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Thread: Nutrition Charts or Guides

  1. #1

    Default Nutrition Charts or Guides

    Hi there! I wasn't sure if I should post this in the "nursing your 12+ month toddler" or here. So hopefully I chose correctly!

    I am looking for information about toddler nutrition. Well, more specifically, charts or guides that tell you how much a toddler should be eating from the food groups each day. I have always made my own baby foods and I know what a healthy diet is. However, I do not know what amount of solid food he should be receiving. I have been reading and reading and everything seems contradictory. AND to top it off, I can find nothing about solid food intake while nursing a toddler. I know that Kellymom says that if 75% of his diet is breast milk, then he is getting what he needs. But I am a numbers person, and I want to know what the other 25% should be made of. And I will be weaning soon and returning to work, so I need to know solid food amounts for that tearful day.

    For example, the book HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months says that my son should be eating 3/4 cup fruit, 3/4 cup veg, 2-3oz of grains, 2-3 oz protein...EACH DAY! (This is for a child drinking cows milk).

    But the website: http://www.wholesometoddlerfood.com/Toddlers.htm is quite contradictory to those (what I feel are huge) amounts!

    And The Baby Book is closer to the Happy Baby book, but still a little different (and it says a toddler needs 3 cups of milk vs. 2 cups).

    Ahhhh...confusion! What to do? Help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: Nutrition Charts or Guides

    How old is your baby?

    I think you are overthinking this. My 3.5 year old doesn't nurse and she eats as much or as little as she wants. Your job is to provide healthy meals and snacks, their job is to eat them. My 14 month old is still nursing, but things are the same for her. We give them breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. Also if they ask for something to eat in between, I give them another fruit or veggie.

    Who will take care of your child when you go back to work?

    Also, I am not sure if you are weaning before you go back to work because you want to or because you think you have to. I work 4 days a week, my 14 month old nurses on demand on weekends and at night and she drinks cow's milk at the babysitter Monday through Thursday. I do give her a small amount of cows milk on the weekend - probably under 3 ounces a day - because she always wants the same thing as big sister.

    I completely agree with you that the charts seem to indicate that babies should be eating a TON of food. Most of those charts indicate more food than my 3.5 year old eats every day.

    ETA: What I mean about it being your child's job to eat the food is that they decide what and how much they eat. As long as all the options are healthy, it will be fine.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nutrition Charts or Guides

    He is 13 months old. I am always an over thinker...so you pegged that one! However, I do feel that I should provide him with what he should get each day, and if he chooses not to eat it...well, can't help that I guess. He will be going to a day care center where I will provide all food. He will start there about 17 months old.

    How many times does your 14 month old still nurse at night?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Nutrition Charts or Guides

    with mommy2lilah. Toddler diets are all over the map. Some kids are eating huge amounts of solid foods, others are eating nothing but the occasional cheerio and a little dirt off the floor. Just make balanced, healthy meals, put them in front of the baby, and let him choose how much to eat. One really nice thing about breastfeeding is that breastfed babies are supposedly better at self-regulation when it comes to portion size. But if baby seems to be choosing an all-carbs diet or won't touch his veggies, feel free to cut back on his favorites and push the healthy choices.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Nutrition Charts or Guides

    I don't know how many times Trixie nurses overnight, actually. I cosleep with her. I'm guessing 3 to 5? A lot of it is comfort nursing since she's teething and/or sick.

    I would ask the daycare how much food the other parents usually send in. I'm sure I would send way too much food for my kids. I am going to have to pack lunches for my 3.5 year old when she starts preschool in the fall (she's at an in home daycare now) and I'm already stressing about it.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nutrition Charts or Guides

    I coslept with my son as well, but now he is just in a crib next to our bed. He nurses 2-3 times in the night. But his night is 12 hours long. So when we start getting up early for daycare/work, I guess he might just nurse once or twice during the night.

    Thanks for the advice. I made myself a little chart based on the wholesome toddler food website and we will just try to get as close to filling it up each day as possible.

    One other question I do have...my son loves those fruit pouches. Like the Plum brand or Happy Baby. I used to use them just when we were on the go because I made his purees myself. But now that he eats a lot more of table food and fresh food, I do not make specific baby food. However, he still loves those pouches and they are easy snacks when we are out. Do I count them as a fruit since they are so cooked and pureed? Does anyone else use them and how do you view them when looking at your child's diet?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: Nutrition Charts or Guides

    I would count them as fruit, if I were counting fruit. I feel like you are going to stress yourself out. Does your son eat everything you give him? Half the time my 3.5 year old sits at the dinner table, looks at dinner and asks to be excused. My 14 month old will throw half or more of her food on the floor. At some point you just have to trust them.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Nutrition Charts or Guides

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    At some point you just have to trust them.
    Charts, spreadsheets, apps... That's all stress that you probably could live without. One thing to remember about toddler diets is that they tend to go on food jags. One week they will eat nothing but green beans, another week they will refuse everything but pasta. Watch the moving average- one week of eating just meat and another of eating just starch and another of eating just veggies all adds up to a balanced diet.

    I'd feel free to offer fruit pouches and count 'em as fruit.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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