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My 3 year old loves to eat!

428 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  PikkuMyy
Hello everyone,
I posted this in another forum (accidently) so I am writing to ANYONE out there who has a 3 year old who loves to eat.
I can NOT find anybody!!!
We eat almost exclusively organic. We do eat meat, mostly chicken and not a lot of dairy (she loves yogurt and dislikes most cheese) and lots of fruits and vegetables and almost exclusively whole grains.
We have no television and we do believe in the importance of a family meal, which we have once a day all together.
My concern is she is not a super active kid and sometimes I know she is asking for food just because she sees it.
She is in the top percentile for both her height and weight.
Although I am concerned I do not want to make food an issue. The last thing I want to create is food issues with my 3 year old daughter.
Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
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My dd is like that, but she's very skinny. She is constantly asking for food because she's hungry. I know half the time she's bored.

You say you dd is not very active. Perhaps that's where you should focus your attention. I would let her eat when she wants to eat, but try to get her doing more active things throughout the day. Does she have a tri-cycle that she could ride up and down the sidewalk with supervision? A swingset or park close by with climbing equipment? When the girls were small I set up a small climbing gym in the living room for rainy and cold/winter days. Perhaps even taking her for a picknic in a large field where she could run with ball or even try to fly a kite.

Aside from physical activity you could have a craft bin with age appropriate stuff in it for creative playing. When you think she's hungry out of boredom, bring out the craft bin. This is what we did with dd and it's works great. We put window writer (for coloring on the windows), playdough, kids sizors and paper, tracing paper, coloring, punches for making paper figures.

I would totally stay away from the food issue and concentrate on her activity level. I hope I helped.
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My 3yo DS is the same way. He loves to eat, not the least bit picky! He is normal weight though and super active.

I would totally stay away from the food issue and concentrate on her activity level.
I totally agree with this. I wouldn't make an issue out of the food. Was/is your DD breastfed btw? Breastfed kids tend to know when they need to eat and will stop when they've had enough.

You got some great suggestions from the PP. Regardless of how little or much a child eats psychical activity is so important for them! I would concentrate on that and just trust that she knows what she needs when it comes to food. Just keep healthy foods around for her to choose, not junk and empty calories.
My 3 1/2 year old loves food, is an adventurous eater and rarely turns up his nose at anything. However he does self regulate, mostly eats only when hungry and is very active. He is at about 50 percentile (however I understand the charts changed a few years ago and 50% = 60% in comparison.)

Being that I over eat and have struggled with my weight for years (and still do) I have tried very hard not to have the same to happen to son. The best book that I have read is called "How to get your kids to eat.... but not too much" by Ellen Sater. Her whole approach is that eating should never be an issue. Its your "job" to offer healthy foods on a regular basis and it is their "job" to eat, or not, as they see fit. I would recommend reading it; there are some great ideas in it!

I also second finding ways to get your DD more active. If its fun she will want to do more. A few ideas: gardening, walking a neighbor's dog, trips to local playgrounds, running thru a sprinkler, riding a bike, walking to the store or a friends house.

If you are indoors and she says she hungry but you know she is bored try having her "cook" her own snack first. Ie: have her slice a banana (with a dull knife) and top with peanut butter, have her help making your own apple sauce in the food processor, have her help make cookies or muffins from scratch, have her wash fruit and veggies and make a easy yogurt dip for dipping the veggie into. This delays the eating yet teaches her about appreciating food and enjoying the proccess of making her own.
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I also LOVED to eat when I was a child that age (and every age - I still love to eat!) but I was a skinny child and I'm still thin (125 lbs at 5'6"). I would come back from a weekend at a friend's house and the parents would marvel to my mother about how much I ate and how they couldn't see where I stored it all! (My mother told them I had a hollow leg.) But I was a VERY active child - I grew up in a big city but 1 block from a major park so I spent so much free time in the park and playgrounds.

Definitely up the activity level and just make sure that the foods she's eating are healthy ones.
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