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What does your three - four year old eat on an average day - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Sheesh, my DD is almost 3.5, she is 43 pounds and is 41 inches tall. She wears a girls 5, not toddler size.

She eats:

breakfast: Yobaby yogurt and cereal bar or cereal
snack: pepperoni & cheese, apple, banana or crackers
lunch: pasta or chicken nuggets
snack: same
dinner: stir fry, enchiladas, pizza, soup, etc

She drinks juice, water and chocolate milk and does get M&Ms or a brownie almost every day.
post #22 of 43
Thread Starter 
I don't want anyone to think that I'm riding her about her weight or what she eats. If it were not a matter of health issues and had I not grown up with a weight problem and all KINDS of food issues, I probably wouldn't be worried, it probably wouldn't even be on my radar.

Our situation, in general:

I offer good meals and snacks, she eats what she wants and I don't care if some gets left.
I never praise her for finishing anything or comment on that kind of thing.
If she asks for other stuff in between I re-direct her to her most recent meal or snack (if there's some left and it's something that can be eaten cold) or she gets an apple or grapes or whatever.
She does get fast food or a junky meal with her dad once a week (like fishsticks or a grilled cheese from a fast food place). Sometimes she'll eat it, sometimes she won't, just like everything else.
She generally eats until she's satisfied, so she's not eating huge amounts of anything just to eat.
I don't use words like 'good' or 'bad' or 'treat' in relation to food, I don't make her finish everything or anything like that.
She's really good about trying everything and truly enjoys most fruits and vegetables (not wild about carrots or watermellon). We're not big on red meat but she eats things like baked fish and grilled chicken.
She does like cookies and baked things but those are rare, small in portion size, and home baked.
She mostly drinks heavily watered down juice or water, and sometimes lemonade (I make at home).
She's very active.
We have a pool, a swing set, a mini trampoline (inside, the kind with the grab bar), a big back yard. They all see a lot of use. It's going to be REALY hot here soon so most outside stuff will be in the pool as 98F is just too darn hot to spend much time running around in the sun.
She watches some tv, but not tons and she'd rather run and play - tv is a last resort kind of thing.

I only asked about what other kids are doing to see if I'm seriously misjudging what a child her age/ht would be eating. She's 3.5 and 38" inches tall. She weighs about 45 pounds, which does put her in the overweight category by quite a lot. Looking at her, she looks still round like a toddler and not thin like a kid. She's still got a toddler tummy and chunky toddler legs and booty. I would never have thought of her as overweight, she's just so beautiful to me, but I'm starting to see that other kids her age have thinned out (you know, like her cousin, who is the exact same age and lives on chicken nuggets, Skittles, and bologna sandwiches on white bread). I'm having to buy her clothes and suddenly, she's hard to fit.

I don't want to make her miserable or weird about food. I had lots of "helpful" adults in my life when I was a kid and as much as I know they all ment well, I am jacked UP about food and my body. In trying to keep me thin, they effectivly taught me how to be fat. Eating disorders go back three generations. I make sure that no one comments on what/how she's eating, her body, other people's weight, or dieting in front of her even if I have to hurt feelings to do it (for instance, my aunt won't be making that mistake again). I can't keep all that from her forever, but she certainly won't be learning it at home.

I just want her to be healthy and I want her to like herself. I have already had the experience of her crying because a dress just does not fit her (the way it was made, going up a size wasn't an option) and it broke my heart. I have had that same experience so many times and I thought I was doing everything right. I really thought if I did all the right things, she would eat when she was hugry, stop when she was satisfied, and everything would be fine. I just already feel like I'm failing her and it's her BODY. She has to live in it. I can't mess that up for her. She's so perfect and healthy and she's just so pleased with herself. I want her to always have that.
post #23 of 43
You are a great mom. nak...
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
I don't want to make her miserable or weird about food. I had lots of "helpful" adults in my life when I was a kid and as much as I know they all ment well, I am jacked UP about food and my body. In trying to keep me thin, they effectivly taught me how to be fat. Eating disorders go back three generations. I make sure that no one comments on what/how she's eating, her body, other people's weight, or dieting in front of her even if I have to hurt feelings to do it (for instance, my aunt won't be making that mistake again). I can't keep all that from her forever, but she certainly won't be learning it at home.
Well, I think you are doing a great job just acknowledging that this could become an issue. Too much pressure is placed on kids, especially girls, to be thin. I think if you keep it a non-issue, it will help prevent her from becoming obsessed with her weight and food. Of course, it's ok for YOU to wonder to yourself if she's eating right, getting enough exercise, ect because it's up to you to make sure she's staying healthy. You already know, obviously, that saying these things out loud could make her self-conscious.

It sounds like you lead a healthy lifestyle. Maybe give it until she's 4 or so and re-evaluate? Some kids just take longer to outgrow the baby fat. Then, if you do feel she needs to be seen to rule out any health issues, see if you can discuss it with the doctor BEFORE you bring her in to make sure he doesn't handle it inappropriately.

If you've noticed a weight gain recently, she may just be getting ready to have a growth spurt in height. Lots of kids pack on a few lbs before they sprout up. So they look like they are getting chubby, but then they slim down as fast as they chunked up.

It's tough, but it sounds like you are doing everything you can.
post #25 of 43
My 3 yr. old eats like this:
Breakfast: 2-3 bowls cereal with soymilk + maybe a banana and/or yogurt cup, or a bagel and cream cheese, or eggs, bacon, and toast
Lunch: sandwich (pbj or turkey, tomato, mayo/mustard on wheat), apple/orange/peach, potato chips or pretzels
Afternoon snack: apples and cheese, crackers and cheese, rice cake with peanut butter (or 2), or veggies and dip
Dinner: dinner plate full of whatever the rest of us eat, often seconds, sometimes more than I eat
Drinks: only water most days, occasionally OJ with breakfast

He also has a morning snack on preschool days (Tu/Thurs). He is 39", 38 lbs. and wears a 4T in most things. He's very active (spends 6-8 hours a day outside, rides a bike without trainers, swims and takes gymnastics) and I'd say his build is muscular/thin. Both of my boys have always eaten so much that strangers and friends remark on their appetites.
post #26 of 43
I sure know how you feel. Obesity and eating disorders run in my family and obesity on my husband's side. I worry constantly about passing on one or both of these miseries onto my children. My two oldest are both in the high normal range for BMI, so they are not overweight yet, but I am scared they will be one day because they love food. They are active and they eat healthy, but already I see signs I don't like.

I think you're doing a great job! You are feeding her healthy, keeping her active and avoiding the mistake of commenting on her body size or what she eats. Some kids are just metabolically destined to be bigger than others. My kids definitely cannot eat the same kinds of foods or the same amount of food as other kids their age without putting on too much weight. I truly believe it's genetic. What helps to keep them satisfied without putting on too much weight is to feed them smaller, more frequent meals, with plenty of protein and healthy fats and to make carbs the smallest part of their meals. Does your daughter eat a lot of carbohydrates?
post #27 of 43
I've only read the OP.

DS2 is almost four.

Most days, he eats a small bowl of cereal or oatmeal with milk. He generally has an egg or two a few times a week (either breakfast or lunch - mostly scrambled, with a bit of cheese). He snacks on cheese "sandwiches" (two full slices of cheddar, with a third slice, cut in half, in between) - at least one a day, sometimes two. Lunch is usually either homemade mac & cheese (about...1/2-3/4 cup?) or a half PB&J sandwich, with fruit (could be an apple, plum or peach - or some grapes or berries or mango slices) and a small serving of yogurt. He has 2-3 snacks a day - a slice of bread with PB or butter, another piece (or two) of fruit, a handful of carrot sticks or sugar snap peas or broccoli pieces, some bean sprouts, a small cup of yogurt, a smoothie, some walnuts - some mixture of those. If we're out, he snacks on either nuts & dried fruit, or a granola bar. He has a square of dark chocolate (90% cocoa) most days.

Umm...that's most of his daytime diet there. I'm sure there are variants. We usually have meat of some kind with a grain side (rice, pasta or potatoes). He usually eats both the meat and some of the grain. We also have a green salad most nights, and/or veggie sticks. He'll eat most of that. Sometimes, I cook some asparagus or brussel sprouts, but he doesn't generally eat them (his sister does). Dinner portions? We give him more if he asks...I'd guess he usually eats about 1/3-1/2 cup of whatever meat or fish we're having, plus about another 1/2 cup of rice (more if it's pasta - he loves pasta), and about 3/4-1 cup of salad.

I know I'm probably missing some things....

So...reasonable variety, and lots of fruit and dairy and meat...but not enough veggies, imo. I'm working on that. He's the pickiest of my three about veggies.

Last time I weighed and measured him - a month or two ago, I think - he was 36" tall, and weighed 42 pounds.


ETA: I noticed that several people mentioned beverages. My kids mostly drink water, especially ds2 (he's prone to throwing things, and if I must clean liquids of the carpet, I prefer water). They get a very occasional (2X week, maybe) small glass of juice, and sometimes a glass of milk...but mostly water.
post #28 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and comment. I'm going to come back in a little while with some questions and to answer some as well. Thank you thank you thank you for having this discussion with me. I don't feel like I can have it with anyone in "real life" as I DO NOT want to give the impression that I'm taking comments or it's ok to comment to her (or over her head because, hello, she can hear!). Thanks again!
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
She's 3.5 and 38" inches tall. She weighs about 45 pounds, which does put her in the overweight category by quite a lot. Looking at her, she looks still round like a toddler and not thin like a kid. She's still got a toddler tummy and chunky toddler legs and booty. I would never have thought of her as overweight, she's just so beautiful to me, but I'm starting to see that other kids her age have thinned out
It sounds as though your dd hasn't thinned out, just as you said. DS2 is still very "babyish" in appearance, even at almost four. He's got a toddler-like build, and a very babyish/toddlerish face. I don't think he's "overweight". I think he has a different build than a lot of kids his age. It sounds as though your dd may be the same.

I have already had the experience of her crying because a dress just does not fit her (the way it was made, going up a size wasn't an option) and it broke my heart. I have had that same experience so many times and I thought I was doing everything right.[/quote]
DD has had that experience, and nobody has ever suggested that dd is overweight - not doctors, not random strangers, not friends or family - she's petite, if anything. But, quite often clothes in "her size" (obviously, it's not) are too tight in the waist and too long. In the last 3-4 months, many of those clothes have suddenly started to fit, as she thinned out...she just turned six. She weighs exactly what she did a year ago - but the clothes that fit her aren't the same ones.


Quote:
I really thought if I did all the right things, she would eat when she was hugry, stop when she was satisfied, and everything would be fine. I just already feel like I'm failing her and it's her BODY. She has to live in it. I can't mess that up for her.
I don't see anything in your posts hat suggests your messing it up for her. She's not pigging out, and she's not eating a bunch of crap, and she's physically active. Try not to let this totally preoccupy you. She sounds fine - she really does. Not all kids are built the same.
post #30 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thank you. It really does help to hear from other moms that I'm not doing something glaringly ignorant and just not seeing it. And I'm glad no one has flamed me for being a little preoccupied with this issue. Truly, her happiness and health are my first priorities...everything else is so far after that they hardly rate.

Sahmmie, she does not get a LOT of carbs but she does have whole wheat (real whole wheat, not just brown white bread) bread, grits maybe twice a week (what can I say, it's the south), umm...popcorn? Cheddar bunnies sometimes. For the most part there is a limited amount of food she's going to eat in a day and I want to make sure that she gets plenty of bang for her buck. She's also had problems with constipation pretty much her whole life, which is why she gets apples and grapes every day and a bit of some kind of juice in her water - it's also why I limit things like cheese.

I am looking for some mommy and me yoga, or yoga for small children DVDs. There's a studio near us that does a class for kids just a little older than her, and I really like the idea of putting her in that. It's supposed to be very low key and just getting familiar with things. She'll also be old enough for dance and tee ball next year and if she's interested in either, I'll be happy to put her in. I'm sure she will be.

Most days we swim or run around in the yard, but it's getting REALLY hot here. I'd love a few dance/wiggle around DVDs that she and I could do together both to pass the time and to make sure she gets enough exercise. It's hard to feel like running around the yard when it's 98F and 100% humidity. I know that *I* sleep better and am in a better mood when I "get my wigggles out." I wish we were in a more pedestrian-friendly area, but this town doesn't even have sidewalks.
post #31 of 43
I think growth spurts are pretty erratic too. My 5year old didn't grow from November to April and in the last month has grown almost an inch! I know this because she has been wanting to mark her height on the wall almost every day!!! :
post #32 of 43
Sometimes chubbiness in little kids truly is just "baby fat". I was chubby until age 6 or 7, then got super skinny as a teen. Now I'm average. Similarly, my niece was chubby until age 10, then suddenly slimmed down.
post #33 of 43
My 4.5 yo DS is just now thinning out, and very quickly. He was very toddlerish/chunky a year ago, and I also wondered about his diet as I saw many of his peers getting slender. Now I think he is (and was) exactly where he should be on HIS growth curve.

There's a ton of variety in how kids grow. If your DD is active (sounds like she is) and getting a healthy/varied diet (sounds like she is) I think the very best thing you can do is not worry.
post #34 of 43
My DS is 4, weighs 19.4 kg (42.7 lbs) and is 111.6cm (43.9 inches) tall. According to the chart I got from his school, he's pretty normal. His typical day of food:

Breakfast: 1 c rice, 1/2 fish fillet, 1 egg, 1/4 c nori. . .he eats a lot for breakfast

Lunch: small Japanese obento (rice, soup, fish, pickles, fruit, salad, etc. . .but all in a very small obento box).

After school (he's starving): rice triangle filled with tuna or salmon salad, crackers and egg salad, cottage cheese, fruit, raw carrots with mayo dip. . .he honestly picks all the way to dinner

Dinner: 1/3c grain, 4 oz meat or fish, at least 5 veggies (like 5 broccoli heads, or 5 green beans), small salad or raw veggies, maybe 3 gyoza

After dinner: 2 c popcorn (or chips, or crackers, or whatever we have to munch on)

We are amazed at how much he eats in a day. . .but he is also very active. At school they play outside a lot and do a lot of exercises, dancing, running races. . .when he gets home he likes to run, climb, ride his bike until dinner. Then after dinner he and DD chase each other a lot until she goes to bed. Then he usually stays up until 11pm (he hates sleep) and has pretend playtime while watching children's TV or listening to music.
post #35 of 43
DD is nearly 3.5, weighs about 31lb and is 36" tall. Here's what she had today:

Breakfast: 6 Ritz crackers, 1/3 of thing of vanilla yogurt, and 2 bites of an English muffin

Snack at school: about 3 crackers and a couple strawberries

Lunch: 2 bowls of miso soup with tofu chunks, maybe 1/4 cup of yakisoba noodles and 1/2 cup of yakisoba-cooked vegetables (cucumber, brocoli, carrots...)

Dinner: 1.5 plates from a salad bar with cottage cheese, peas, ham bits, baby corn, and mandarin oranges on each; 1 hardboiled egg; maybe 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds; 1.5 slices of pineapple (maybe as much as 1.5 cups... it was fresh and she was in love with it); 2 bites of a dinner roll; 1 ice cream cone (without ice cream)

She'd normally have had a small afternoon snack but we were in a rush getting DH to the airport this afternoon and it got skipped.
post #36 of 43
My son is 31/2 and weighs 33 lbs.(i think) He seems average to me.

Breakfast is usually one of the following.He pretty much always has a smoothie too.
toast with pb or almond butter
waffle
cereal

Lunch is usually some chicken,soup,or pasta. He is not a huge fan of sauce so I usually do it with olive oil and veggies mixed in.

Dinner can be fish,chicken,pasta,etc. It really just depends on the day.

Lately he has been eating great but other times he eats like a bird!
post #37 of 43
My just-turned 3 year old eats pretty typically for his age, I think. All he wants is carbs, and he doesn't like anything to be mixed together. This is really throwing a wrench into my preferred one-pot meal style of cooking.

He's on the thinner end of the healthy weight range--about 45% weight for age, but because he's tall he's around 33% weight for height.

Note--my family eats omnivorously, and I've really started to notice how many meat & dairy products we eat. I wouldn't suggest modeling your nutrition on ours, and we're trying to change it. I think we eat healthier than a "typical" American family, but not as healthy as we should.

Also, my kid probably still has some reflux left over from infancy, so he still prefers to eat small amounts every couple of hours rather than bigger meals.

Breakfast: a small bowl of cereal and a cup of milk or 2-3 smallish pancakes with 1 slice of bacon and a cup of milk. In the winter it's oatmeal or polenta occasionally.

Snack: fruit and sometimes a stick of cheese

Lunch: Sometimes dinner leftovers, sometimes a turkey and cheese sandwich, sometimes just homemade sweet potato fries. Usually only about 1/3 c of food total (enough to fit into one of those small kid bowls). Another cup of milk.

Snack: his top preference here is always crackers. I suggest (and model) more fruit or veggies and it works about 1/2 the time.

Dinner: whatever we're eating. For the last few months he pretty much hasn't liked any dinner I've made. We have a "try one bite" rule that so far rarely works. When he does like dinner it's invariably when it's something starchy like homemade mac & cheese or other pasta. When he enjoys it he eats about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of food. Another cup of milk.

Bedtime snack: often yogurt with applesauce, blueberries, banana, or strawberries added. Sometimes just fruit. Sometimes dinner leftovers if he didn't dislike dinner.

He loves most grains, fruits, and beans. Sometimes he goes on a protein kick and asks for turkey for lunch and salmon for dinner, but that's rare. The only veggies he'll eat right now are corn, frozen peas (still frozen), potatoes and sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and artichoke ravioli.
post #38 of 43
My 4yo is in about the 40th % for weight and the 70th % for height. This is what he ate yesterday:

Breakfast: 2 small pancakes, yogurt, raspberries, OJ

Snack: cucumbers & cream cheese, water

Lunch: half of a turkey & cheese sandwich, crackers, small apple, milk

Snack: string cheese, carrots, water

Dinner: chicken (drumstick), artichoke, rice, milk

Snack: graham crackers, milk
post #39 of 43
My DD is 3 year, 2 months and is a super picky eater. We're vegan. She does seem to consume large quantities of foods that she likes, and only recently stopped getting breastmilk, so I'm trying to remember to give her more snacks. She used to eat a great variety of fruits, and some veggies, but we're gone through a serious rough patch, and are slowly working our way back to eating well again. Here's what she ate today:

- very large bowl of oatmeal cooked in water (probably 3 cooked cups) with a large dollop of almond butter and agave as sweetener. She ate half for breakfast and half for dinner.
- 1 banana
- 1 larabar (dates and apples and nuts)
- 2 blueberry oat muffins
- a bit more than half a cup of hummus
- 1 bite of grapefruit and a few spoonfuls of the juice

Yesterday she ate about 5 large banana buckwheat pancakes over the course of the day, about 1 cup of smoothie (watermelon, pineapple and raspberries) and several dates.

She's 36" and weighs almost 31 lbs.
post #40 of 43

I'm having the same issue. I've tried everything! My DD just turned four. She is tall for her age and about 50 lbs. My husband and I do not have weight issues, but height is in mine (I'm the shortest @ 5-3). I do not know what to do. An average day she has a bowl of cereal for breakfast. For snack an apple. Lunch- a half of sandwich (egg or jelly), with either yogurt or her favorite combination of blueberries, strawberries and grapes. She has a snack again before dinner, maybe a cookie with milk or a banana. Dinner -a kid sized portion of what we make and then is wanting to eat again We are not mac and cheese/hot dog people and never make ham burger helper etc. She usually drinks, apple or orange juice, 75% diluted with water. She asks for more food all day, planning her next snack while she's eating. I need help too!! Considering a nutritionist :(

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