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What does your three - four year old eat on an average day

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
And are they in the normal weight range? I'm not asking for specifics, but just generally what does a normal day look like with your 3 - 4 year old child. There have been a few other threads about kids/weight/food and I'm really struggling with my little one. I just want to know what other kids are eating.
post #2 of 43
Well, let's see... her diet hasn't changed much over the past couple of years... for breakfast we'll usually have some oatmeal and a banana or grapes or something along those lines... she's not a big breakfast eater. We're also feeding a 17 month old too, so most breakfasts and lunches are for both of them.

For lunch I'll make pasta or sandwiches, both of which she eats a good deal of. If I'm making something like pasta, I'll add shrimp or another seafood or meat on the side. Sandwiches are usually just served with chips.

And she drinks milk allllll day - girlfriend loves her milk.

Dinner is a crapshoot. We don't have stringent rules at dinner, so I may make her something special if she doesn't eat what the rest of us is eating - I'll make her a dog or a burger or grilled cheese or more shrimp or something. With four kids, I often make different meals!

Autumn is small, in my opinion. I don't know what she weighs becuase it's been forever since we've seen a doc, but she can comfortably wear some bigger 24 month clothing, but mostly 3T.

We allow pretty much unlimited snacking here in our house - some of it healthy, some of it not. We're okay with sugar snacks and things like that, and all of my kids enjoy them without having weight issues. They're all on the slim side, now that I think about it.

Is that much help? LOL! I guess I don't think about what any of them eat on a daily basis, I just feed 'em til they stop!
post #3 of 43
My ds is 4.5 and doesn't eat much!

For breakfast he has one weatabix, then 2 grapes or 2 slices of apple for a snack, then a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Dinner..maybe pasta (about 7-8 pieces of penne fills him up) He may also have a couple of yogurts during the day plus a glass of milk and a glass of fruit juice.

He seems satisfied with this although all his friends seem to eat about 3x what he does.
He is about 15kg at 4.5 (he has been the same weight for about a year I think although he has got a lot taller).
post #4 of 43
Breakfast: scrambled egg/fried egg, toast & pb, oatmeal w/ maple syrup, cereal w/ a banana

Lunch: usually leftover from supper -- otherwise, grilled cheese, pasta, veggies and dip, apple or some other cut up fruit

Dinner: She must try everything. She usually eats very little -- maybe 1/4 - 1/2 cup of food total.

Before Bed: a small bowl of nuts and raisins.

ETA: She also has at least one snack of some sort during the day -- fruit, granola bar, crackers, etc.
post #5 of 43

Typical Meals

Breakfast : small bowl of cereal with milk, or a piece of wholewheat toast with butter or peanut butter, or a dish of fresh berries.

Lunch : half a grilled cheese sandwich with half an apple, or half a soft shell beef taco with six or so baby carrots and a few grapes.

Supper : half of a raw bell pepper sliced up and half of a hamburger, or half a cup of pasta and some diced cucumber and tomato, or eight or ten bites of steak with some raw cherry tomatoes and a half cob of corn.

Drinks : The girls normally drink whole milk with meals, unless there's red meat, in which case they do get orange juice (usually the vitamin fortified Tropicana).

Snacks : half a banana, slice of full fat cheese, container of yogurt, handful of raisins, Sun Rype fruit bar, piece of watermelon, a few grapes or cherry tomatoes. Something as large as a granola bar either doesn't get finished or is enough to nearly replace a meal.

Breakfast is usually finished, lunch isn't too bad, super is the worst meal and often I throw out a lot of what was on their plates. Lately the kids haven't been eating a lot of snacks, but i think they all just finished a growth spurt. I also find that they both eat more food in total if they have fewer snacks. They suffer from "three bites is enough to take the edge of my appetite, so I'm done eating."

Our second DD is will be four in September and is legitimately thin. Her bones are tiny. She is nearly 40 inches tall and probably about 35 pounds. Our oldest DD is probably about 39 pounds, though I don't think she's quite there yet. She just turned five and is 43 inches tall. She wears a size slim in jeans from Osh Kosh and Circo, though to be honest, I think she looks more average than slim. It makes me worry where we're going to find pants for her sister in a year or two.
post #6 of 43
DD is 3.5 and usually has

breakfast:yogurt with cereal in it, or pancakes (2 or 3 silver dollar size) or a small bowl of oatmeal
snack: some kind of small fruit serving or a hard boiled egg or muffin,
lunch: half a peanut butter sandwich, which she doesn't always finish, a few carrots, some cheddar bunnies
snack: cheese and crackers or a small fruit serving or a probugs kefir drink
dinner: small serving of meat, 2 small servings of veggies, some kind of little dessert (about 3 times a week)
post #7 of 43
DD2 was 4 in April, and mostly hasn't eaten for about 9 months. She's the lightest eater, but in the same weight range (average, 50%) as my other two.

She eats 1/2 to 1 egg and 1/2 piece of toast for breakfast with about 4 ounces of milk.

She eats best at lunch- 3 bites of chicken, 4 carrot sticks, 1 bite of salad, 4 apple slices.

Dinner- almost nothing, maybe a piece of toast, maybe 1/2 bowl of muesli.
post #8 of 43
DD just turned 4. Right now she's eating oatmeal for breakfast every day, but up until recently she didn't really eat breakfast, she waited until mid morning and snacked on fruit, or cheese and crackers etc.

She gets OJ at breakfast, milk at lunch and dinner.

She eats a veggie at lunch and dinner, and fruit for snacks twice a day.

She goes through phases before a growth spurt where she eats more, but most of the time not huge portions of anything except pasta. She loves pasta and will eat as much as I'll give her it seems.

I buy her 3-4 yogurts for the week. She loves cheese and will eat some every day.

Kidney beans she loves and eats a couple times a week, chicken, ham or pork, eggs all about once a week.

Sorry for the disjointed reply, I should be sleeping!
post #9 of 43
DD is 3, 30 lbs 36 in.
Breakfast is a bowl of cheerios with a glass of milk, sometimes she will have 2 or 3 bowls, sometimes she will have 1 - 2 yogurt tubes as well
Morning snack varies, sometimes nothing, sometimes a snacktrap full of crackers (if we are out)
Lunch - if at home turkey sandwich and fruit, or peanut butter and apples if at DH's work cafeteria (a college dining hall where we eat 1-3 times a week), fries, ice cream, sandwich or pizza.
Afternoon snack - more yogurt tubes, peanut butter and apple or another bowl of cereal with milk (she often requests "breakfast" several times a day). She tends to eat at least one snack a day between lunch and dinner
Dinner - whatever we are having for the most part - popular foods are pasta, pizza, fries (oven baked), rice, cous cous, bulgur, chicken (baked or nuggets), fish sticks (she and I eat those while DH eats salmon), bread (she won't eat a hamburger or bbq chicken so she just eats the roll). Broccoli, carrots, corn on the cob and canned baby peas are the only veggies she will eat.
For drinks she always has a choice of water, juice or milk. For the longest time she always picked water, for the last couple of months she has been drinking tons of milk, very recently we have had OJ in the house (as opposed to juice boxes), so she has chosen that a lot lately.
Treats - chex mix and oreo cookies are very popular right now
post #10 of 43
mine will be 5 next week but on an average day she has 2-3 apples or bananas, 3-4 carrots, 1-2 pieces of bread w/butter, 1-2 bratwurst (no bun) saurkraut, and whatever we eat for dinner.
post #11 of 43
My 3yo is a very good eater (as opposed to her older brother who is terribly picky). She'll have a french toast and a half-veggie sausage with OJ for breakfast. Maybe some pasta and broccoli and juice for lunch. She will eat a good dinner too- fish/tofu, rice and greens. She's on the small side but I think she's extra healthy.
post #12 of 43
Typical foods for my 4 yo-he's 39lb which is think is average?:
Breakfast-usually a waffle or an egg
Snack-a good size piece of cheese or a whole piece of fruit
Lunch-half sandwich with more fruit
Afternoon snack 1-some crackers or a granola type bar
Afternoon snack 2-baby carrots and hummus or half a container of yogurt
Dinner: Usually part of a serving of grain, protein and most of a veggie serving
Evening snack: yogurt or frozen blueberries, sometimes a sorbet bar

He usually drinks water, tea or juice cut with 50% water. And when he's growing through a growth spurt he will sometimes wake at 4am for more to eat.
post #13 of 43
Today ds ate:
breakfast:two bananas, a cereal bar,
snacks: a cheese stick or two, some grapes
lunch: a serving of a cheese/noodle/beef/veggie casserole
dinner: crackers (he was offered more, but that's all he ate)

DS is 3 years, 8 months old. He's only 30-31 lbs.
post #14 of 43
AT 3 years 10 months:

BREAKFAST OPTIONS:
* oatmeal and sliced fresh fruits topping or dry fruits and nuts topping
* pancakes
* crepe with cottage cheese
* Farina or tapioca cooked in milk
* french toast
* boiled or scrambled eggs and toast

LUNCH OPTIONS:
* hamburger from natural beef that is home grainded, letuce,tomatoe
whole foods bread slice, carrots..
* grilled cheese sandwich
* sanflower and rapsberry jam sandwich and some fruits
* sandwich with ham and or cheese
* breakfast links and some veggies like carrot, radish, peas..

DINNER:
* mostly meat and patatoes dinners that we eat plus some veggies of season.
* home made hash brown patatoes, sunny side up egg.. and some ham
(breakfast really but loves it for dinner)
* we don't do much of a pasta as it is just bad habit and empty callories
as it is mostly dry grains that used to be a plant years ago.. and lost
most of it had to offer during the shelf life :-) then was processed and cooked so we are talking plain fuel here.. so she has it sometimes but
only very occassionally.. when we get lazy... or nothing else is around :-)
* soup with lots of things going on in it borderline of stew..


My DD eats breakfast very late.. some 2 hours after waking up as she nurses a lot on a wake up so that kills her apetite for good. I stopped chasing her for breakfast as I just go with the flow and she will eat when she is ready, at least till we nurse I know that she is just sattisfied. Then she eats the breakfest on her terms with apetite.

Lunch is on the same terms, she is ready then she eats depending how much she ate for breakfast.. but it is kind of slow.. starts fast and slows down as one of pp noted.. :-)

Dinner is welcommed always with entusasm.

Guilt trip:
we do sometimes MC D although it is super bad and yacky but
sometimes we are out in town and long and she won't look at
much anything else so we give in..

we do let her have any sweet snacks she wants as we usually
have lots of dry fruits and kind of healthy options candies
or gummy bears made of real fruits form whole foods store..
or raisins in youghurt.. as above..

I like sweets in moderations, I think that brain needs sweets
and if she wants some she gest them, I first offer fruit and
most of the time it is enough or she will have both.
she is not abusing sweets, so I think it is healthier then
forbidden fruit as people in later life go on the binges..
I never had it forbidden as a kid and I never have any
wild cravings.. aside from pregnancy :
I like small sweet something and it is never always..
and never big and I can do without.. and it is not
everyday anyways but maybe few times a week at most
and we are talking a candy or two.. oooooooops it is not about
me ;-)






*
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 
It sounds like my daughter's diet is pretty average. She gets a lot of activity. She's still overweight. I really have no idea what to do. I thoght...ok, maybe she's just eating more than I realize but it sounds like she's right on track and even eating less than some of these kids. I hate this for her. It's just not fair. I have friends whose kids eat fast food five nights out of seven and they're thin. I hate this. I have already lived this, I did not want this for her.
post #16 of 43
My DS is 4 and he struggles a bit with eating. When he was younger he had reflux and problems with gagging and puking on *everything* which I think makes him a little hesitant to eat sometimes. A few months ago he gagged and puked (first time in over a year) and he went on a hunger strike for 2 weeks or so. We literally could only get him to take fluids and some softer food. But then he was fine.

So he's a normal weight, although he does tend to lose if he's going through a rough period. Then he gains it back. He's about 40 lbs and 42" tall. He gained a TON after he learned to eat better. He dropped to 27 lbs (after hitting 30 at 15 months) and stayed there for over a year. Then he gained 11 lbs in a year.

So he's not really "average" but take what you can from my post.

He almost always refuses to eat breakfast. I always offer but he says his tummy isn't ready.

About 2 hours after waking he'll eat an early lunch. Quite often this is a PB sandwich with the crust cut off, a decent sized carrot, applesauce, cheddar cheese, raisins, and a cup of milk. Sometimes he eats it all, most of the time he'll leave a little of each item.

For a snack he'll have a cup of cereal or juice and crackers.

Dinner is a struggle too, most of the time. He eats what I make, but it's such a small amount. For the longest time, it was a serving the size I'd imagine a 2 year old would eat. He's eating a little bit more now. Again, he has milk.

There are days I can't get him to eat anything and there are days he's constantly asking me for food, although those are rare.

I always make sure to stock up on his favorites: milk (soy or almond usually), juice, carrots, apples or applesauce, raisins, mandarin oranges, broccoli, pasta, PB, cheese, crackers, ect. He DOES eat stuff other than this, but if he's having a tough day, it helps to bring out the favorites.
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
It sounds like my daughter's diet is pretty average. She gets a lot of activity. She's still overweight. I really have no idea what to do. I thoght...ok, maybe she's just eating more than I realize but it sounds like she's right on track and even eating less than some of these kids. I hate this for her. It's just not fair. I have friends whose kids eat fast food five nights out of seven and they're thin. I hate this. I have already lived this, I did not want this for her.
Well you can't compare her to other kids. It is helpful to have an idea of what other kids eat, just to see what end of the spectrum she is on, but you can't compare, KWIM?

You are right, some kids CAN eat like total crap and stay thin. But they aren't healthy. Some kids eat perfect all the time and have a little pudge on them. They are loads healthier than the kids that eat mcdonald's 4 times a week.

First, I would completely stop comparing her to other kids. If she needs a lower fat/lower calorie diet, then just do it. For the whole family. Of course allow some treats, but just not an everyday thing. Encourage more activity (unless she's the kid that never sits still already). Limit TV time in a big way. If she doesn't already have them, get her a jump rope, hula hoop, kiddie pool, ect and send her outside. Help her draw a hopscotch game with sidewalk chalk. If you don't see a difference in 2-3 months, I get her checked out. Especially if she gains more than a lb or so. There might actually be something going on with her.

How overweight is she? Is it "babyfat" or is she truly overweight? I feel for parents doing everything they can and I know people still think you guys feed them like crap. I have a friend who's kids are all pudgy. She and her husband are very slim and her kids, even at 5, still look like toddlers, like they have a lot of baby fat. They are *adorable*, but yeah, they are overweight. They never eat out, always home cooked meals and she gives them celery for snacks and they are always on the go, always moving. Oh and she nurses them for a year too. I have no clue where they even got the pudginess from. It's certainly not inherited.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
It sounds like my daughter's diet is pretty average. She gets a lot of activity. She's still overweight. I really have no idea what to do. I thoght...ok, maybe she's just eating more than I realize but it sounds like she's right on track and even eating less than some of these kids. I hate this for her. It's just not fair. I have friends whose kids eat fast food five nights out of seven and they're thin. I hate this. I have already lived this, I did not want this for her.
what is her age/weight/height?

Our neighbors are 2 sisters 18 months apart. I assume they eat relatively the same things and I know they don't do much in the way of activities. The older one is a stick (and by far she is the less active one), the younger one has put on a ton of weight in the last year and is now really chubby, maybe she is getting ready for a growth spurt? Maybe it is just genetics.....
post #19 of 43
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post #20 of 43
DS is 4.5, 40 lbs and I'm not sure of his height. These would be typical meals for us.

Breakfast: Cereal (usually 2 bowls, though he would sometimes eat a lot more) & milk, oatmeal (~2 bowls), peanut butter toast (1 slice) and some fruit, or an egg sandwich (fried egg, piece of bacon or cheese, 2 pieces of toast).

Morning snack: yogurt, fruit, granola bar, goldfish

Lunch: sandwich (PB&J or lunchmeat), soup, or leftovers from the previous night's dinner

Afternoon snack: yogurt, fruit, granola bar or goldfish

Dinner: an age-appropriate serving of meat, usually with two veggies on the side. Some nights one serving of each is enough, other times he'll ask for seconds. Last night it was a hamburger with a baked potato and grilled asparagus, the night before it was chicken curry over rice.

Some days he eats on the lighter end at meals. Other days he'll eat anything in the house that's not nailed down.
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