Wednesday, 21 August 2013

What Do Your Children Eat?

Do you remember the outcry when Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she didn't feed her kids carbs?  I saw a similar row this week on a Facebook group when someone said their children had no idea what chocolate/sweets/junk food was; and another said they didn't believe 'the protein myth'.  What a minefield!

So now I'm being curious, what do yours eat?

Of course, we all want to think we are doing the best for our children, and most of us think very carefully about what we feed their rapidly growing brains and bodies, but should there be banned foods?  Doesn't making something wrong or illegal make it all the more appealing?  Will the sweet treat deprived child gorge on such things when they have full autonomy over their diet and their disposable income when they are older?

Having said that, ours are being raised as vegetarian, with full age-appropriate explanations of why as and when they ask for them, so maybe they will demand tonnes of meat when they're older!  I hope not, and so far both make interesting 'yuck!' noises and comments when they see meat in the shops or on the TV.  But even as vegetarians my children have been to McDonalds, and although a vast proportion of their diet is fruits and vegetables, organic if possible, they certainly have their fair share of chocolate, cake etc!

Here's an average day's food intake (yesterday's in fact) for my two, aged 19 months and 3.5 years:

Breakfast -
A bowl of mixed berries
Pancakes
Water

Snack -
Nectarine
Banana
Brioche roll
Water

Lunch -
1/2 tin of baked beans, 1 slice toast
Veg plate: cherry tomatoes, avocado, slices of red & orange pepper, pickled cucumber, olives, Sauerkraut
Slice of Cheddar (S) or cream cheese triangle (L), 2 crackers
Water

Snack -
2 chocolate biscuits (L) or slice of home-made banana bread (S)
Grapes
A raw carrot
Water

Dinner -
1/2 of a M&S Leek & Gruyere tart, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower
Cheese and baguette
Fruit plate to share, yogurt
Piece of chocolate
Water


Everything is served on an 'eat what you want' basis, so there's no guarantee that it will all be eaten, but most will, and if they don't eat much today they probably will tomorrow.  Nothing is conditional on anything else being eaten, and there's no encouragement to eat or life commentary on what they have or haven't eaten.  Nothing is considered a 'treat' and there is no talk about 'good' or 'bad' foods, nor do we talk about people's body shape or size, or slimming diets.

I probably do vaguely keep in mind during the day what proportion of carbs/protein etc has been eaten, and how many portions of fruit and veg (we aim for 7-8) they have had, but I would never communicate it to the children.  As a result both are very relaxed about what they eat, and over a week I'm sure all of those considerations work out fine anyway.  We all eat together, breakfast and snacks usually in the sitting room, lunch and dinner in the kitchen.

So, what do your children eat?

Do you worry about it, or let them pretty much get on with it (within reason!)?


5 comments:

  1. I often wonder about this. We are pretty much of the same opinion as you, we don't say anything is a treat. They normally have 3-4 portions of fruit and veg a day, although I do not consciously count it and we always sit together at meal times (normally eating the same food)

    I do sometimes worry they do not eat enough, for example they only have one snack a day and that's only if they eat it!

    My opinion is that if you let them eat a little bit of everything then they will not only not be fussy but will also not crave what they cant have. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, couldn't agree more! I think it comes down to trust too, trusting their bodies to know what and how much they need. Some days mine eat like horses, far more than we eat even, other days they pick like sparrows. With enough offered to, or available to, them they will eat what they need. My next plan is to have snacks readily available in the little fridge for them to help themselves to, we'll see how that goes...

      Delete
  2. We do worry a lot... we try to cook meals from scratch and hardly ever eat ready meals.
    We are always making sure that food is as healthy as possible and as good quality as we can afford.
    We are what we eat!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feed my kids similar to you - I like them to eat healthily but don't go overboard as I don't want them to be think about weight or diets at their age! They get plenty of fresh air and exercise and eat their 5-a day so I am pretty confident I am doing ok!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I try to give my children healthy foods but my 3.5 year old is very fussy and every tea time is a Battle to get him to eat veg etc. my daughter is 10 mths and she eats better than he does!

    ReplyDelete

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