Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Much Do Your Kids Eat?

Sometimes I wonder if other people's kids eat as much as mine do. Mine seem to be eating all the time (3 meals, 2 regularly scheduled snacks). My experiment with shopping every two weeks flopped. I seem to be in the stores more than ever and I'm getting tired of it but the fridge still seems perpetually empty! I realize that moms of teens out there are probably chuckling at me and thinking, "Just wait 10 years and then you'll really feel like your kids are eating you out of house and home!" But, even though my kids are little, they sure do keep me constantly busy buying, preparing, and serving food! I suppose it doesn't help that my hubby has the world's fastest metabolism either and works a very physically strenuous job!

Would you leave a comment and tell me what your kids eat in an average day? Just so I can see if my kids are normal or extra-big-eaters?

In an average day, here's what my kiddoes put away (the 3 of them combined)


3 Cups of cereal topped with milk

3 C. of milk

10 a.m. Snack:

6 boiled eggs
3 slices of cheese
1 C. raisins
2 C. juice


4 whole PB and J sandwiches
2 Peaches
1/2 C. yogurt

3 p.m. Snack:

Justus loves to eat a whole, large garden tomato for snack in addition to other things! The other kids won't eat tomatoes!

2.5 C. goldfish crackers
1-2 Apples, sliced up
3 C. milk


2 baked potatoes
4 oz. chicken
1 c. brocolli
1 C. milk
3 C. juice + 3 C. water mixed together
3 brownies (although they'd eat more if I allowed them to!)

Whaddya think? Can our kids out-eat yours?


Sheila said...

I'm generally always amazed when people post what their kids eat, because mine have always eaten so much more. :) Mine are 12 and 9 now, so I can't really compare, but I can tell you that my quite slim 12 year old (5' 3 1/2" tall and 110 pounds) will eat two hamburgers plus sides plus dessert for dinner if that's what's on the menu. I have always felt if they are eating healthy things aren't overweight, I'm not going to worry about it. The only thing that I've had to work on is to say one snack between meals is enough. The 12 year old used to want to eat every hour to hour and a half, and even I felt that was excessive. I enjoy reading the $5 dinner web site, but between my husband and my kids, I would have to double what she serves.

Thia said...

Wow. My kids are little birds compared to yours.

Rachael said...

Hey Lindsey!
You do have some big eaters!
This is Hudsen and Elly on an average day, I also feed 4 day care kids, and they eat the same stuff my kids do:
3C Oatmeal
2 pieces of toast w/ Jelly
2C Milk

2C. Mac and Cheese
2 Apples
1C. Green Beans
2C. Milk

3C Popcorn
4 Slices of Chedder Cheese

2C Beef Stroganoff
2 Biscuit
2C. corn

I normally dont do a morning snack because I do lunch at 11am, they also have water through out the day. Hope that helps!

Nicole said...

I wonder if you fed them more for breakfast if they would not be as hungry throughout the day? A cup of cereal doesn't seem like much. My kids eat 2, sometimes 3 bowls of cereal EACH!! :)

Kristin said...

I'm not good at measuring proportion sizes, but here are some estimates of my kids' food intake. Both my kids eat almost the same amounts, and unless specified, they each eat the amounts listed.

Breakfast: Both have a bowl of cereal w/ milk

10:00 Snack: Apple, cup of animal crackers or plain Goldfish crackers, water

Lunch: M - whole PBJ/N - 1/2 PBJ, carrot sticks, canned fruit (together, they eat almost an entire can of mandarin oranges, peaches, pears, or fruit cocktail), 6 oz. container of yogurt, water

3:00 Snack: 5 Ritz crackers w/ cheese, Banana or apple, juice if we have it, otherwise water

Supper: 1-2 meatballs, scoop of mashed potatoes w/gravy, large spoonful of green beans, milk or water

Occasional before bedtime snack: bowl of cereal or popcorn, water

I like the decorative look of having a basket of apples on the kitchen table. However, with it being so accessible, I'm finding that my kids are making it impossible to keep that basket filled. They have been eating 2-3 apples a day each for the past couple of weeks, because they can just reach into the basket and grab one at any time during the day (sometimes without me knowing). But since there are far worse things they could be munching on, I'm not objecting to it. :-)

The Three 22nds said...

My kids vary depending on day at what is for dinner but let's just say the 3 of them polish off a Jack's Frozen pizza.

The 4 and 5 year olds will both eat1 1/2- 2 hamburgers plus sides.

The 4 year old will eat as many meatballs as I let him (which so far has been 8)

The 5 year old ate 4 pieces of french toast for lunch today with peanut butter and syrup plus a whole pear. He would have had more, but we ran out.

They all eat 2-4 pieces of toast with pb and j for breakfast and than an apple each for mid morning snack. (I find that if they eat cereal, they are hungry MUCH sooner than if they have peanut butter).

They will eat all the fruit and yogurt and applesauce that I will let them, so I have to limit that.

And we would go through a gallon of milk a day if I didn't limit that. (I don't give them juice much more than once a week either).

Now, I know that I have 3 boys and that it will only get worse...

anna said...

Kristin - I have the same problem with apples lately!! Ryann easily eats 2-3 a day. It seems like she is asking for snacks ALL DAY LONG. She knows she can have a snack at 10am and after her nap, so all morning she is asking when will it be 10 o'clock?

Ryann loves to eat fruit and usually wants fruit for most of her snacks. I love that she likes healthy foods, but I find that she is hungry more often when she only eats fruit.

But I do hear ya on the eating thing - Ryann can sure eat a lot, and even Elle, at only 1 year (tomorrow!) can eat a lot. Not to mention Brett.....I swear, he still eats like a growing teenage boy! I think grocery shopping will always be a burden for me!

All in a Day said...

That sounds about right for my younger set. We usually end up with three meals and three snacks each day because of the way our schedule works.

Risha said...

I just one child (2.5yo) eating table food at this point.
Breakfast: 1/3 c dry oatmeal with milk, applesauce, flaxseed and cinnamon
1 banana

For lunch and dinner she usually just eats a smaller portion of what we're eating. She only eats half a sandwich. She eats a very large serving of veggies and fruit for both lunch and dinner. Probably close to a cup of cooked veggies. And she only drinks juice or water.

Snacks: I've never really given her much snacks. Her main consistent snack is in the afternoon when she gets up from napping, and then it's almost always about a cup of yogurt. I've never really done the morning snack, partly because she's rarely up and eating breakfast before 8:30. Occasionally, if I'm having a snack, she'll have one too.

One thing that has always surprised me is that she rarely asks for food or says she's hungry. If lunch or dinner are delayed for even an hour beyond what is routine, she doesn't seem to mind, even if she hasn't had a snack. I have always thought she was a big eater (and people usually remark how much and how well she eats at meals), but I don't think she eats as much as your kiddos! And I think that's ok! Each child is different in how the body functions and what their activity level is. It's just hard when you don't know if they're really hungry or just used to eating at a certain time of day.

R Dvorak said...

My kids will keep eating as long as I let them, especially if it is food they like.

We have started saying, "your stomach is supposed to be the size of your closed fist, but if you eat too much all the time your stomach will stretch out and your body will expect that much food each time. So we eat what our bodies need not to be full all the time."

And since the body is made up of 70% water, we start each meal with a glass of water, milk or lemonade, etc. I have found when we start a meal that way, the food I prepared goes a whole lot further.

We have sometimes had meals where the kids would eat as much food as the adults. YIKES!

We have also been very honest with the kids about my obesity. I will say, "When we eat food our bodies turn it into energy and if we don't use up all the energy, then our bodies store the extra to use later. So Mama's body has too much energy stored up and now I need to use it all up." Then I can use that basic concept to talk about their bodies to say, "Are you going to use up all that energy?" Or "You have eaten enough to have energy for this afternoon, after you use up this energy then we can have a snack to get you more energy for later." Etc.

Sometime, when the kids say, "I'm starving." My response is, "Have you eaten anything today?" Then of course they say, yes. So I can talk about what real starvation is and what global poverty means. We can clarify that they are hungry and will receive food in a little while. (Usually they say, "I'm Starving" right as I'm starting to cook something anyway, so the food is coming we are just impatient. *smile*)

I also find the study of food interesting, so I try to strategize when is the best time of day to eat certain food groups. For instance right after physical exercise is a good time for protein because it helps rebuild the muscles; and the more exercise, the more protein a body needs, etc.

So with my obesity and my new passion for health, I actually think about food and health a lot!

I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job!! *Big Hug*

LS said...

Good thoughts Becky! And thanks for sharing your family's habits and your tips everyone!

Nicole, my kiddoes are like me and don't like to eat a lot early in the morning. They are full after just a small breakfast but then really hungry at 10am. Because my hubby prefers cold cereal over anything else (even hot pancakes!) the kids want to eat what he eats. I would love to serve them oatmeal, but they won't go for it since Daddy won't.

strangetwo said...

Hi Lindsey,
I was just reading this post and I thought I would say that compared to my guys, your kids are great eaters. But then Nicholas has always had issues with eating well. He would rather be be doing other things and he is constantly playing and messing around when he eats, so he doesn't eat much. Sometimes I think William eats more than he does. Usually, Nicholas only has maybe 1 small bowl of cereal, 2 pancakes, or 1 egg with a mug of tea or juice for breakfast. William usually has 1 cup of milk and whatever Nicholas eats, but not more than that. They don't eat any morning snacks and sometimes William doesn't eat much for lunch if he had a big breakfast. Nicholas usually eats 1 quarter of sandwich, 3-5 slices of apple, and a half a granola bar and some juice, water, or milk. I do usually give them an afternoon snack which is usually a few pieces of dried fruit and a few crackers. For dinner, it is a small amount of what we are having, but Nicholas doesn't usually eat very much. William usually eats a good dinner, though, on top of a cup of milk. Nicholas does always want treats and would probably eat an unlimited amount if I let him. Instead, I hardly let him have treats since he isn't good at eating regular food. And unless he eats a good lunch or dinner, he doesn't usually get a desert.
I know my kids don't eat much, because I have not seen much of a difference in my food budget since I had kids. I am not sure why they eat the way they do, but at least they are growing and healthy! Hope this helps.

Julie said...

I have a 5yo boy and a 1yo girl. My son has recently upped his food intake. He is a big breakfast eater and sometimes asks for a second breakfast. He's my early bird and eats around 7-7:30am and is hungry in 2 hours. My daughter is just all-around picky and her food intake is unpredictable. If she eats a good lunch, she will not eat dinner.
Here's my son's average daily food intake:

B: 2 pancakes or 2 bowls of cereal/oatmeal, 1 c milk

L: whole sandwich, 1/2 c fruit, crackers/chips

D: 1-2 slices homemade pizza, or 1/2 to 1 c of whatever else I"m serving, 1/2 c veggies, 1/2 c fruit

Snacks: 2-3 pieces whole fruit, 1-2 c yogurt, 1 slice cheese or granola bar

Drinks: Water, milk, juice

His best friend (same age) eats twice the amount. I had him over for lunch one day and had to keep filling his plate! :)

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