How much should a 20 month old boy be eating?

Lesley - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Peter is 2 in May, and frankly could eat for England. He is average height, and not overweight at all and I do tend to limit what he eats because I'm afraid that he's eating too much for his age - he is more then happy to just keep on eating all day!

I give him cereal in the morning about 8, and then he tends to go all the way through to 12 when he eats either a sandwich, a bowl of pasta, beans on toast or half a small jacket potato with some cheese on top. He will then, a couple of times a week, share a bag of crisps with his sister, and everyday either has an apple, orange (clementine), or banana for pudding. Dinner, at 5, consists of a small amount of meat (unless it's mince for spaghetti bolognaise) because he's not a massive meat fan, some carbohydrates (i.e. potato, pasta or rice) and some vegetables (he loves carrots, squashes pea's usually but will generally eat all vegetables I feed him). He will have a snack at 3 o'clock (which can be as early as 2 some days, depending on how active we are) which will either be an alternative piece of fruit or a biscuit if they've been really good.

I have also wondered whether he's drinking enough during the day, as he has a drink with each of his meals, his 3 o'clock snack and a bedtime drink.

Would just like some opinions, and suggestions on what to change if necessary =) ty

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Sarah - posted on 02/07/2010

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my son eats roughly the same amount if not a little more... and he is tall but not overweight. Also the amount of food given depends on how much they drink i.e if they are still having daytime bottles they are less likely to eat as much and vise versa.. no day bottles means more food required. At this age I would be letting my child fill up on nutrients gained from solids rather than from milk or formula, my son has a 200ml bottle of formula at night and I offer his milk and milk based foods after meals, otherwise hes too full to eat and misses out on the goodness from his regular food. Sounds like your boy has a healthy appetite and your doing well :)

Maree - posted on 02/07/2010

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my son has the same (if not more because he usually has a mid-morning snack too!) and I'm constantly being told that he needs to put on more weight. I think some kids just burn it off and need plenty of energy at this age.

Tracy - posted on 02/04/2010

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i have twins and they are both big eaters they are 2 in may aswell, one is slightly bigger than the other, and the funny thing is she eats less than her sister. lilly is the smaller one and would eat all day if she could, but she will not eat a thing if not well, teething etc. your son has a nice balanced diet i cant see you need to change anything my self and he certainly doesnt have junk. x

Kristen - posted on 02/04/2010

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My daughter isn't overweight at all and she eats like your son. I just feed her good healthy foods (and no meat via personal preference) and she eats when she is hungry. She will eat three eggs some fruit and a piece of toast for breakfast sometimes! I do let her have a sippy cup all day with 1/2 water 1/2 juice in it all day. She normally empties it 5-6 times a day. Just keep feeding him a healthy variety and he will be a good eater for you!

Amy - posted on 02/03/2010

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my son eats just like that too! (There are days he'll out eat my husband and I!!).

He eats a pretty big breakfast, not a fan of cereal, but eggs, pancakes, breakfast hot pockets are some of the things he'll eat.

Then he gets a snack around 10, typically some fruit like 1-2 bananas and sometimes some crackers or something else.

For lunch he eats what my husband eats, he'll probably finish about 3/4 of what my husband eats.

Then around 3 or 4 or so he'll get another snack when he wakes up, more fruit and sometimes cheese or other easy finger foods.

For supper he'll eat, again what we do, some night's he'll eat up to two pieces of pizza and/or about 3/4 what we eat.

He drinks milk (and sometimes watter) with all meals, and sometimes when he's not eating. If my husband or I have a snack during the day, he'll usually eat the same thing were eating (and the same amount).

He's above average in height, but below average in weight. I think he's about 25 lb, and hasn't gained weight in several months. He's a very healthy and energetic boy.

I don't see any issues with your son's eating!

Valerie - posted on 02/02/2010

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My kids are crazy eaters as well, especially my 20 month old who eats more the rest of the family combined. I truly feel that if they are healthy and eating healthy then feed them and let them eat. I have made sure to put my kids on a routine where they get 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, but I don't try and limit how much they eat each time. I dry a ton of different fruits at home which my linebacker boys and my daughter love...and it is so easy to just pop a baggy of fruit in your purse or diaper bag for an on the road snack (and it's all natural sugars and healthy for them). My kid's appetites increase and decrease during different growth phases but they are heathy and happy and really....that's all that matters!!

Amy - posted on 02/02/2010

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another thing i forgot to mention Lesley is Crystal light. My daughter is not keen on water and i do not like her to have more then a cup or two of juice a day, i started drinking the peach tea crystal light myself because it has no calories or sugar and tastes great, one day i was out of juice and we were on our way out the door so i filled the baby's cup with it and she absolutely loved it, so i asked the pediatrician if that was ok for her and she said thats great, its pretty much yummy water :) and they have tons of different flavors. 1 thing though, everyones taste buds are different but... if your a walmart monster like i am and you want to try the crystal light, avoid the great value walmart brand, it tastes really bad!! :)

Lesley - posted on 02/01/2010

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I totally understand that notion Melanie, my parents weren't very strict on "where" we ate so to say so we used to just slump infront of the tele and eat. I like my kids to sit at the table with me (and usually my partner but that depends on when he gets home from work) because I think that that's another important part of eating. Get them into the right idea now, that way you won't have to change it later =)
I think my kids are aware of that fact I view food differently to them (which is why we now have a rather yummy batch of low sugar cakes that I baked yesterday) but I don't think this hinders them at all.
I also like the idea of using cereal as a healthy snack, Amy, I'd never thought of that with the kids before. I used to do it when I was at school, but people thought it was wierd =P

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My son Colin eats all day long too. I do notice that some days he eats a little less then others. I really try and trust his body. I provide healthy whole foods, minimally processed, and lots of outdoor time. He never eats in front of the T.V.-curious George/Super Y ( a habit I got into as a child and one that is part of my comfort eating now, very hard to break) I am happy my son loves, food and a wide variety of foods. I am hopeful that he will have a healthy relationship with food and I do my best not to burden him with my neurosis surrounding my own eating. He loves dried mangos and I love watching him enjoy them! Have fun with your little food connoisseur!

Amy - posted on 01/30/2010

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Both my children eat like they are staving all day. It never ends! My daughter is 21 months old and shes a tiny petite little girl and she eats all day long everyday. I just try to make sure that she eats meals first then healthy snacks if shes still hungry. Cheerios has come out with a whole bunch of new flavors like banana and that makes a great snack. And my son is 4 and he can still eat for 20 grown men. The sneeky chef also has a whole bunch of recipies with really healthy food that tastes like junk food so its even easier to get them to snack healthy. I think i need to win the lottery before i have anymore kids so i can afford to feed an army!! lol

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if we allowed my son he would eat all day i was getting worried as he isnt putting much weight but ive been told thats because he is very active so he wont ever put lots weight on he is a healthy happy so as long as he healthy and happy let him eat

Lesley - posted on 01/29/2010

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Thank you all for your help - it's really put my mind at rest =)
I do tend to agree with you Lina about the growth thing, because they do a lot of growing in their first year but they aren't so active in that first year and, personally, I think it's the extra activity in addition to some growth that make some children, obviously not all, eat more in their 2nd and 3rd years compared to their 1st. I say this because Peter wasn't interested in food when he was younger, and it was a battle to get him on to solids in the first place. His sister, however, would have eaten constantly when she was a baby if given the chance but now, she's nearly 3, will hardly touch food.
And I guess I'd never given the crisps situation much thought, as my parents have always given us crisps. I shall see about amending that fault however =)
thank you all

Lina - posted on 01/28/2010

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I wouldnt give crisps to a two year old... sorry, you asked, but I really wouldnt.
And I do not agree that our kids should eat more now, because of they are growing more. No, they are not. There is not such a period in a human life, when he grows more in comparison to his first year of life. Our daughter is eating much less if compared to first year. She has her breakfast after we get up. Then she has her first bottle of milk before she goes to take a day nap. Then, when father comes home, we all have dinner. And she also has her second bottle of milk before her night sleep. I alway ofer her snacks between meals, but she ussually refuses to eat. Sometimes she has and a few pieces of apple, banana other fruit ar a biscuit, a few spones of yougurt. That is it.
BUT all kids are different. If your son needs more, give him and be glad for it. But still I wouldnt give him crisps.

Karissa - posted on 01/28/2010

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My sone eats a lot too. and as long as they are not over weight id say your doing fine don't change anything he may be close to a growth spert they tend to eat more when they are growing more. It seems like your giving him stuff thats good for him so i wouldn't worry.

Amanda - posted on 01/28/2010

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I wish my Landon would eat like your son! It is a daily struggle to get Landon to eat anything. There are days when he will eat nothing at all and then days where all he wants to do is snack all day long. This morning he ate a bowl of oatmeal and since he ate breakfast he refused to eat lunch. He just had a handful of animal crackers and won't eat again until dinner, which will probably get tossed onto the floor because he doesn't want to eat! He used to be such an amazing eater and these past 3 months have been a constant struggle. He does drink a lot though and is still breastfeeding several times a day.



I think that your little one's eating habits are just fine. They are growing and are suppose to be hungry a lot. If his snacking bothers you, then just make sure that he is snacking on fruits or something healthy...it sounds like you are already doing that so I don't think there is anything for you to worry about.

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