My son is 21 months old, 85cm tall, and about 26lbs. He's about average for height and weight and is well muscled, strong and very active/playful.
I'm just concerned because he's been going to daycare for 2-3hr a day about 3x a week to give us both a break from each other. Every time I pick him up after lunch he complains of being hungry. I asked the daycare lady about it a few times and she said he eats twice what their other kids do and she was just worried about giving him a stomach ache by over feeding him. When he comes home he usually eats again (about 30min after they fed him).
He doesn't do it every day - it's kind of like binge eating and I assumed it had to do with growth spurts. He will go through phases where he picks at his food and hardly seems to eat at all - and then will start eating as much or more than I do during the day (more spread out though through meals and snacks) for a few weeks.
My husband and the daycare are concerned it's not healthy and I'm not sure what to think. He seems healthy and happy and growing well to me but I don't want to instill poor eating habits, nor do I want to make him stay hungry when he wants to eat.
Is that something I should worry about?
Well, what is he eating? If he's not eating a ton of sugar or a ton of white flour, but is eating proteins, veggies, fruits and other grains, then I wouldn't worry about it. Most kids are really good about self-regulating food.
I know my toddler is regularly out-eating my DH for breakfast, and out-eating me for lunch. But so long as I can see his ribs, I'm not going to worry about what the charts say.
Eating more one day/week and less the next is a completely normal pattern that just shows he is self-regulating his food based on his body's needs. I would talk to your DCP about letting him eat to hunger rather than restricting him - that would really bother me. And I would encourage your husband to do some reading on toddler development. Perhaps discuss the situation with your ped if you have a good one, and have your ped tell your DH it's normal.
I notice you're in S. Korea... is your child of a similar size to the other children in his daycare situation? While the charts may be showing that his growth is average, if your DCP and your husband are comparing him to smaller children, that may be part of the issue. I know my little guy is bigger (taller) than everyone else his age, which makes it difficult to determine where "normal" lies.
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My daughter came home every day with a "happy plate times three" on her chart - that means she not only finished her plate, but asked for seconds and thirds (the maximum they were allowed to give her). The teachers worried that I was not feeding her enough until they saw her brother not even finishing his first plate most days.
She was a tiny little thing as a baby. She nursed nonstop for her first year but was only in 3-6 month clothes on her first birthday, off the charts small. She is now 4 and in a 4T. She is thick but all muscle - her body type. I don't worry. She is very active and I believe she needs all that energy for her constant dancing, running, jumping around.
It's the same today. She usually eats more than her father and brother, and I eat the most for some reason. We all have about the same body weight relative to our builds. (Not overweight, not underweight.) It varies. If he's healthy, I would feed him as much as he wants. I wouldn't push the daycare thing, I would just make sure to have snacks ready for him when he gets home.
I took him to the doctor and he is actually in the 50th percentile for height and weight by international standards. A friends son had their BMI and height checked and he scored average (same build as my son) and his class mates are all under weight. I also saw several of the kids while they were being dressed and all of them are surprisingly gaunt (in my opinion) with their arm/rib bones clearly visible.
Actually I think I did figure out why. Yes Im in Korea. Here children arent encouraged (or forced) to sleep. The idea of a bed time is unheard of. The three kids I know who are the same size as he is are all under fairly strict bed~time and nap time routines. Minimum of 13hrs sleep a day. All the kids who go to his day care, and other friends kids, all sleep when their mom sleeps even if thats at midnight for 7~8hrs and often with no nap. And theyre all very thin.
DH is on board with it now and talked to the daycare. Theyre feeding him what he wants to eat now and the last few days he hasnt asked for more when he comes home.
And yes he is eating lots of fruits, whole grains, veggies, meat n fish ~ most days he doesnt even have juice and sweets are rare.
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