Is your toddler getting a good balance of food and activity? #rethinktoddlerportionsizes

With obesity being a growing problem in the UK, it is important to start feeding your children correctly from young. Quite often as a parent, I am confused as to whether I am feeling the children enough or too much. I know about cakes and sweets but with proper meals, I don’t know what the portions should be. The Infant and Toddler Forum has launched the #rethinktoddlerportionsizes campaign which aims to encourage families to rethink quantities that are being served to children.

After conducting a survey amongst 1000 Mums and Dads, this is what they found –

Parents are putting too much on the plate: The survey of 1000 UK mums and dads revealed that 79% of parents routinely offer portions bigger than the recommended size range for pre-schoolers when serving popular meals [such as spaghetti bolognaise and chicken nuggets with chips], drinks and treats.

  •   Toddlers are offered meals close to adult-sized portions: The survey, which involved parents looking at images of portion sizes, also revealed that more than 10% of parents usually serve their child close to an adult-size portion of spaghetti bolognaise or cheese sandwiches. However, 73% are more concerned that their child does not eat enough.

Too many treats and sugary drinks are being given:

  •  71% of parents routinely offer their child a bigger portion of crisps than recommended for this age group. More than a third of parents usually offer their preschool child a whole bag of crisps: this is nearly twice the recommended amount
  •   65% of parents routinely offer too much squash/fruit juice, with 31% often giving portions that are double the recommended amount for children of this age
  •   61% of parents routinely offer their child too many sweets, with 24% of parents giving their child a whole pack of jelly sweets as a treat: this is 3 times the recommended amountParents: a big portion of low confidence, anxiety and guesswork:
  • Only a quarter of parents say they feel ‘very confident’ about the amount of food they give their child, and younger parents (aged 18-24 years) are significantly less confidentthan older parents. Only 25% of parents worry that their child might become overweight in the future. There was also a tendency for parents to use food or drink between meals to comfort their children, with 36% of parents using this method to calm children down when they are upset.

Aeryn has always been a small eater and we are constantly worried about whether she is eating enough or not. While her weight seems in keeping with her height and age, we seems to find her on the skinny side.

When I was invited to test out the toddler portion sizes and see how she stacked  up, I knew this was perfect for me.

Am I serving up healthy portions?

I took the Tot-it-Up Analysis Challenge and these were the results. She needs more fruit but her bread, cereals, meat, dairy seems fine. With the fluid intake, I found that I could not fill in more than 1 cup of water a day so her fluid intake was low. So, I know that she has more than just one cup of water but I could not get that logged in.

I was quite pleased with the results as her diet seems fine on an ordinary day. We do try and get egg and milk into the children everyday. And we always have meat too. Vegetables are a little on the low side so I will need to make an effort to increase this food category.

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My other two children were fussy eaters and still are about certain things but I try and swap foods in the same food group so that they get the nutritional benefits they need.

Do you have a fussy eater? Are you feeding your toddler healthy portions? Leave me a comment – I’d love to know.

And if you need any help or more information visit www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/portionsizes

The Infant and Toddler Forum have also released the cutest video –

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.

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