healthy food ideas for 3yr old

Rachel - posted on 11/12/2009 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have a 60pound 3 yr old. i know this cannot be healthy. He has always been chubby but its like he just wont stop gaining weight and he really doesnt eat that much. We dont let him have cakes,cookies,cokes,candy and all that junk very often.Chips is what he most eats thats junk but the rest he almost never gets. Snacks i do the 100 calorie. He loves milk,likes broccoli but only if its in rice and cheese.Can what he drinks affect weight also? he drinks capri suns,strawberry milk,water,green tea. What can I feed him thats healthy and could there be health problems making him gain so much weight?? Please help, i have no idea whats healthy and whats not! I need ideas on what to find him for meals and snacks that are healthy for is age. and also good sources of fiber. Thank You!!!!!

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Laura - posted on 11/15/2009

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If you mean the yoplait yogurt in the regular style cups, they should be ok. The tubes or drink style yogurt are very likely to be high in sugar. Also the green tea can be quite high in caffeine. This may contribute to him being hungry more often. I would switch to mostly water during the day with milk at meals or snack time.

Also what does he do during the day? Is he at daycare/preschool? Does he play outside much? The more active he can be, the easier it will be to keep his weight down.

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Nora - posted on 11/22/2009

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don't worry,,, what he's eating is very good for this age, just make him run, jump (basketball is perfect), swimming.., & he'll burn everything he;s eating

Lisa - posted on 11/20/2009

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well done on the changes you have already made. when i myself was trying to slim down i started making my own crisps (chips) slice a potato thinly, skin on for extra fibre, sprinkle on some herbs or spices that you like spread a single layer on a microwavable plate then microwave until crispy. you can also use parsnips, carrotts, sweet potato...but not beetroot (i tried it and nearly exploded the microwave!).



when we go to the supermarket i put my 4yr old daughter in charge of finding a new fruit or veg that we haven't tried before so that we can all try something new. who would have guessed she'd like red cabbage?!



like someone has already said, check portion sizes. look at the size of your fist then the size of his to show how much less than you he should be eating.



have you tried blending fresh/frozen strawberries with lowfat milk?



plain lowfat yogurt over lowsugar museli and fresh fruit makes a good breakfast.



and finally (for now) my daughters always seem to pile on the weight just before a growth spurt. i always know i'm in for an expensive time when thier cheeks get chubby!!



good luck, and keep us updated xx

Crystel - posted on 11/18/2009

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I think everyones ideas are good. Sometimes it's not the food they eat or don't eat. My oldest son was always a pretty big boy, but all of a sudden he started slmming down in the second and third grade. He was wearing a size 6/7 when he was 2 1/2. Sometimes it just takes time. Keep up the good work and don't give up.

Rachel - posted on 11/17/2009

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Thank You everybody for all your help! Since reading all these we have switched to water during the day and surprisingly he is fine with that! And we do baked chips now and absolutely no more junk food esp. at night right before bed. I have apples for him and bananas.More changes to come with his diet.Thanks again for all your help!

Alison - posted on 11/17/2009

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Definitely watch his drinks. I let my girls have one cup of juice per day (real juice, nothing with sugar), after that it is milk or water. That's it.



Here is our favorite healthy snack if you have a blender:



Fruit Smoothie

frozen fruit blend

vanilla soy milk to cover



Blend and enjoy!



There is a bit of sugar in the soy milk, but it's mostly soy and fruits. There is just as much calcium in soy milk as in cow's milk.

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strawberry milk powder contains around 1 tablespoon full of sugar per serving, milk is also very fattening so semmi skimed is a good way to go.Try to make sure any chips he eats are baked not fried.As for medical problems get his thyroid checked and a test for diabetes is a good idea to.also not to give him a lot of cheese and when u do give him it make it a low fat 1.Cheese is very calorific

Janet - posted on 11/17/2009

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Yougurt is much better than chips or other snack foods. Let im help you get a snack ready for him. Grapes, apple slices, you cut he bags, low fat cheese cubes, goldfish crackers. Italian ices instead of ice cream, Luigi's are great, lot's of flavor. Good luck, he is a cutie!

Amy - posted on 11/16/2009

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i have a 3 yr old boy. he is a vegaterian. has been from birth. and a PICKY eater on top of that! he won't eat bread either, but there is one thing that he loves. cinnoman toast on whole wheat toast.( butter, cinnoman, and a 1/4 of a pack of sweetner.) cut off the edges and he thinks its cake. bread without it being bread.

Rachel - posted on 11/16/2009

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Laura, the green tea is diet and says there is nothing in there but sodium. No sugars or caffeine. he doesnt get much of it anyway. And luckily he does like water so we are going to switch to giving him mostly water. And he is home with me everyday,no daycare or preschool til next year.He goes outside with the little girl i babysit everyday for a couple hours in the afternoons and then in the evening when his pawpaw gets home he goes back out there for a couple more hours. Ive noticed when he is out there he runs around the whole time not just sitting there playing,so i figure that is good to be running rather than just walking around.



Crystal, i am taking him to the doctor in a few weeks for a physical and i will bring up the weight issue with his doctor. but he has seen him since he was born and has never said anything about him being too chunky. i still want to make sure there are no health issues or if he is just chunky and will later slender up. A few kids in my family have done that. Thank You Ladies for all you help! I really appreciate it!

Crystal - posted on 11/15/2009

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my little boy doesnt have a problem with weight, but he like you son only drinks strawberry milk.

what i do is i get the nestle strawberry powder. and i cut the recipe in half. like it its 2 tsp per 8 oz glass i only do 1. its enough to sweeten the milk just a little. and he likes it. when we buy the premade strawberry milk i have to mix it 3/4 white to 1/4th strawberry just because its to sweet. hope that helps a little.

has his doctor given any advise?

good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 11/13/2009

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This is called Carmel Apple Salad

15 oz can pineapple tidbits or chuncks

2 apples peel & cut into small pieces

1 8oz Lite cool whip

1 4serving box of Suger Free Butterscotch Inst. pudding (add the mix to the pineapple juice)



Mix all ingredents together & put in the fridge to chill.



My husband and 3 year old little girl love this. It is so eazy to make!

Rachel - posted on 11/13/2009

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also,those yoplait yogurts for kids is that good? i have gotten those before and he liked them.

Rachel - posted on 11/13/2009

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Thank You so much for all ur input ladies! I will definitely be taking your advice! I do use the diet green tea,always have but with milk(its fat free) he will only drink it if it has the strawberry in it but i will look into the ovaltine. he does like water but not what he will drink all the time instead of juice,is it still good if we put the kool aid packs in the water? it says no sugar and 5g of fat. I have actually wanted to get the cookbook by the Seinfeid lady but just never have,but i think this weekend i will invest in it.He use to get carrots and vegetables more often but as he gotten older he tends to leave it on the plate. and i will switch to baked chips,he loves cheetos and i know they have them baked.He has never liked applesaucem,and i have tried for years to give it to him and i think its the texture he doesnt like,but apples peeled he will eat on occasion,peanut butter he loves,but raisins and eggs are just like the applesauce i have tried and tried and he will not eat them. How about oatmeal? is that a good breakfast? Thank Ya'll so much! Ya'll have given me some great ideas and suggestions that i will be for sure doing!

Lara - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi, I have a three year old girl who has a good appetite, and we all eat our meals together. I tend to be causious of what I'm putting into my meals, for example, I stopped using sunflower oil and butter and replaced them with olive oil. Using whole wheat foods are also something that's so beneficial and children can hardly tell the difference. I also reverted to baking more. Instead of low shallow frying a chicken breast, I marinate it with all kinds of herbs, garlic and ginger and baked it in the oven. It actually comes out juicier and my girls love it with almost anything. I also use organic snacks between meals, like raisons, rice cakes and fruit sweetened biscuits. We don't have any fizzy drinks at home, those are only for special occasions. My kids love 100%pure apple juices and sometimes they enjoy a homemade smoothie, but in general I tend to stick to water. Her nursery snack box, always contains a fruit or carrot stick, with a yoghurt or baby fruit creme fraiche and a small (3 year old hand size) cheese sandwitch and water of course.
Children always need to have rewards once in a while, so my kids are allowed to have chocolate, or ice cream once a week.
I hope this helps a little. Goodluck and hope all goes well.

Kelly - posted on 11/12/2009

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Oh, one more thought on the green teas. If you are talking about like the Lipton ones you buy in bottles, they actually do have a good bit of sugar in them. My husband drinks them, and the doctor had him switch to the diet ones when he wanted him to lose a little weight for his blood pressure.

Kelly - posted on 11/12/2009

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Some good things for him would be bananas, raisins, unsweetened applesauce, scrambled eggs, peanut butter and jelly or sandwich meat (not bologna, but turkey or ham) on whole wheat bread. Try low-fat popcorn, or at least pretzels, instead of chips. How about yogurt, low-fat granola bars, sugar-free jello with fruit, and pudding made with skim milk. The least-processed foods he eats the better (even the 100 calorie snack packs really aren't that good to have all the time, fresh fruit would be much better). You might try raw carrots and celery (if he has enough teeth and you watch him carefully), plain is best but you could give him a little bit of fat-free ranch dressing for dipping if that is the only way he'll eat them. Apple slices are good plain or with peanut butter. Clementines are like little oranges but they peel easier and are not so messy; my kids love them. Drinks do make a big difference. He should have only small amounts of unsweetened pure fruit juice, water, and skim or lowfat milk (you can gradually get him onto a lower-fat milk if he is used to whole or 2%, by mixing them and weaning him down). If he won't drink white milk, try a little bit of Ovaltine mixed in. My kids love that too, and it has more nutrients than just adding chocolate syrup. One thing I make a lot is really super easy, and healthier than most baked sweets. Take one yellow cake mix, and mix it with one can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, just plain pumpkin). That is all you put in, no eggs, oil, or water. You can mix by hand or with a mixer, then bake as a cake or cupcakes, following the baking instructions on the cake mix. Very yummy! You probably should have him checked for diabetes, and continue to have him checked periodically until he slims down to a healthy weight. And of course, keeping him active will help a lot also. Just as a gauge, my youngest daughter will be four next month, and she weighs I think about 33 pounds. Of course she is a girl, but 60 pounds is even heavier than my almost eight-year-old girl, so I think you are smart to get on this situation sooner than later. I hope this helps you! I will post again later if I think of some more things. Good luck!

Kaloolah - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi, I have a few ideas... choose anything that is whole wheat, this is much healthier. I will buy pasta but the wheat pasta not the regular and my husband can't even tell. I also cut out all pop for my 3 year old, she has never tasted it and thinks it is yucky. Anything with sugar that he eats will turn to fat if he does not burn it off. So think of what he is eating that has sugar, pop, juices,and some fruits are tricky, they have that natural sugar. If he likes chips maybe switch to a baked brand and then only give him a small snack bag at a time, you can also limit the amount of snacks by only giving them as rewards for good behavior such as picking up their toys etc. and only once per day or however many times you choose. Water and the green tea that he likes is great, he needs milk everyday but I don't know how good the strawberry milk is for him. The capri suns are probably very high in sugar. I will find myself eating or drinking things that I tell my daughter 'are not good for our bodies', so I have to eat just as healthy as I want her to eat,(even though it is so hard sometimes!) Another thing is the portions size, make sure you are giving him the correct portion of food for his age. I hope this helps a little...there can be health issues that are causing this, his doctor would have run tests. There is a great book that I think you would like, you may have heard of it, Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, she incoorporates healthy foods that kids would normaly not eat in everyday foods. :)

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