“I don’t think they eat enough.” I hear it nearly every day. From moms, from grandmas, from daycares. I am not saying it is annoying that I hear it every day. I am always high fiving moms, grandmas, and daycare providers for caring so darn much. High five people!
Toddlers are tricky little buggers. If they are anything like my little monsters, they will woof down two pieces of pizza one meal and eat four grapes and a green bean the next. They like to keep me on my toes…and drive me insane. But, I don’t sweat it. Why? Oh, I am so glad you asked. I will tell you.
Toddlers really don’t need to eat as much as we think they do. Seriously. An average toddler meal should consist of the following:
- One to two tablespoons of protein (meat or beans…or let’s get real – peanut butter)
- One to two tablespoons of fruit
- One to two tablespoons of vegetables
- One tablespoon of grains
Hmm…four to six tablespoons of food in a meal. I offer my kids twice that. I mean heck, one piece of pizza is about 10 tablespoons, (we buy Costco – it’s delicious and huge). They put down two and are set for the week, right?
And then there are snacks. Snacks should be one to two tablespoons in amount and offered two to three times a day. I am going to shamelessly admit that my kiddos snacks are never that small. My children’s snack size directly affects dinner…I mean Gus often snarfs down a banana around 4:30 and sneaks a yogurt a few minutes later….and I cannot figure out why he would only lick the butter off of his bread that night. Sound familiar? Yeah, I don’t judge.
Hank is the king of snacks. He gets it from no stranger.
If you are struggling at meal time and have been following all the advice I am spewing out to get your kiddos to eat and you are still fighting at every stinkin’ meal, well…maybe serving size is a problem. Check it out. And if it is not a problem. No worries, just call me. I am always up to chat.