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How to feed a 4yr old?

Posted by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM
  • 10 Replies

I know it looks like a dumb question but I'm really wondering what to do here.  DS has NEVER eaten like "normal" in the past.  Since birth he's always eaten like a bird.  There have even been days where he didn't eat anything but a handful of dry cereal all day because he wasn't hungry.  Lately(within the last week) he's acting like he's dying of starvation.  The day before yesterday he ate:

2 bowls of Kix cereal with a banana chopped up in it, a handful of blueberries & 5 strawberries for breakfast.

Then a package of instant oatmeal

2 graham crackers and a small dish of applesauce

A whole PB&J sandwich with pretzel sticks for lunch

Then 4 fish sticks and some baby carrots because he wanted another lunch

4 more strawberries, the rest of the blueberries and some grapes

A few Ritz crackers and some pieces of raw green pepper with Italian dressing to dip

Then some celery with peanut butter and a tiny box of raisins

Then dinner was french toast so he ate 2 pieces of that with some syrup to dip, a couple pieces of bacon, and a scrambled egg

He had 3 16oz bottles of water, 3 kid cups of juice(50% 100% fruit juice and 50% water), and he had 4 kid sized cups of Lactaid to drink.

Yesterday he ate his noraml 4 meals a day and today he's back to eating like he did the day before.  Everything all day long.  Could this be a growth spurt?

He normally eats breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack(sometimes).  Should I start giving him snacks between all meals?  I don't want him to not eat because he's underweight and honestly needs to gain weight so as long as it's healthy food his pediatrician said to never deny him anything if he's hungry because he will go for a whole day willingly not eating much all day.  But at the same time I don't want him to be eating all day every day and eating whatever he wants.  I did not call the pediatrician about this yet because DS goes for his 4yr old check up in about a week but that's what he's said about feeding DS before when I've asked.

So, how do I feed him?  Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack?  What's "normal" for a typical 4yr old?

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Diana lynn on Jun. 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM

my dd is the same way as your son...she use to love pediasure but now hates it...instead of fighting with her i let her eat when she wants to but i give her 2 options and if she wants neither then she gets nothing....after 30 mins of resisting she gives in and picks dd is gonna be 5 and weighs only 30lbs...

by Bethany on Jun. 25, 2012 at 10:41 PM
My son will be 4 on the 15th so pretty close in age to your son. He is a healthy weight (doesn't need to gain or lose anything) and has days where he eats like you described above, just inhales everything in sight, and other days where he just picks. We usually don't have a morning snack because there's not a whole lot of time between breakfast and lunch (we eat lunch kind of early) but if your son gets hungry then, I don't think a snack is a bad idea. Same thing with the snack after dinner. We usually eat kind of late so most nights, he doesn't need a bedtime snack. But once in a while if we've had a really active evening, he'll have a snack or treat after dinner too.
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by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 11:50 PM

that sounds alot lit jayden some days .he can eat as much as me or my husband some days and the scary

thing is at 2 1/2 he is 3'1 and about 28lbs +- a pound

by Member on Jun. 25, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Sounds like a growth spurt
by Betty on Jun. 26, 2012 at 12:22 AM

sounds like a growth spurt.

my kids eat constantly, and they can eat a lot. you would never know by looking at them that they eat so much though. when it's time for a growth spurt they double the amount of what they eat.

by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 7:27 AM

 Sounds like my little DS.  He is 4 and weighs 37lbs.  But to look at him, you'd think there was something wrong.  He will graze and be extra picky some days then eat everything in sight the next.

by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM
I just keep fruits and veggies out all day for them to snack on at will.
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by Meghan on Jun. 26, 2012 at 3:41 PM
Sounds like a growth spurt i say if hes hungry let him eat
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by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM

I think what he is eating sounds about right. My 4yr old eats similarly. It's good he is getting some variety!

by New Member on Sep. 19, 2012 at 2:02 PM

yeah , its normal. What i do with my son who is 4 is make sure he eats the normal three meals a day and try my best to make them healthy and if hes hungry i let him have a snack like fruit or nuts or somthing like that . i like to make sure he gets atleast two glasses of milk a day and one juice and the rest of the drinks are watter. If need be look up the food chart/food pyrimid thingie also im sure the health dept has alot of good advice about this.

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