Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Portion Sizes For Children

I've spoken a lot about mealtimes with the kids recently and I did a little research about portion sizes for children. Portions sizes obviously differ from child to child and as a parent you know best what your child needs and what they don't, however this is just a guideline and may help those who need it. 

Little J has always been a good eater. Don't get me wrong one minute he will love something and the next he pushes it away but overall he likes his food. He seems to be about average on weight and although his clothes are age 7-8 and he is only 5 that's down to his length more than his width. 

Little J doesn't like to eat breakfast when he wakes. It takes at least a hour for him to want something. We do try and encourage him but he just isn't interested. It's only just as we are ready to leave for the school run that he says he is hungry and will often eat some toast or croissant.

These are the typical portion sizes for children between 9 months and 2 years old.

When little J was ill with Chicken Pox his weight seemed to drop dramatically and his clothes were hanging off him. He did go off his food and I was worrying that he hadn't eaten enough over the days he was ill. Then it got me thinking whether he does actually eat enough, in general.  

Knowing how much to feed our little ones can be stressful. I am always swapping and changing my mind on how much is enough. Am I giving them too much or too little, I suppose I never truly know. 

Typical portion size for 2-3 Year Old

When it comes to lunch I am now thinking he eats a little too much. I think because I work in a Nursery and I see all the other children's packed lunches I feel like I have to fill his up too. When he is at home he will just usually have a sandwich thin with cheese or ham and maybe a packet of wotsits but for school I give him so much more. He eats it all but I think that's because everyone else is eating at the same time. At home there is no way he would eat that much. I am going to have to re-think his packed lunch but at the moment he wants hot dinner with his friends.

Typical portion size for 3-5 Year Old

At dinner time he usually has a smaller portion of what we eat and that seems to be enough for him. He doesn't drink milk unless it is in cereal so I do try to give him at least a yogurt or some cheese each day. He's not a lover of vegetables, he will eat carrots sometimes (which I think is weird as they are my least favourite vegetable..yuk!) and he does like bananas and apples. 

I noticed when researching that raisins didn't pop up in any of the recommended fruit for young ones. Little J loves raisins and whilst they are a healthy snack they are not good on teeth. So from a dental point of view they aren't a good choice for children, especially under 5's

Also I did want to mention about grapes. Now I know that most parents will know this especially after recent events surrounding grapes. It is so important to cut grapes up in half. It only takes a few seconds and it is so much safer for children to eat them cut up.

So from now on I will try and stick to the recommended portion sizes for little J. After seeing the above for a 3-5 year old I do think we are on track a little, maybe some days better than others.

After seeing the recommended portion guidelines above, how do you feel about the amount you feed your child. Too much, too little or just right?

Michelle
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2 comments

  1. I think I have always fed my girls too much going by these guidelines. Oops, but now my teen is 16 she is eating more and eats adult portions. I keep forgetting and sometimes give her the same about as her 11 year old sister.

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  2. Surprised- I put way too much on their plates - luckily they are all still fit and healthy

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