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Show me your LO's Meal portions

  1. Jadj13

    olive / 59 posts

    I've gone through periods of worry with my son's eating but quickly realized that he's just not that big of an eater in the evenings. He typically will eat a small "snack" before leaving for daycare then eat his normal breakfast, lunch and snack at daycare. I think once I stopped being so anxious about it (took a LONG time) things got better -- maybe he's not feeding off my energy?!

    I also wanted to add that there's nothing wrong with being in the 5th percentile vs. 95th percentile ... one isn't healthier than another. In order to have a 95th percentile child, someone else has to be in the 5th percentile ... that's how that works!

  2. anonysquire

    cantaloupe / 6910 posts

    I feed my 1 and 2 year old the same thing. Probably not the healthiest but I need to go grocery shopping. They haven't really had much peanut butter and honey so they might not eat the bread. But everything else they will finish.

  3. sunny

    coconut / 8430 posts

    @irene: That looks like a great portion for your son! I've been told by my daughter's daycare teachers that she barely touches lunch. They serve very healthy, organic food and she pokes at it and maybe tries 1 bite, so we try hard to make sure she eats something at breakfast and dinner.

  4. Mrs. Carrot

    blogger / nectarine / 2035 posts

    @irene: Why do you think that 98th% is better than 5th%? Really asking, not trying to be snarky. My husband is very much like you, he's been absolutely obsessed with the fact that our daughter is so small, but he's realized over the last couple of years (with encouragement from our pediatrician) that what matters is not size but activity level and other development. Our daughter has been in the 1-3% since birth, but she's active, eats well, and whip smart. As long as she's growing, even if it's slowly, our doctor told us not to worry about anything.

    And I'm really curious about why your doctor thinks that your son needs to be examined for hormones. Is he not growing or losing weight? It sounds like you might need a second opinion if you have a doctor that leaves the room without following up on something that's theoretically a serious issue.

  5. Anagram

    eggplant / 11706 posts

    I made a curry last night and accidentally made it way too spicy for the girls, so I threw together a dinner for them of fish sticks and leftover green beans, red potatoes, and butternut squash chunks. I forgot to take a pic until LO1 had already started eating and had eaten most of the red potatoes...

    But here is the before (5 bites in) and the after. This is a very typical night for her. It took some cajoling for her to try the squash, but once she did she like it and ate it.

  6. BananaPancakes

    grapefruit / 4817 posts

    @lovehoneybee: Has E turned 4 yet? Just a question, because DS has always been pretty high on the weight chart but just average on the height chart. His ped always acted like he was great and he looked perfectly healthy. Then at his 4 year checkup, he was in the 90th percentile in weight and the 75th percentile in height, and she was suddenly all concerned about his diet. I guess once they hit 4, they're now on the BMI chart and according to the chart, he's technically obese. He's really heavy, but is pretty darn muscular. I think he eats a normal amount and is super active. But now I'm all stressed about his weight. I know E has always been so tall and solid, so I'm just curious what your ped says, and if they're opinion changes at his 4 year well-check.

  7. lovehoneybee

    GOLD / wonderful pea / 17697 posts

    @BananaPancakes: No, not until August. I'll be interested to hear what they say, but I'm not worried. He's tall and compact like his father and grandmother.

  8. KT326

    pomegranate / 3431 posts

    @BananaPancakes: My son had his 4 year appointment in April and our pediatrician said absolutely do not look at the BMI, it means nothing at this age. My son would be considered obese too but he isn't. He is just a solid guy like yours.

  9. BSB

    hostess / wonderful apple seed / 16729 posts

    This is a great thread and I love all the pictures! I agree that we need more pictures.

    I think this will be good when the twins are older. I'm sure I'll worry that they aren't eating enough.

  10. BSB

    hostess / wonderful apple seed / 16729 posts

    @gingerbebe: I head about the EZPZ mats and I picked up a few kinds at the mommy convention I was at. I met the owner.

  11. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    So much fun to see all these photos and the before and afters! Thank you for sharing !!

    @anonysquire: Was that you who said you'd feed them cardboard and they'd eat it? OK give them cardboard tonight and take a pic and see if they eat it. Hahaha just kidding But that's a fun lunch you have there!

    @sunny: There was a period my school report also says he ate "some" or "none" on everything. That was when he was a younger toddler... I am knocking on wood that I don't jinx it.

    @Mrs. Carrot: True that being 5% isn't necessarily worse than being 95%. But when you are in it, and the child who is in your care completely is 5% on the "chart" you just can't help but wonder what did I do wrong that he is not growing as well as the others. Am I feeding him enough and am I giving him enough protein / carbs / whatever. Besides, being a male in our society, it is often perceived to be better to be taller / bigger. Everyone likes to be 6'3" rather than 5'1", especially when you are a man, you know? True that if you have talent you can be charming and successful at 5 feet tall as an adult, but life will be much easier if you are taller. You know what I mean? I don't worry much about weight but the height, once you are done growing that's it. That gives me some pressure in an illogical way. Does that make any sense?

    The doc mentioned "checking on his growth hormones" on his 4 year old visit by looking and comparing his overall growth since birth. When he was born he was 95% on height and weight. Weird for petite parents like us to have a big child (I am 5'4", 110 lbs, husband is 5'9" 130lbs). Then he just really slowed down in growing. By 9th months he was 15th percentile (i forgot if it were weight / height or both). Now I think he is 3-5% on height. I think he barely grow 1/16 of an inch the entire year. He is still wearing the exact same shoes as last year. We did ask the nurse to chase the doc down and ask about the growth hormones test, but apparently he thinks we can "wait".... so we assume it is OK. And to be honest he is OK... just still pretty small, and people didn't believe he's 4 (most people thought he was 3 years old or less), that's all.

    And I agree, if I had a 98% child then I'd probably worry about something else as in putting him on a diet or something!

    Forgot to say: @Anagram: I wish my kid would eat curry! Mine wouldn't eat curry even if it is NOT SPICY. If it looks anything remotely like curry he wont eat it. I miss curry....!!! Argh

  12. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8482 posts

    @irene: I doubt feeding him more will make him taller in life. My brother acts more than anyone I know and he's short and so skinny. Just how he is. It sounds like he has just settled into his curve and it's a big kid.

    Here was lunch today. He ate almost all of it except th cucumbers. Also had apple sauce and milk.
    Breakfast was a smoothie with banana, 3 strawberries, Greek yogurt and chia seeds. He finished that.

  13. sotofamilia

    kiwi / 612 posts

    I just want to echo others that I would be super impressed if my 3.5 year old, in the 60th percentile for height and weight, ate the foods your child eats!

  14. avivoca

    watermelon / 14467 posts

    @irene: I just wanted to let you know that H was over 50% for height and weight when she was born and she has settled into right around 30% for height and smaller for weight now at 2.5. She's just a small kid. She just moved into 2T clothes and a lot of them are too big. But neither of us are tall (5'5 and 5'6), so she's just little like us. I think you should try to stop worrying so much. Like my ped said, unless there's a problem with his growth hormone, some kids are just short. Someone has to be at the bottom of the curve.

  15. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    @SweetiePie: Forgot to reply to you - no this is just for lunch that I pack, for dinner I also slap whatever together I cooked on a plate We are changing school in August (that goes all the way up to 8th grade), and they don't allow packed lunches, which I really enjoy doing. That's why I am uping my game on it and taking pictures as I am cherishing the last few weeks...

    But yeah when I spent a lot of effort to make something and he sits down and say "I don't like it".... it really hurts my feelings. I remember one time when he was 9 months and still trying new things, I followed this baby recipe and made pasta with bolognese for him (back then i have no idea he doesn't care for tomatoes, now I know). I spent his entire nap time (2 hours) slaving myself making that tiny little bolognese pasta for him that look and taste good. No. He didn't want anything to do with it! HAHA. Gosh. That one I still remember how mad I was inside lol.

  16. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    Tonight! We made Omurice (chicken veggie fried rice, shown in lower left, wrapped in an egg omelette). When I was making his I kept reminding myself I need to give him small finishable portion.

    Usually I would give him an adult portion (I can't help it!), he couldn't finish it, and then I would be upset and tried to make him finish, and he would be upset. Today with this portion he ate everything all by himself!!!! I didn't ask him on anything! Then he got a tiny scoop of chocolate ice cream with 3/4 banana. Finished it all too! And a cup of milk.

    He never ask for extras. If he finishes his dinner plate by himself, he would just get up at 10pm and say he's hungry. I wouldn't be sure if he was just stalling bedtime or if he's really hungry. Then I'd feel bad because I feel like he hadn't eaten enough / I haven't given him enough.

    Bottom right is his lunch tomorrow: Omurice, string beans, sliced apples, some lettuce salad being covered by 2 halves of mushroom and half a strawberry.

  17. Pumpkin Pie

    persimmon / 1431 posts

    Ok. I'm starting to feel bad now. My kids eats nowhere near any of these pictures. She didn't eat her lunch yesterday, for dinner she had half a cheese stick, 3 small spoons of rice and 4 strawberries. For breakfast she had a cup of milk and 1 mini pancake.

  18. yin

    honeydew / 7917 posts

    Finally had a normal meal this week to post. We had cauliflower, carrots, asparagus with seafood, pork in black bean sauce and brown rice. My kids have food allergies, and I go crazy making them safe and healthy meals.

    ETA: This meal was for my 5 year old. The 2 year old had the same meal but less portions of rice and meat. He only ate the rice and meat. No veggies tonight.

  19. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    Homemade chicken and rice casserole with carrots, chicken, green beans, and corn - maybe 2/3 of a cup? 1/2 cup of mango on the side and milk.

    I forgot to take an after pic but he ate just about everything and maybe 2oz of milk. He left 2-3 spoonfuls of casserole but wanted 2-3 spoonfuls of plain rice so volume-wise I guess it's a wash.

  20. hellobeeboston

    honeydew / 7232 posts

    @irene: wow, those lunches. Amazing he eats it all. It seems like he eats more than the majority of kids on here!!

    I love seeing all the kids meals on this thread!

  21. Anagram

    eggplant / 11706 posts

    Tonight LO1 had chicken, avocado, and a lentil/chickpea/sweet pea mix. She ate almost all the chicken, 3 bites of the lentil pea mix, and all the avocado plus seconds and thirds of avocado. She ate a whole small avocado herself, heh.

  22. travellingbee

    hostess / papaya / 10219 posts

    @irene: You have nothing to worry about. Your son eats more than most kids that age and such a wide variety of healthy foods! Also way more than most! Try to enjoy your meals with your sweet, healthy boy!

  23. pregnantbee

    grapefruit / 4717 posts

    DS turns 4 next week, and here's tonight's dinner before/after. The white plate is a salad plate -- to get the idea of size.

    Pictured: 4 chicken nuggets, about 4-5 oz peas, milk (maybe 1/3 of that cup is what I offered), 1 string cheese.

    He ate every bite and was still hungry so I gave him a little bowl of Kashi cereal with a little more milk. He ate the whole thing.

  24. SproutBee

    cherry / 157 posts

    @irene: seriously, your kid eats like a dream. You're making me envious over here. Such great variety and portions. His stature/weight certainly doesn't seem to be due to lack of calories. I would bet it's more his genetics than anything.

    You should consider yourself lucky that you have such a great eater, seriously.

  25. OhCaptain

    kiwi / 696 posts

    @Pumpkin Pie: i hear you! My four year old gets pickier by the day. When he was three and under he was a dream eater.
    For dinner tonight I served kielbasa, with roasted potatoes and bell peppers. My son ate two servings (kid size) of kielbasa, because it's his favorite food. He then ate four baby carrots (that I served him instead of potatoes). For lunch he ate olives and half of his pb and j, the half with jelly on it.
    I try not to stress. Its important to me that I don't ruin his ability to self regulate when he's full, but I know there are times he tells me he is full because he doesn't want what I served him.

  26. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    @Pumpkin Pie: there are days my 4 year old also doesn't eat...! I sound like a hypocrite with him eating pretty good the past days! But honestly there are days he ate two bites and announce he is done.

    @travellingbee: I am not worried anymore but just have to keep reminding myself it is ok it is normal that he doesn't finish his food... And I need to give him smaller portions.

    @SproutBee: true.... He seems to be willing to eat a variety of food i am lucky. Earlier this week I made Brussels sprouts and he even eat that! now only if he eats curry I'd be set (not gonna happen anytime soon)

    This morning he didn't eat very well... Just 2 bites of the chocolate zucchini bread I made over the weekend, finished his milk (3-4 oz) and was done. I am using a salad plate in the photo. I did ask him to take two more bites each of the banana and eggs. He did... That was it...

    I want to thank you all again, you guys have no idea how much this is helping me. I remind me of those dogs which has behavioral problems on the Dog Whisperer show. It has to be admitted to a facility where he/she can live amongst a pack for a while and observe and learn what "normal behavior" is. hahahaha. I am serious. Thank you so much. I just hope I will be able to keep reminding myself to be normal and not create negative experience on eating over something that is totally unnecessary.

    Keep sharing photos! This is so much fun

  27. stiletto_mom

    persimmon / 1183 posts

    @gingerbebe: pasta boeties
    @Irene: glass noodles

    You guys, recipe please!! Those look delicious!!

  28. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    @stiletto_mom: I followed this, and I make glass noodles instead of rice the glass noodles is just something I have, which I bought it from an Asian/Korean grocery store.


  29. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    @stiletto_mom: it's just Barilla mini farfalle with homemade meat sauce. I saute 1 medium onion, 1 bell pepper and 2 cloves of garlic until soft. Then I brown 1 pound of ground beef with a pinch of salt and pepper. I add 1 jar of whatever we spaghetti sauce, half a cup of water to rinse out the jar or can, 1 can of petite diced or crushed tomatoes, a splash of whatever wine we have in the house, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and let it go for 30 minutes on low heat. I taste to adjust seasonings - salt or a pinch of sugar usually. Then I toss with pasta, olive oil, and parm.

    Tonight's dinner is rice balls, 3 mini corndog bites, teriyaki carrots and broccoli and half a white peach. And milk.

    He ate two bites of corndog, all the rice plus seconds, spit out or threw all the veggies in rage, did not touch his milk or peaches, and is currently having and OJ juice box.

    Unsurprisingly, he has a cold.

  30. sandy

    cantaloupe / 6687 posts

    Today's dinner: braised chicken thighs with leeks, white beans, peas in a lemon cream dill sauce. Also, roasted golden beets, strawberries and a bowl of her favorite brown rice and quinoa (I have to portion this out or she will only eat a giant bowl of it for dinner). And a cup of milk.

    She surprisingly ate most of the chicken, some beans and peas, but had to be asked to try a few bites of the beets. She always eats all her fruit - she's a fruit monster and always has been. And she ate all her brown rice and quinoa

    Dinner is hit or miss at 4.5 and I'm ok with that. Some days she has a good breakfast and big lunch and hardly has dinner. Today she had 1/2 a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and stole bites of my English muffin with butter and egg whites. That's a pretty good breakfast for her right now. She barely had any lunch and ate maybe 2 chicken nuggets and some apple slices. This is pretty rare for her as she usually loves chicken nuggets but we were at play date and I think was distracted and I was ok with that. Bc of her small lunch she had a good sized dinner. She also had a cookie as a treat today bc the lady at the bakery was giving them out and who doesn't love a free cookie 😋

  31. tysonja

    nectarine / 2217 posts

    great thread! ... and now i'm hungry.

    i'll try to remember to take some photos tmr!

  32. Cherrybee

    papaya / 10570 posts

    Finally remembered to take a picture! Before and after. She ate her whole dinner tonight, followed by a yoghurt.

  33. JoyfulKiwi

    nectarine / 2667 posts

    @Cherrybee: E is so cute!!

    We've been on vacation all week and dinners have been bonkers. I'll try to add a picture tomorrow of a normal dinner. I love this thread!

  34. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    @gingerbebe: the rice balls look yummy! How do you make those?

    @sandy: that's a lot of food and your LO did a good job!

    @Cherrybee: wow good job finishing !!

    The photo below is friday nights dinner, it was a small pork chop cut into pieces, 1/4 scrambled egg, with 11 pieces of small broccoli flowerlets. There was 2-3 oz noodles underneath it.

    He finished everything but I got quite annoyed at the end to take an after photo. Then half an apple and about 3-4 oz cup of milk. The process was so painful I wonder if you guys have the same experience before.

    Dinner started at 6:30pm but he basically stayed at the table until 7:55pm! After actually eating for the first 10 minutes with a big portion left in his bowl, he played with his food for an hour, eating 1 piece of food every 5 minutes. When asked if he is done, he said no, screaming and won't let me take his bowl. It was dreadful and of course it delayed bedtime by an hour with a lot of tantrums (eg. He cried when i told him we have no time to read books before bed). Do I start setting an alarm clock from now on and all eating must be done by 7:15 or they go into trash? Ahhhhh.

  35. JoyfulKiwi

    nectarine / 2667 posts

    Our son is such a slow eater! He does the exact same thing and will flip if we just clear his plate. So we have a set "end" time (usually 45 min after we started) and spend the last 15 min giving him warnings to "take your last bites" and "fill your tummy". There are still some tantrums if he doesn't get to finish, but we very rarely let him stay longer at the table.

  36. sunny

    coconut / 8430 posts

    @irene: Dinner always takes us an hour. She had 3 bites left and I asked if she was done so I could take her plate. She flipped out and wouldn't let me take her plate. The last 3 bites took about 20 more minutes!!!

  37. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    Forgot the before photo but it's not too hard to imagine.
    1 piece PB toast
    1/2 banana
    1 yogurt pouch

    He finished:
    - 1/4 piece of toast and licked the PB off the rest (he was hiding them in his pocket bib so I THOUGHT he ate it all!)
    - 1/2 of his 1/2 of a banana. Haha. So I guess 1/4.
    - 3/4 of the yogurt pouch
    Oh and he didn't drink any milk. But he'll carry it around with him all morning.
    So he didn't "finish" anything. But he seems fine so I'm not worried.
    In an hour or two he'll probably ask for a snack and I'll give him cheese and grapes and a multigrain rice cake.

    ETA: wanted to let you know that last night for dinner he ate a slice of pickle and some shredded cheese, most of which made it to the floor, haha. He didn't eat any of the cookout food we made (burger, hotdog, grilled shrimp, pasta salad). Whatevs. He seemed fine so I didn't stress.

  38. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    Yesterday's meals...

    Top row is lunch (leftover "mac and cheese" from the night before, some salad, and crawfish that is not shown), before and after. He also ate about 5-7 crawfishes that we were peeling and eating.

    He was hungry at 3:30pm (very rare) so he ate 4 chocolate sweet potatoes zucchini pancakes I was making (for batch freezing for breakfast) at the time, maybe 15 grapes, and small cup of milk.

    So dinner time (bottom row) he wasn't hungry as much. We had some spinach pasta with onion garlic butter sauce, salad, steamed broccoli, and "surf and turf" (lobster and steak!) that DH was making. Yes, daddy wants to cook at home on father's day . I didn't get to really take a before because he was already eating as I was getting the lobster for him! So imagine there was more spinach pasta in the middle to begin with. Middle photo was after. He picked out all the onions in his salad and put it all around the edge of the plate because he didn't like them. He had maybe 3 strawberries and 3-4 oz cup of milk too. Right most photo was what I packed for him for lunch today.

    Happy Monday !

    @JoyfulKiwi: @sunny: I started giving him a 5 minute "warning alarm" (setting the alarm on iphone for 5 minutes) the past two meals.... While it did speed him up on eating but he was whining and crying again! Ahhh... I really hate any kind of struggle over mealtime but i wonder if it is inevitable.

  39. travellingbee

    hostess / papaya / 10219 posts

    Finally have a before and after picture. We had barbecue chicken, veggie cake, and cucumbers with ranch. He ate most of the chicken all of the cucumbers two bites of the veggie cake.... And then not pictured, he had two large slices of watermelon and a little later on half a mini bagel with peanut butter.

  40. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    @travellingbee: Do you have a recipe for the veggie cakes?

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