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#31 of 45 Old 04-02-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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OP- there are many threads in the "Nutrition and Good Eating" that directly address why so many here do not give juice and the relationship with empty calories.

 

To insinuate that a parent who is observant enough to care (watch) the portion size their child eats when they are around is being a hawk is frankly insulting!

 

While a child is young and growing it its the parents JOB to do just that- studies have shown that families that eat together (where you watch or at least should be viewing the portion size your child is eating) are far more healthier. It's the parents JOB to model good eating habits and if you don't know what your child's portions are perhaps you have more problems than just eating issues-IMO

 

Understanding and learning good eating habits are viewed by many as very crucial for proper development and for some- it does last a lifetime.

 

 

 

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 She's looking at her own child and trying to understand what's best for her. I think she has the right idea by feeding her child real food that is prepared at home, limiting desserts & juice, and taking the long view (i.e. realizing that where her daughter is now doesn't necessarily represent where she will be for the rest of her life). I think that reasonable people can disagree about whether or not it's necessary or beneficial to restrict portion sizes of healthy foods for a toddler.

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#32 of 45 Old 04-02-2012, 02:32 PM
 
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She doesn't have a lot of juice, maybe one cup every other day. I really don't want to make it the "forbidden fruit" by taking it out of the kids' diet completely.


No, it's not a lot--but if you are looking for something that could be changed (sugar, extra calories), that's something.

 

Just not having something in the house doesn't make it forbidden fruit. I don't keep juice in the house specifically for the children (I usually have OJ in the fridge or freezer but they're not interested in it), but when we eat out or they are at someone's house they can have itshrug.gif ; though for us this is in response to their dental issues when they were younger, not their weight.

 


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#33 of 45 Old 04-02-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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YES! 

 

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Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

She doesn't have a lot of juice, maybe one cup every other day. I really don't want to make it the "forbidden fruit" by taking it out of the kids' diet completely.


No, it's not a lot--but if you are looking for something that could be changed (sugar, extra calories), that's something.

 

Just not having something in the house doesn't make it forbidden fruit. I don't keep juice in the house specifically for the children (I usually have OJ in the fridge or freezer but they're not interested in it), but when we eat out or they are at someone's house they can have itshrug.gif ; though for us this is in response to their dental issues when they were younger, not their weight.

AND it means the difference between good and bad calories

 

while something may be good, often there are things that might be better (more protein less "junky") and it does not make it forbidden like the PP said- treats can be just that "treats" - not weekly---------years ago, oranges were just that...."treats" for most who did not get them year round

 

"treats" can also be healthy and not daily or weekly


 

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#34 of 45 Old 04-02-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

To insinuate that a parent who is observant enough to care (watch) the portion size their child eats when they are around is being a hawk is frankly insulting!

 

While a child is young and growing it its the parents JOB to do just that- studies have shown that families that eat together (where you watch or at least should be viewing the portion size your child is eating) are far more healthier. It's the parents JOB to model good eating habits and if you don't know what your child's portions are perhaps you have more problems than just eating issues-IMO

 

 


Lovely....I sit down with my family to serve dinner 95% of the time and I pack their lunches and feed them their breakfasts so I do understand the situation.  I am saying that there needn't be WORRY attached to watching every morsel your healthy toddler eats.  I can give my toddler 2 eggs, milk, and fruit and if she really is still hungry, I'd give her more food. You're right, that doesn't mean I should have given her 6 eggs and no other food.  

 

Kids need to learn to feel for themselves how to regulate, not just have someone always doing it for them.  It was a hard lesson for me when my oldest was a toddler and he'd eat a few bites of ice cream and want to throw the rest away.  A few times I tried to encourage him to eat a few more bites.  Then it dawned on me that it was good that he could recognize he had had enough ice cream and stopped eating.  I really think that's a valuable skill.

 

I think if they're presented with balanced meals, and you start them with a portion, I don't see why they can't have more and even leave some on their plate.  

 

I think if you have a very heavy child who eats many processed foods, sweets, and junk food, you should change their diet...that isn't close to what the OP said so I hate that her question has led to a debate picking apart her parenting skills.


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#35 of 45 Old 04-02-2012, 04:18 PM
 
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Ha, this is an interesting one.  My experience, I was a hefer as a kid, my little one is too, boo me all you want for calling her that.  She's an eater.  A slow methodical eater.  And she plays hard.  She's not a snacker at all.  Just likes her three square meals.  This past year she has become a skinny little thing.  Just around the time I did.  My oldest is and has always been a stick.  She's literally one muscle.  She snacks non stop. 

 

I think it's best to look at what kind of food you're providing and how much they get out and play.  If you feel that your kid is getting too much unecessary food outside of the meals you're providing then cut back on that.  If you feel they're getting a little too chubby and you can pin point why, like a lack of exercise.  Then get out and play with them.  Hike, bike ride, play a sport.  Our kids learn how to eat and how to live a healthy life through us. 

 

OP your concerns are valid, people here just love to pick each other apart.

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#36 of 45 Old 04-02-2012, 04:31 PM
 
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I haven't read all the responses here, but my eldest DS sounds much like your child.  He just wasn't a really big mover, so we suspected his "mellowness" was contributing to his chubbiness.  Shortly after he turned three, we made a conscious decision to up his physcial activity and cut out most of the processed food (which kind of seemed like a big deal because he wasn't eating that much to begin with).  We also cut back on the dairy. 

 

By the time he was five he wasn't chubby at all.  He's now eight and weighs 65 pounds (and his height and weight are much more proportionate).  He's starting to outgrow size eight clothing and move into size ten.  This is quite remarkable, as he was wearing 2T clothing on his first birthday, and I was afraid he'd be wearing adult clothing by his eighth birthday!

 

I personally wouldn't restrict portion sizes, but I would cut out juice and make sure snack choices are things like fresh fruit smoothies instead of crackers or granola bars.  Also, some kids quickly adapt when switched from dairy milk to almond or rice milk.  If you're worried about good fats, then avacadoes, bananas, and olive oil are good choices for brain development.

 

Daily outside play for an hour or more can make a huge difference, if you aren't already doing that.

 

Edited to add that my eldest DS also began refusing most fruits and veggies at age 2 (texture issues) and still won't eat most in their regular form.  Smoothies and items from the Sneaky Chef cookbook are my salvation.  For example, he loves a chocolate smoothie consisting of a banana, half an avocado, and a tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder. 

 

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#37 of 45 Old 04-02-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

BMI might be a reasonable tool for an adult to use as a starting point in determining health, but I would question how applicable it is to a toddler. Kids grow so rapidly and in such unique ways.

 

The OP isn't asking how to solve the childhood obesity epidemic. She's looking at her own child and trying to understand what's best for her. I think she has the right idea by feeding her child real food that is prepared at home, limiting desserts & juice, and taking the long view (i.e. realizing that where her daughter is now doesn't necessarily represent where she will be for the rest of her life). I think that reasonable people can disagree about whether or not it's necessary or beneficial to restrict portion sizes of healthy foods for a toddler.


Totally agree, especially the bolded part.  My DD plumps up a lot right before a major growth spurt.  I was incredibly worried about it when it first started happening and now I have actually come to expect it, because it is the way her body works.  We've always been very conscientious about what we all eat and we are all very active.  It has taken me decades, though, to get it into my thick skull that  all of us are different in terms of how our bodies grow and process food/nutrients.  DD has a different body type than my own, and I totally had to re-evaluate both my attitudes and the food that is best for her for her growth, especially in these early years.

 


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#38 of 45 Old 04-03-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post

A quick look with a BMI calculator and she is probably in a  BMI range that they'd call overweight but not obese at 90th percentile for BMI (assuming 30 months, heigh 3'2" which is about 90%, weight 37).   If you see she's storing fat, I'd just stop giving seconds and start distracting at the end of meals until that habit is broken (Hey, guess what!  We're going to the park!  No we have to go right now!).  Certainly a child can be that weight and not be overfat, but you see fat and are concerned. 

 



Yes, she's exactly 3'2''. Yesterday we went to a library program for toddlers and she was the tallest one (out of 15 kids). I'm not sure I see fat though.


 

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I think it is worth being aware and making some modest changes to her diet. I'd dump all the juice which is just empty calories. If she has enough calcium and protein, no need for milk with meals. Water is fine and actually better. I'd return to appropriate portion sizes. If she needs more, she will ask.You might also take a close look at the bowls and plates that you are using. Portion size looks really different depending on what you are serving it on. For instance, I'd prefer my son to use the "kids bowls" because those like the right size. He wants an adult bowl. It took me a little while to figure out how to portion a bigger bowl.

 

My four year old is very tall and I have no problems with 90% or whatever but I've really noticed that he keeps getting taller, he also keeps getting a little heavier. I've really started to rethink how we do portion sizes and also have cracked down on my MIL force-feeding him. There isn't a huge difference between obese and chubby and some kids don't self-regulate well. It is a mistake to think that just because you serve healthy foods, you DD will eat the right amount of them.


 

By "milk with meals" I meant to say "milk with meals only". Sorry for the confusion. She doesn't have milk or juice between meals. Many times she has water with her meals.

Thanks for replying.



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Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Ha, this is an interesting one.  My experience, I was a hefer as a kid, my little one is too, boo me all you want for calling her that.  She's an eater.  A slow methodical eater.  And she plays hard.  She's not a snacker at all.  Just likes her three square meals.  This past year she has become a skinny little thing.  Just around the time I did.  My oldest is and has always been a stick.  She's literally one muscle.  She snacks non stop. 

 

I think it's best to look at what kind of food you're providing and how much they get out and play.  If you feel that your kid is getting too much unecessary food outside of the meals you're providing then cut back on that.  If you feel they're getting a little too chubby and you can pin point why, like a lack of exercise.  Then get out and play with them.  Hike, bike ride, play a sport.  Our kids learn how to eat and how to live a healthy life through us. 

 

OP your concerns are valid, people here just love to pick each other apart.



Dd also eats very well at her meals, she doesn't snack much.

 

 

We also made some other changes: more snacks, so she doesn't get too hungry for the main meals, more playtime outside now that it's getting warmer.

 

I'm not going to limit fruits and vegetables though, because I know she's not likely to overeat those.

 

Thanks to all who suggested other websites and forums, I'll check them as soon as I can!


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#39 of 45 Old 04-03-2012, 01:45 PM
 
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Others have said it, but straight weight means little without height for context.  There are weight-for-height percentiles, and those are the ones you need to check.

 

I posted above that my daughter was born at 10pounds and grew quickly.   I just did some digging in old blog posts to find better stats.   She was 36 pounds and 36 inches at her 2-year checkup.   By 2.5, she was 38 pounds and had outgrown her convertible carseat.  

 

But she was active and muscular, and only got more so.

 

I think you might benefit from reading some of the Ellyn Satter books ("How to get your child to eat - but not too much") but in conjunction with that, I'd recommend "The End of Overeating."   And possibly "Mindless Eating."

 

 It really is true that kids are very self-regulating about food when they're young (under 3 yo or so).  From day to day, they will eat about the same average number of calories  when offered a selection of foods.

 

HOWEVER:  "End of Overeating" presents some really interesting research.  Because those preset self-regulation points get overridden by very very very fatty or sweet foods.  Kids in these studies did *not* self-regulate on very, very rich foods, and too much of those foods seems to turn off regulation. 

 

Those studies that show that kids self-regulate?  Are changing. In the 1980s, kids aged 2-4 compensated for 90% of calories added to their diets.  By the 1990s, they were only compensating for 45% of added calories.  (Compensating means that when fed a high-calorie food in the middle of the day, they adjust their intake later to make up for it, resulting in a total intake close to their usual average). 

 

The theory he presents is that a lot of modern food is processed to be "super desirable." It is *designed* to make you want to eat it and eat lots of it.  And we are instinctively driven to  load up on fat and sugar and salt when we find it, because in nature they are rare treats that are vital to growth and health.   So manufacturers layer on fat-sugar-salt into everything, and in the process we are all resetting our regulatory systems -- in some cases we are turning them off.

 

It's not the "processing" of processed foods, per se that does this.  They could "process" food into something that wouldn't trigger this.  And you could theoretically accomplish this turning-off of the regulatory systems with unprocessed foods -- lots of organic honey and free-range butter would do the same damn thing.  But realistically, many  processed and restaurant foods are being specifically designed to be ultra-appealing, because they are also products.

 

So:  Kids are self-regulating -- with healthy food.  Free access to overly sweet/fat foods (especially manufactured foods) makes that not necessarily true.   But bananas are not one of the hyperdesirable foods that are going to break the bank, either.

 

(Side note:  Calories consumed as liquid, other than milk, seem to also do weird things to our self-regulation.  We don't compensate for them in quite the same way.  It's one of the many reasons drinking lots of juice isn't good either.)

 


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Yes, she's exactly 3'2''. Yesterday we went to a library program for toddlers and she was the tallest one (out of 15 kids). I'm not sure I see fat though.


I know boys and girls are different on the charts but my ds was always 50% for both height and weight, and he was a pound an inch until he was about 5 yo. So he was 36 pounds when he was 3 feet tall. Your dd is 37 pounds and 38 inches. Sounds perfect. Girls clothes are cut slimmer than boys clothes so that may be why you are running into tight pants. I think it's the style trickling down to toddler clothes. Many moms of slim boys look to plain girl's clothes for a better fit for their ds. You could try boys clothes on her. If they work and you are crafty or sew, you could even add embellishments.


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#41 of 45 Old 04-03-2012, 05:55 PM
 
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Mine matched in pounds and inches also for a long time.  They never had fat stores. 

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#42 of 45 Old 04-03-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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HOWEVER:  "End of Overeating" presents some really interesting research.  Because those preset self-regulation points get overridden by very very very fatty or sweet foods.  Kids in these studies did *not* self-regulate on very, very rich foods, and too much of those foods seems to turn off regulation. 

 

Those studies that show that kids self-regulate?  Are changing. In the 1980s, kids aged 2-4 compensated for 90% of calories added to their diets.  By the 1990s, they were only compensating for 45% of added calories.  (Compensating means that when fed a high-calorie food in the middle of the day, they adjust their intake later to make up for it, resulting in a total intake close to their usual average). 

 

The theory he presents is that a lot of modern food is processed to be "super desirable." It is *designed* to make you want to eat it and eat lots of it.  And we are instinctively driven to  load up on fat and sugar and salt when we find it, because in nature they are rare treats that are vital to growth and health.   So manufacturers layer on fat-sugar-salt into everything, and in the process we are all resetting our regulatory systems -- in some cases we are turning them off.

 

It's not the "processing" of processed foods, per se that does this.  They could "process" food into something that wouldn't trigger this.  And you could theoretically accomplish this turning-off of the regulatory systems with unprocessed foods -- lots of organic honey and free-range butter would do the same damn thing.  But realistically, many  processed and restaurant foods are being specifically designed to be ultra-appealing, because they are also products.

and to add- as children age presentation (visual appearance) plays a bigger role in their decision making making (self regulating) 


 

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and to add- as children age presentation (visual appearance) plays a bigger role in their decision making making (self regulating) 



This is also very true -- and both books I mention talk about this (it's a major theme of Mindless Eating, though he doesn't talk about kids specifically).    

 

Presentation -- especially the size of the bowl/cup and the amount in it -- have a huge effect on how much everyone winds up eating, including kids.  Kids eating out of larger bowls will eat up to 25% more -- and not report feeling any fuller.

 

That's actually another thing I did -- I went and got real "juice glasses" like my grandma used to have.  I think they're 7 ounces -- the same size as all the sippy cups were when my 12yo was a baby (side note: it sure seems like most of the sippy cups on sale now are bigger - more like 12-18 oz).   When we drink juice, we drink it out of those.  You don't fill it to the brim, so a serving is more like the 6 ounces which is the official USDA "serving size," and is what old parenting manuals were assuming when they recommended that kids have juice every day.)

 

We use those glasses for pretty much any flavored drink we have. Adults too (though I also got small, standard-serving wine glasses and we sometimes use those).  I have two sets of custard cups that I use for things like ice cream and other desserts.  They make the standard serving size of ice cream look reasonable, rather than tiny.   We have smaller bowls for cereal too, rather than using our big soup plates.   All of that makes servings of treats look bigger, and makes them ultimately as satisfying as larger servings in larger bowls, because we feel like "We ate the whole bowl full."

 


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#44 of 45 Old 04-03-2012, 06:35 PM
 
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we use OLD kids size plate, cup, glasses and flatware too!

we have OLD "sherbet" glasses- big difference when having ice cream!!!

 

when you look at the "size" that coke was (in bottle form) from one decade to another you get the difference

 

ALSO we talk and talk and talk about portion size and not just in terms of at the table in front of food- you can do it very causally, when we shop we talk and count out how many things we are getting and how it relates to a meal, we read packages, we talk as we cook about how many serving a recipe makes- this way portion size, servings are common knowledge and not foreign and not made out to be a big deal


 

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#45 of 45 Old 04-04-2012, 04:25 AM
 
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We also went back to using my extra set of grandma's china for our everyday dishes.  They are a few inches smaller than the Ikea ones we were using.  We also use ramikins for ice cream.


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