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DayHomeMama
01-29-2014, 10:30 AM
I'm begining to think that I need to limit the food I serve to my day home kids! :ohmy:

I'm a firm believer that kids will eat until they are full and can listen to their bodies in that regard, but I'm starting to wonder if being in a group setting is hindering that ability in the kids. At snack time some children are eating 3rds and 4ths, my food bills are getting ridiculous and more importantly I don't feel they are eating out of hunger; I think they're eating because the next one is still eating, so they don't want to miss out on something, or in one child's case, I feel their eating more to try to keep it from the other kids.

I don't serve junk, I follow the Canadian food guide, snacks and meals always have fruits and/or veggies, but I really don't see how a 4 year old needs to be eating 2 big bananas plus other items at snack time. Really, it's not all my kids, just a couple, but the rules have to be consistent for all the kids.

What do you do with your kids? I serve two meals and two snacks daily, not everyone is here for breakfast.

nschildcare
01-29-2014, 11:01 AM
Mine are similar. I serve a similar menu to yours, very healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, etc. I do morning snack (9 am), lunch 11:30) and snack (3 pm).

I limit snack to one serving and lunch to 2 servings (as long as everything is eaten). Lunch is the only time that I will allow second helpings. If they are still hungry I just remind them that lunch, or dinner if the case may be, is soon and they can eat then.

I am in the process of raising my rates due to my grocery bill. My dcks are between the ages of 13 mos and 2.5 y. The daycare kids eat as much as my 10 yo.:ohmy:

Spixie33
01-29-2014, 11:08 AM
Oh I hear you ! I also have these ferocious eaters that eat me out of house and home....lol :laugh:

I swear that almost all my dcps described their appetite as "Small" when they registered and filled out the profile. Well....I am often giving thirds and fourths too. I have talked to a couple of the parents to ask whether they felt I should limit the food but I guess our day just makes them hungry. They sure eat well at daycare and then the parents often say they barely eat dinner. We have a morning snack, a hot lunch with fruit or veggies and then another afternoon snack.

We eat almost every 2 - 2.5 hours and boy these kids can eat.

The kids often ask for more or seconds so by thirds I try to wait a few minutes in between their request and actually giving it to see if their stomachs just need to settle....but then I ask again and see if they are still hungry and 90% of the time they say yes.

I make sure they eat all their fruits or veggies before asking for more pasta or crackers etc so I know they are getting the healthy stuff in them too so I just figured it is my luck of the draw that they are either 1) just in love with my fabulous meals and cooking or 2) hungry little monsters during daycare hours.

I often read that other daycares can serve food like grapes and yogurt without a grain or veggies and dip...or rice cakes....... I think if I did a meal without a grain or something filling they would be having 7-8 servings...and then ask for something to eat in between :laugh: ;) I don't allow snacks in between....none of the kids are chubby in the least and I think they are burning it off.

I know I would give more if my own kids asked and I feel bad to leave a kid if they are hungry. I don't want to put any sort of vibe out there that I would think they are overeating or have to watch their weight. They say body issues start very young so I try to be chill about them asking for seconds, thirds and the occasional fourth serving. It would be nice to raise my price but I just haven't been brave enough to do it

mickyc
01-29-2014, 11:13 AM
I serve one serving and that is it. I sometimes have leftovers at lunch (not often as I cook only what is needed) and any child who is done first gets the choice if they want it. Other than that it is one serving only. My kids never tell me they are hungry in between probably more so because they know they have to wait anyways. There is no way I would let a child have 2 banana's and another item.

Samantha33
01-29-2014, 11:35 AM
At morning snack they never get a second helping. It's always 1 banana, 1 yogurt, lately - 1 Danino drink, etc. but just one. Lunch I give seconds if they want it. I have three kids (who especially at lunch) will eat two helpings and sometimes three. I let them eat because one is a tiny girl 2 yrs. old - a lightweight, one is a baby 13 months old and I spoke to the Mom, and the other one just eats (he's a boy). Afternoon snack is fruit. Often two helpings if they want it.

Crayola kiddies
01-29-2014, 11:48 AM
Depending on what it is weather I give seconds ..... During lunch if there is a bit left over and the first one done wants more then they get it but I do not make more ... Like extra sandwiches ... I make homemade soup and once I dole it out if there is a bit more I willing give it. But I have cut back the aft snack as parents were saying they can't get them to eat dinner. So just a piece (serving) of fruit and something else.... Never would I give one kid two full bananas .... 1/2 is all the get here.... Then maybe some pita and hummus or peanut butter.

Artsand crafts
01-29-2014, 11:56 AM
I only serve fruit and milk during morning snack and every body eats child size amounts. At lunch they eat as much as they want which is usually A LOT. During afternoon snack, I serve usually another fruit, dairy and/or a starchy food and they usually child size amounts. It's only during lunch when they eat A LOT and I do not limit the amount of food at that time or during morning snack (in the rare occasion someone wants tons of fruit), but in the afternoon if I see someone eating way to much I cut it off so they can have dinner with their family.

5 Little Monkeys
01-29-2014, 01:20 PM
My dck's are extremely small eaters compared to some of yours lol. They never complain about being hungry in between lunch and snacks and they are all of average weight except one who is not huge but is bigger than the other kids. They can only eat as much as you serve so I would suggest cutting back on that. I even have kids who give me their plate when they're done and there is still food left on it. I have only had one child who didn't have that "I'm full" trigger and he was the biggest child I had.

I would guess that mine eat about 1/2 to 1 cup of food for snacks(as an example, half a banana and 3-4 crackers or a piece of toast with 3-4 strawberries) and about 1.5 cups-2 cups of food for lunch (today was homemade mac and cheese with broccoli, carrots and cauliflower mixed in, fruit salad and a yogurt cup)

I can't even eat 2 bananas so to me that is excessive for a child. I will dish out lunch and if there is extra's and not enough for another meal than I hand it out but usually once it's gone it's gone. I am overweight so I think I am more conscious as to how much I give the kids because I don't want them to be overweight.

5 Little Monkeys
01-29-2014, 01:26 PM
I was curious so I found some links to how much kids should eat.

http://www.parents.com/recipes/nutrition/how-much-does-my-kid-need-to-eat/

http://www.babycenter.com/0_age-by-age-guide-to-feeding-your-toddler_1736045.bc

Fun&care
01-29-2014, 01:50 PM
You have to be VERY careful here as not feeding a hungry child could be considered neglect. Personally I do not refuse to give extra helpings if they ask for more. If you are finding it that expensive than it might be time to reevaluate your rates.

mickyc
01-29-2014, 01:55 PM
Sorry Fun&care - I don't agree. Neglect would be not feeding a child. The parents know that snack is at 10 and 3 and lunch is at 12. If the child is hungry in between then to bad. No different than when they will be at school. I feed the children what they should be eating as far as portion sizes but that is it. I am overweight and certainly don't want to overfeed the children. None of my kids are skin and bones so no worries!

mimi
01-29-2014, 06:43 PM
Yes, I have had the big eaters and they have always been girls. I do give seconds at snack and lunch, but it is a smaller portion than the initial serving. My snacks and meals are about 3 hours apart and I always have water available to the kids because sometimes thirst masks itself as hunger.

nschildcare
01-30-2014, 04:30 AM
You have to be VERY careful here as not feeding a hungry child could be considered neglect. Personally I do not refuse to give extra helpings if they ask for more. If you are finding it that expensive than it might be time to reevaluate your rates.

I don't think that anyone is saying that they aren't feeding their dcks. I think this is more a question of serving sizes and the food choices being offered. I found the links above good and I follow those pretty closely. I don't have kids leaving the table hungry.

And I don't hear complaints about being hungry often, but when I do it is usually close to our morning snack. I think that breakfast is rushed at home, or eaten in the car, on those days. I can't safely supervise unscheduled eating times so they don't happen here. Children are reminded that snack time is soon, and if need be I bump the time up. I expect kids to be hungry at lunch. We play hard and spend a lot of time outside.

I think when it comes down to it, you can recognize a child who is eating because they are hungry versus a child who is eating out of boredom or because everyone else is still eating.

Fun&care
01-30-2014, 06:59 AM
Just to clarify I never said kids should get to snack whenever they want. My post was in response to just regular snacks and meals. I don't understand how you can refuse a child who is still hungry and wants seconds. Unless you are feeding them junk I don't think it's likely they are going to be overweight as some suggested.

Crayola kiddies
01-30-2014, 07:24 AM
I think the original poster was was questioning if a child that eats two full bananas plus other items at snack time was too much and if perhaps he is just eating cause others are eating and not because he is hungry. I think it is far too much food for a toddler or even a 4 yr old to be eating at snack time and yes I would limit his food because some kids don't have the "I'm full" trigger and gorge themselves and this will lead to obesity. The more food you stuff in the more food you require. Plus it takes approx 20 mins for the food to reach the stomach and feel full. I have had all my kids for over a year and I know how much they can eat and when they are just being gluttons .... I can feed a full lunch and if I offer bread they will eat bread till the whole loaf is gone .... They just keep yelling "more bread" no way they need that much so they get what I feel is an appropriate amount and that's it. They never want extras of the good stuff anyway just the carbs!

5 Little Monkeys
01-30-2014, 07:38 AM
Just to clarify I never said kids should get to snack whenever they want. My post was in response to just regular snacks and meals. I don't understand how you can refuse a child who is still hungry and wants seconds. Unless you are feeding them junk I don't think it's likely they are going to be overweight as some suggested.


A child that I had in the past didn't have the "I'm full" trigger. He loved food and loved to eat and he was only just about 2 when he left me. His doctor actually told his mom that we needed to cut down on the fruit as that was making him larger. Both mom and I would give him extra fruit if he was "hungry" and the doctor said he was getting too much. So yes, anything (healthy or junk) in excessive amounts can be bad for you.

I find overeating or giving a child too much can happen when we give out portions of their meal in bite sized pieces/portions. We don't actually see how much we have given them all at once so it's easy to overfeed a child that won't tell you when they are full. With children that I need to give half their meal at a time I now put their whole amount on a plate so I can see it and than give them portions at a time until it's gone. I also agree with thirst masking itself as hunger.

According to the links I provided, it looks like a 3-4 year old only needs approx 5-7 cups of food ALL day. I mentioned weight because I am overweight. A child has a small stomach and we if we are "training" a 4 year old to eat 2 bananas plus other items at snack, what is their stomach size gonna want when they are 8,12, 14 etc? Sure there are times they are going through growth spurts and will need extra food but on a normal daily basis, I would say that 2 banana's plus other items is excessive for a toddler's snack. Just my opinion...

DayHomeMama
01-30-2014, 09:43 AM
Thanks for al the feedback! :) I really don't want to limit what they're having either, to an extent, it's good to see a comparison of what everyone else is serving. I think limiting how many servings of afternoon snack like ArtsandCrafts said is a good idea, I've had feedback from qute a few parents that their kids won't eat supper or just pick at their food.

I do at least 2 out of 4 food groups at snacks and 3 out of 4 food groups at meals. I do not serve fruit juice period, milk (or alternatives for those who need) and water only. Water is available all day in their water bottles/sippy cups and milk is served at meals (breakfast and lunch), water only at snack.

For example, yesterday's menu was this:
Breakfast: Wholegrain blueberry waffles cut into sticks with unsweetened applesauce to dip and milk to drink
AM Snack: Ants on a log (celery with PB and raisins) with water to drink
Lunch: Pot roast with potatoes, carrots, celery and milk to drink (I tend to try to cook big batches at supper the night before and serve the next day. I have a hot lunch 3 days out of 5 at least)
PM Snack: Fruit 'pizzas' wholegrain graham crackers with light strawberry cream cheese and diced fruit 'toppings' with water to drink

The first serving size is always a good child sized portion, seconds etc. are smaller as I find most of the kids think they're still hungry, have a couple bites and then are full. If any of the kids complain that they're hungry between meals/snacks I tell them to drink their water, lots of times the body is thirsty but we think we're hungry. And usually it's because they decided they didn't want to eat what I served the meal/snack before. They all know that I don't serve snacks in between. One of my rules is that they must finish what's on their plate (or if there's something they don't like they have to try as many bites as they are old) before they can ask for more.

DayHomeMama
01-30-2014, 09:52 AM
I think the original poster was was questioning if a child that eats two full bananas plus other items at snack time was too much and if perhaps he is just eating cause others are eating and not because he is hungry. I think it is far too much food for a toddler or even a 4 yr old to be eating at snack time and yes I would limit his food because some kids don't have the "I'm full" trigger and gorge themselves and this will lead to obesity. The more food you stuff in the more food you require. Plus it takes approx 20 mins for the food to reach the stomach and feel full. I have had all my kids for over a year and I know how much they can eat and when they are just being gluttons .... I can feed a full lunch and if I offer bread they will eat bread till the whole loaf is gone .... They just keep yelling "more bread" no way they need that much so they get what I feel is an appropriate amount and that's it. They never want extras of the good stuff anyway just the carbs!

Crayola, I'm the same way with additional helpings, they have to eat everything they have first and then they can have seconds. With seconds I limit everything other than fruits and veggies. So one more smaller helping of crackers, just as an example, and veggies and if they're still hungry, more veggies. Usually they tell me they don't want more veggies, to which I tell them they're not actually hungry if they're not hungry for what's offered ;) lol

Secondtimearound
01-30-2014, 11:43 AM
I have a dcg who's mom sent 4-5 snacks ( cookies , granola bars , fruit roll ups , crackers ) as well as she ate my 10 am snack and lunch and 3 pm snack !!!
I do not serve any of those items , my own eat real food !! Why eat fruit roll up when you can eat fruit ??!! I serve as unprocessed as possible !!!
I raised a football player , he ate big but healthy ! So I know how to feed a child , but get frustrated with what is considered food nowadays !!!
So I started feeding her the snacks mom packed , it wasn't a big deal to anyone else !!!
I serve cheese quesadilla , pb and banana pinwheels ect with fruit and veggies ! Homemade spaghetti , ww pasta and real cheese !! Not roast wow !!! I am impressed !!! I am not always sure kids are fed breakfast !!! I agree food prices are more than I expected !! But I agree with feeding a healthy amount and letting them wait !!

mickyc
01-30-2014, 11:51 AM
I still don't agree that children need 2nd helpings. Each to their own though. I know what the kids will eat and what they should have. Majority of the time it isn't the healthy stuff the kids want seconds of anyways. which means they aren't really hungry to begin with.

I watched a program once on childhood obesity. They were testing to see if children would know when they are full. They fed 50 kids a child sized portion and 50 kids a large portion. Majority of the kids who were fed a large portion finished the whole thing. Then they showed them all on the playground playing afterwards. The children who overate were slower and were done playing faster.

playfelt
01-30-2014, 01:23 PM
Mickyc I'm another one that puts a child size serving adjusted slightly by normal appetite on the plate and that is it. If the child finishes the entire plate I will offer them something else such as applesauce or yogurt or pudding. Also means those that don't eat even a normal child sized serving of the healthiest parts of the lunch are not allowed to have anything else either.