“Am I feeding my little one too often?” “Are they eating enough of a varied diet?” “Is this portion size too big?”
These are questions we get asked regularly by parents who would like to further educate themselves around their child’s diet. The answer is, it’s totally dependent on your child!
We are sorry we can’t give you a specific and definitive answer about this, but it really does need to be tailored to your little one. HOWEVER, what we can do is share our experiences, knowledge and a boat load of incredible information sources.
The websites below offer some great and really simple advice. This topic doesn’t have to give you a headache and it also doesn’t need to mean hours in the kitchen each day.
Children are ALWAYS hungry! Even when they are napping, having quiet time or sitting still to read a story; they’re still burning calories, growing and…you guessed it…getting hungry! Working out what snacks fill your child in the right way, can save a lot of hangry toddlers and their parents’ ears. Some snacks will fill their craving for something sweet such as; dried apricots, chopped melon or grapes. But this kind of snack can be light enough to eat not long before a main meal if they can’t quite make it, without spoiling their appetite.
Other times, they will have a giant black hole forming in their stomach that all the grapes in a vineyard couldn’t fill!
At times like this we can reach for the carbs and the bulkier fruit/veg. Some personal favourites at nursery are breadsticks and humous, natural yoghurt and pear or apples. Popcorn also works as a great filler, especially if it’s plain without salt or high sugar flavouring.
Of course, there will also be the boredom snack. When someone else is eating and they want to eat too. Or maybe they’ve run an extra marathon around the garden at nursery that day and so the black hole is bigger than ever!
In these situations it’s great to get them involved in meal prep. Ask them to help you chop salad for lunch (these child safe knives are amazing!…Kuhn Rikon). If they eat most of what they cut when it’s salad, we can smile at all of the vitamins/nutrients entering their system.
A child’s stomach is approximately the size of the palm of their hand. But this will of course differ for every child, as will their appetite, their interest in certain foods and the food available to them.
We hope you find the resources on this post useful and those within our parent hub. As always, if there are any resources you think other parents would benefit from; send them across to us and we can share them.