I guess this is kind of a "How am I doing with this?" post.
On an average day, my 21-month-old son will eat 1-1.5 Bananas, 1-2 Clementines or Satsumas, about a quarter of an Apple, a Kiwi, a half to a whole Avocado, a Strawberry, a few Blueberries and Raspberries, Raisins, a little bowl of Apple sauce, and a seemingly endless parade of sippy cups with 1/2 water and 1/2 Apple, Orange or Peach juice. Is this too much fruit for a 26-lb, 21 month old dude in a day?
The other things that make up his diet on an average day (besides fruit) are:
a bowl of whole milk yogurt (sometimes with fruit)
either a bowl of oatmeal or a couple of eggs scrambled with spinach (occasionally both),
a piece of whole grain toast with butter and fruit spread (the kind that's JUST fruit),
for lunch and/or snacks:
chunks of cheese, vegetable chips, little carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter, homemade popcorn lightly buttered
very occasionally, pieces of turkey cold cuts
store-bought snacks such as Plum Tots Fiddlesticks, Happy Baby puffs and Happymelts (dried yogurt drops), and organic granola/raw food bars
a bowl of either quinoa or brown rice, sometimes with lentils, with peas, corn, carrots, celery, garlic, onions, kale, black beans, or any combination of the above
-or- macaroni and cheese with broccoli or peas
-or- sweet potato and peas with some butter
-or- spaghetti squash with pasta sauce
(whatever most closely resembles what we're eating for dinner that night :)
and very occasionally, pieces of our chicken or turkey
occasionally also baby food from a jar, and/or toddler formula, if we're on the go or he has an upset tummy.
Oh, and he still nurses once in the morning and once at night on most days.
Whoa, I can't believe he eats that much in a day, but I'm sure I've actually forgotten many things. So how do you think I'm doing with his diet? And do you think he eats too much fruit?
Sorry for the long post!
IMHO a toddler can never eat to much fruit.
Our 22 month old eats very little. But man, she can eat some fruit and dairy. I've heard that at this point they tend to balance their diet out within a week. I've been told to think of what they are intaking per day but per week. Well even with that, my girl doesn't get much other than fruit and dairy, no matter what we try. I'd love to see what responses happen here, I'm interested too!
I had been told by his doctor not to worry if he starts eating less, because toddlers don't need as much to eat as babies compared to their size. Well, I don't even know how he can literally fit everything he eats into his body! He must be growing like a mad person because I swear he eats his weight over and again every day and he has the barest bit of baby fat on his thighs but other than that he almost seems skinny, or like a little walking muscle. I just hope it is just a BIG growth spurt because if this is how he's planning to eat forever, we will be eaten out of house and home!
I think his diet looks pretty good, maybe a bit more protein if you can (some cheese, hummus, fish, nuts, beans, meat etc) I try to offer protein with every snack and meal. I don't limit fruit at all and DS can go through a lot of fruit in a day! The only thing I would watch is that he is not having more then about 4-6 oz of juice a day (pre watered down) Juice is really not very nutritional but I know it is tasty :) The other thing I watch is DS' poops to judge if he is having too much fiber or not enough.
I think his diet is light on protein and high on sugars. I would try and wean him off all that juice for one. Juice is never needed and he already gets a ton of fruit so it is just sugar in his diet. I'd slowly reduce the mixture so he only drinks water. i'd replace some of that fruit with protein served in the same way. But I wouldn't limit the fruit necessarily; I would just provide alternatives first. Our toddler often has a bowl of easy to pick up beans or a cheese stick or a 1/3 of a peanut butter jelly sandwich or some cubed tofu with a little soy sauce. I'd also make sure there is a protein source at dinner.
Finally, that is a lot of banana. I'd be worried about constipation....
mine have always eaten loads of fruit and often still eat it rather than dinner. It's perfect, living food. He sounds like he is eating a fantastic diet, the only thing i'd change is the fruit juice, its empty calories/sugar really, unless you make it yourself it doesn't really have any nutritional value. Saying that, all my children drink juice mixed with water, i've tried weaning them off of it but they just stop drinking so i live with it.
Our DS (20 months) is what I like to call a "fruitarian," LOL (Notting Hill anyone?). He could eat entire containers of raspberries and blueberries if he could. He would skip all other foods at dinner if he could just get to the fruit.
I don't think it's a huge issue, but I do sometimes become concerned about 1. a lack of protein and 2. what all the fruit might do to his tummy (diarrhea).
He is practically not interested in meat at all. So I try to fit in protein any way I can, which ends up mainly coming from dairy. I'll try to get him to eat some beans, too, but that doesn't always happen.
I guess I could have worse problems. I think just keeping an eye on the protein is probably the key.
I'm impressed! It sounds like he eats a varied and healthy diet. DD hardly eats anything compared to him, really. I would not limit fruits, but I would want to limit the juice. My preference is no juice, but she gets much less liquids when I do that and we run into constipation. She doesn't have juice every day, usually just when I've got the state of her bowels on my brain, but when she does it is more dilute than you are doing.
He eats a lot more variety of stuff than my 21 month old, for sure (who subsists mainly on raisins, yogurt, milk, and salmon). Have you tried salmon (wild salmon) for protein? All the toddlers I know love salmon.
I would leave out the juice, since it's almost pure sugar, but everything else looks great! Wow, what a great eater.
I'm really surprised about all the recent paranoia over fruit and juice. Kids still need about the same percentge of sugar and fats as they did as infants, and then as humans grow into adults there's not much of a difference. Sugar from fruit is the main ingrdient needed and no one ever had a medical issue over low protein, their is protein in fruit too. Fruit juice is not a bad food, there is nothing wrong with it. It may be lacking in fiber, but if it is just fruit, it still provides nutrients, glucose, calories and hydration that kids need.
Sounds pretty good, but again I'd really be consistent with making sure he gets more protein, and maybe limit the juice some. I'd love to get rid of the juice out of my sons diet, but then he'd just be drinking water all day since he's lactose intolerant and doesn't like milk alternatives. As an adult, I even like a little more variety than just water all day! You could try herbal teas sweetened with a little stevia to help wean him off of the juice. I am a big believer that a little bit is okay though. DS usually gets about 4 oz a day. But as far as fruit goes? I'd keep it up. As long as you are continuing to offer a variety of foods, so he has the option to try new things still, getting a lot of fruit in a day is much better than living on refined grains and sugar. At least he's getting vitamins, minerals and fiber, all important for bowel movement and growth!