymydear Tue 04-Aug-09 18:46:11

I use light mayo because that's what we have in.

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