portion control for 14month old

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

portion control for 14month old

Postby KCX » 19 May 2013, 18:48

Hi all
I've really enjoyed BLW. My daughter is now just 14months. She's no longer breastfeeding (self weaned at 8.5months) and eats brilliantly. She doesn't have any milk apart from on cereal, and doesn't usually snack but instead has 3 large meals. She's 25th centile for height and 50th for weight, and her tummy is gorgeous and huge!
Here's an example of what she eats:
1 banana, i bowl shreddies with full fat cows milk, i slice toast with spread
Sushi (without the raw fish), half a slice of ham, about 20grapes
Snack (we went to a party!)
Salmon, quiche- few mouthfuls of each. Three mouthfuls cake
3 fishfingers, 2 potato waffles, peas, adult size yoghut, more grapes
Drinks- water with meals, and sometimes inbetween

I've always been happy to follow her lead on how much she eats, and she can (and does) sign 'finished'- although I haven't taught her more as she makes herself known by pointing. But I'm wondering when, how and if I should start some sort of portion control. Any advice gratefully received!
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Re: portion control for 14month old

Postby FestiveTidings » 19 May 2013, 19:00

Sounds pretty healthy to me! I wouldn't worry about portion control and just go with the flow and follow her lead. She knows when she is full and if she is not having breast milk any longer she will need to pack away her calories to maintain her growth.

Don't worry about centiles at this young age, children of this age usually grow outwards just before they grow upwards.
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Re: portion control for 14month old

Postby SparklePetal » 19 May 2013, 19:01

The only "portion control" I have ever exercised with mine is that I give them the amount I expect them to eat based on current habits - so there won't be lots left over on the plate that has been mashed about, and so I'm not re-filling the plate every five minutes!

Both mine have had phases where they eat as much as an adult, and phases where a couple of mouthfuls is all they want. We have also had times where they seem to eat huge meals and not really need snacks, and other times where they seem to want more food every couple of hours, and I have to extend the snacks with lots of fruit.

And both have had times when they plump up and times when they stretch out and get taller and skinnier. They just grow in irregular patterns. The red book cannot predict all the complexity of a healthy growth curve for a child.

Really, truly, we are completely baby-led on this. If they say they're finished then they're finished. If they say they're still hungry then I let them have more food. Of course the *type* of food might not be what they're hoping for! I do tell them they have had as much cake as is good for them and need to fill up on other foods that will keep them healthy and strong. Or if they've eaten all of one type of food that I've cooked for that meal, then they have to have something else.
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Re: portion control for 14month old

Postby ches » 19 May 2013, 19:06

The point of BLW is that they learn to listen to their body's satiety signals and manage their own portions. By way of extreme, my cousin's DH is obese and their DD is overweight at 7 and has been since a toddler. My cousin manages all of her portions. She does not eat a thing without asking her mum first. Her eating has nothing to do with being hungry nor full, it's what her mum tells her she can or cannot eat. Her mum obviously thinks that by managing her portions she is managing her weight and doing the right thing. However, eventually she will grow up, not have her mum to rely on, and nit be able to manage her own eating because her satiety queues have been totally over-ridden.

I have always found it really weird and arbitrary for parents to dictate how much a child eats. On a school field trio, I overheard a mum ask her DD who was about seven if she would have 8 more bites of salad or 12. There are about five calories in that salad, is it really worth harassing your child to eat 8-12 more bites? The worst that could happen is she's a bit hungry after school!
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Re: portion control for 14month old

Postby RedRum » 19 May 2013, 19:19

To go off on a complete tangent.... The 'behaviour of the week' at R's school this week is to finish all of their lunches. One of her friends is getting a toy as a reward at the end of each day she finishes all her lunch. :scream I have told R that I don't agree it's important for her to finish her lunch and that she should stop eating when she's had enough - and told her that if the teachers try to make her finish when she's had enough then she should tell them to call me :mona

On a more helpful note, it sounds like she's eating really well, and I'm sure in a few weeks tearing your hair out because she's only eaten half a rice cake all day ;) Agree about the out-then-up growth spurts too. R still grows like that!
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Re: portion control for 14month old

Postby pirate_han » 19 May 2013, 19:45

My dd, also 14mo, eats a similar amount usually. She will have the odd day where she eats a forkful and nothing else and I just go with her flow. She doesn't often ask for more if she finishes what I've given her, but if she did that would be fine. She usually eats most of her bowl and hands it to me when she's done, and she is in control of when that is.
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Re: portion control for 14month old

Postby KCX » 21 May 2013, 19:11

Hi all
Thanks so much for the quick responses. I will continue to be babyled! That's what my heart was telling me to do, but you know, sometimes you just need a bit of reassurance.....

Thanks :)
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