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so- kids diets...
there are so many opinions


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#1 red door

Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:02 PM

but what is the ideal diet for kids? what would your ideal diet/ daily menu look like for your kids? what are the recommended salt/ sugar limits for our kids? what level of exercise should kids be getting everyday?

just sparked by a report on childhood obesity/ diabetes levels growing...so what SHOULD we be doing? how do we know if we are getting it right?

of course there are the food purists (ahem, neurotics) here and IRL, but for those who are guilty of maybe too many short cuts when we get lazy, how do they know when it is too much?

how do you monitor that your child is eating well/ moving enough?



#2 monkeys mum

Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:32 PM

how do you monitor that your child is eating well/ moving enough?

I make sure each day the kids get outside and play on the swing set, scooters/bikes, or trampoline and get out there and join them and have some fun outside time. Though DS2 is my pegging out helper he loves passing me up all the clothes to be pegged on the washing line.

The kids daily food intake/offerings look something like this:

Breakfast: Weetbix, cornflakes or toast, pancakes on one morning a week.

Morning snack is either rice crackers and some cheese or fruit cut up and shared, this is normally a mix of apple, oranges, watermelon, kiwi fruit, sultana's, banana's, I cut up one to two serves of a few fruits and we sit down and share the plate. Or if I have baked they have muffins or similar, today's was Apple, coconut and oat muffins which they all loved.

Lunch is anything from cheese toasties, sausage rolls (DD's lunch order standard), pasta, vegemite sandwich, snack plate with cheese, bread, ham/meat, tuna etc

Afternoon snack is basically similar to morning snack

Dinner is generally Red meat with three veg one of these is either cauliflower or brocoli, carrots, mash, pumpkin, etc, or chicken stir fry, or a pasta dish, tuna bake, slow cooked meal, the list goes on.

I make sure the kids have variety and aren't forced to eat everything but encouraged to try everything. The minimum is three fruits and veg a day and meat. For dairy they get a milo with breakfast though DD likes weak tea, cheese, yoghurt, or in cooking.

i don't go by what I am told by media, I go by what I know from the different things I have done, when I did my foodies training I learned there are different dietry intakes for different ages and sexes. I think if your kids get outside each day for a run around and are offered a varied diet which includes fruit and veg then they are ok.

If you are worried your child is eating too much then you cut it back a little bit and get outside with them more. My kids love having scooter races with DP or racing him. If you make exercise fun then they won't see it as a chore. DS1 would spend all day on the computer if we let him but he knows he has a time limit for playing on it then we do something together normally outside or inside, playing hide and seek inside when it is raining is lots of fun.



#3 peking homunculus

Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:08 AM

Try to follow the dietary guidelines:

QUOTE
Children and adolescents need sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally

Growth should be checked regularly for young children
Physical activity is important for all children and adolescents
Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods

Children and adolescents should be encouraged to:
Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits
Eat plenty of cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles), preferably wholegrain
Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives
Include milks, yoghurts, cheese and/or alternatives. Reduced-fat milks are not suitable for young children under 2 years, because of their high energy needs, but reduced-fat varieties should be encouraged for older children and adolescents
Choose water as a drink. Alcohol is not recommended for children
and care should be taken to:
Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake. Low-fat diets are not suitable for infants
Choose foods low in salt
Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars
Care for your child’s food

Prepare and store it safely


http://www.health.gov.au/internet/healthya.../content/eating

Serving sizes can be found here:

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/healthya...-daily-servings


For exercise, I try to make sure the kids get outside and run around after school. We will be starting swimming lessons again soon

#4 Velociraptor

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:00 AM

The ideal diet for kids is common sense. It doesn't have to be rocket science. Eat mostly grains/cereals/starches, then lots of vegetables and fruits, then some meats/legumes/other meat substitutes, then a small amount of oils/fats/sugars. Most importantly, which is the thing many people miss completely, is quantity is vitally important. Feeding a child a massive bowl of cereal for breakfast, two enormous ham and salad rolls for lunch with snacks on the side during the day, and huge rump steak and giant pile of mashed potato and peas for dinner can lead to being overweight even if the foods themselves are 'healthy'.

This is why the lunchbox micro-management/sugar nazi debates irritate me so much: it is not a problem to let children eat junk food IF it is done in moderation.

Edited by Giraffatitan, 20 September 2011 - 07:02 AM.


#5 Cat's Pyjamas

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:15 AM

QUOTE
This is why the lunchbox micro-management/sugar nazi debates irritate me so much: it is not a problem to let children eat junk food IF it is done in moderation.

Agree completely. I have an almost 3yo who is on the chubby side (75%ile for weight and 30%ile for height), but was an ENORMOUS baby (off the weight chart), and just won't shoot up.  I am pedantic about feeding her a healthy diet and controlling portion size/ensuring she is a healthy and active kid.  The comments I get from people when I do let her have a treat "Watch, she'll end up the size of..." etc do my head in. You don't end up obese by eating well and being active.

ETA: I also think we give kids a complex about food too early in their lives these days. For kids to think they can't eat bread etc as it makes them fat makes me upset. Sure, you can't just eat bread, but a healthy multi-grain sandwich for lunch etc is not going to do you any harm.

Edited by Cat's Pyjamas, 20 September 2011 - 07:19 AM.


#6 BeAwesome

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:18 AM

I consider myself fairly relaxed on what DD eats.

A typical day...

Breakfast: small bowl of oats or weetbix
Morning snack 1 - Fruit  -an apple, sometimes with melon, grapes, etc.
Morning snack 2 - if we're out - something like small pack of rice wheels/tiny teddies; if we're in - muffin/scone//popcorn/ etc
Lunch: typically ham, cheese and tomato toasted sandwich
Afternoon snack - yoghurt/muesli bar/cheese/rice cracker and hommus
Dinner - whatever we're having - could be curry, roast, stir fry, chicken, etc.  She generally will try most things on her plate, sometimes clear it and ask for seconds, sometimes only pick.
Provided she's tried everything (not eaten everything), she can have a small scoop of ice cream.

Milk and water throughout day as requested.  Allowed one small juice, usually with afternoon snack.
We might get fast food once a week - i.e. Happy Meal or similar.
Usually one hot breakfast on weekends  - pancakes, scrambled eggs, omelette, etc.  
If someone offers her a chocolate/lollipop/biscuit I generally don't care.  

The main things I'd avoid were soft drinks (she's never had them),  and any choking hazards - hard lollies, nuts, etc.

ETA:  3 year old..

Edited by SlinkyMalinki, 20 September 2011 - 07:19 AM.


#7 strawberrycakes

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:44 AM

I must admit that childhood obesity is a concern of mine.  I 'am overweight now (became overweight in adulthood through lack of exercise & poor diet) & I do not want my DD to be overweight.  Both DH & I go to the gym & eat a healthy diet so DD does see exercise as normal life iykwim, she even copies DH & does sit ups & squats etc with him at home lol.
Whilst I wouldn't say that I'am overly strict on DDs diet & do encourage her to have healthy snack options by simply not having any 'junk' in the house.  If DD does have a treat or what I consider too many packaged snacky type foods in one day then she doesn't get any the next day iykwim.
A typical daily food menu for DD is -
* Breakfast - bowl of porridge or other cereal eg rice bubbles OR 1-2 pieces of toast
* M/T - yoghurt or piece of fruit or a fruit muffin bar or rice crackers or natural unsalted popcorn.
* Lunch - sandwich of some sort with a side salad of cherry tomatoes, lettuce & cucumber  & a piece of cheese if no cheese on the sandwich
* A/Tea - cruskits, fruit or yoghurt or tiny teddies depending on what 'snacky' type foods have already been eaten.
* Dinner - meat & vege or meat & salad
* Desert - given a couple of times a week only could be icecream, a sweet biscuit or a little tub of nutella.

#8 Dionysus

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:49 AM

DD is 2 years 3 months

Her daily eating plan would go something like...

breakfast - weet-bix/special K, or toast and yoghurt or scrambled eggs

snack - fruit or cruskits/cream cheese

lunch - eggs or sandwich or hot lunch (at child care)

snack - fruit/yoghurt/cruskits

dinner - pasta, risotto, chicken and veg or baked beans on child care days   wink.gif

She still has 2 bottles of milk for dairy - but is starting to wean off that, thank god!

I rarely buy her sweets, though we have tiny teddies in the cupboard as a treat.  Now we also have iceblocks in the freezert.  But, I don't stress if she has chocolate/juice when we are out and about

#9 Guest_beXrated_*

Posted 20 September 2011 - 08:54 AM

I can't tell you what the ideal kids diet is, because it's probably scientifically formulated to include measure of certain elements I have no idea about!
Instead we aim to teach our children to eat a sensible diet - balanced and generally healthy with other less-healthy items included sometimes.

My biggest struggle is limiting additives and preservatives - I don't think THEY are healthy, sensible or ideal!

#10 smudged

Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:08 AM

At this point for my DD I'd be happy with her eating anything.  She's going through a ridiculously picky stage where if she doesn't want to eat something, she puts it in her mouth, spits it out and proceeds to fake gag! Even if it was something she ate a day or two before!

This morning she had-

Egg on toast and strawberries.

Snack will probably be a frozen yogurt iceblock (she's going through a no yoghurt phase) or a frozen yoghurt milkshake (bought a milk shake maker and I make one up using frozen strawberry yoghurt and milk. Only way she'll drink milk). Some fruit of some kind (kiwi, orange, apple, pear etc).  Rice crackers and vegemite.

Lunch- Grilled ham and cheese on toast (and hopes she eats it).

Dinner-  Protein (chicken, koftas, quiche, sausages etc), veg mix (zucchini, broccoli, olives, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green beans, fresh peas.  Depends on what I have in the fridge) and 'special toast' (grilled cheese toast).

90% of the time she point blank refuses rice, pasta, cous cous, potatoes and I just end up with a mess on the floor where she's chewed and spat it out.  She's getting better but it's annoying me to no end!

For exercise, we do a lot of spontaneous dancing through out the day, when I'm hanging washing she throws a soccer ball against the wall, and we have dance and swimming lessons.  When DH gets back we do kayaking and roller blading too.

ETA-  When DH gets back DD can just start eating what we eat.

Edited by smudged, 20 September 2011 - 09:13 AM.


#11 red in oz

Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:27 AM

Some days good some days bad in our house, I'm with the 80% good food 20% whatever is around group...

Breakfast - Weetbix, Porridge with milk, Home made Muesli with Yoghurt and raspberries, Occasionally toast/bagel/crumpet with peanut butter (unless it's daycare day when I give them jam instead). Occasionally pancakes or eggs on the weekend.

Morning Tea/Afternoon tea - I struggle with these, try and make sure they have fruit first, or cucumber and Hummous (homemade) then maybe some crackers with cheese or peanut butter (salt and sugar free). Sometimes some sultanas or cruskits or toast... Occasionally yoghurt.

Lunch, snack plate or cheese/beans on toast or leftover pasta and sauce, or eggs on toast for DD2 (dd1 wont' eat them any more).

Dinner, whatever we are having, usually some combination of meat/pasta/potato/rice and not enough veggies...

I struggle to get enough veggies in to them (or basically to cook enough veggies generally) so I'm working on this one! Other than that they are offered a healthy diet most of the time, whether they eat it or not is a different matter.

We do have treats, ice cream (from the nice ice cream shop... not the supermarket), a couple of squares of chocolate or lollies, a couple of biscuits, but that sort of treat would be 2 or 3 times in a week, not everyday. I'd rather give them a genuine treat than a baby biscuit or baby custard type thing.

We don't do juice, soft drinks etc. They do both drink a lot of milk and so do we.

#12 -al-

Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:47 AM

My kids are 'over scheduled' doing sport 4 times a week, on the other days they come with me to walk the dogs at the local park (which for the younger one is kicking a footy or playing on the playground) they also do PE at school and then again the younger one plays chase at lunch time - I think he is moving enough. The older one, well better than average.
Their diet is pretty good, they have fun foods, but it is always a homemade version, only use wholemeal flours in my baking, and hide all sorts of things in their other foods. Today they are having meatball sandwiches, (the meatballs have sunflower seeds and vegies in them, as well as being in a vegie sauce, heart smart type mince).
I think home cooking, meals consisting of low gi carbs and smaller than the norm serves of meat is the way to go. I guess in many ways DS's food allergies are a good thing as we dont have the option of convenience foods.

#13 -al-

Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE
The ideal diet for kids is common sense


That is easy to say, however I think there are many who are misinformed about what is OK for kids to eat because of their upbringing - you just have to read a few EB threads to see that. I also think that FSANZ have a lot to answer for - what they allow manufacturers to call food......I wouldnt feed much of it to my dog.


#14 peking homunculus

Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:57 AM

QUOTE (-al- @ 20/09/2011, 09:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That is easy to say, however I think there are many who are misinformed about what is OK for kids to eat because of their upbringing - you just have to read a few EB threads to see that. I also think that FSANZ have a lot to answer for - what they allow manufacturers to call food......I wouldnt feed much of it to my dog.



One of the many things I've learned from EB is that some people feed their dogs very well- they probably eat better than many people

#15 kpingitquiet

Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:27 AM

Well, mine is still a tiny munchkin but we try to keep what little food she eats pretty balanced and will just increase portions and sophistication as she gets older. In a day, we might offer:

Breakfast:
Unsweetened yogurt w/ fruit mixed in or oatmeal mixed with a bit of cooked fruit and small amount of yogurt or whatever we have for Sunday breakfast, usually fruit & pancakes/waffles/french toast or eggs, toast and yogurt.

Lunch:
Dinner leftovers, usually, so a small amount of whatever we had. The past few days have included vegetable-beef soup, broccoli, spinach and chicken w/ a little pasta and cheese, stirfried veggies & rice and Fruit & veg like mandarin oranges, steamed green beans, apple slices, broccoli, etc. and a small bit of rice cracker

Dinner:
Our dinners range from simple (soup, stirfry, meat & veg) to complex like Chicken Mole Poblano w/ veg or veg souffles, so she gets the pre-salted version of those. overall, I'm just using less salt in cooking and letting grownups salt at the table and bits of fruit & veg as at lunch and multigrain toast or a small bit of rice cracker

I also try to vary the veggie colors. Some each of green, orange/yellow, white/brown, red/purple. As long as she gets a bit of all those in a week, I'm happy! My general rule is veggies at 2-3 meals, grains at 2-3 meals, meat/beans/eggs at 2 meals, fruit at 1-2 meals, dairy at 1 meal (still gets plenty of dairy from her bottles).

Edited by kpingitquiet, 20 September 2011 - 10:34 AM.


#16 kadoodle

Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:37 AM

I'm pretty lassaiz faire about what my kids eat.  I buy healthy stuff (veggies, fruit, weetbix, bread, etc...) most of the time.  If they eat junk occasionally - pizza on pay-day once a month, jam roly-poly pudding on Sunday night, it's not going to hurt them.  DD2 ate a worm out of the garden the other day, she's still alive.

#17 Guest_Telmatiaeos_*

Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:43 AM

QUOTE
of course there are the food purists (ahem, neurotics) here and IRL, but for those who are guilty of maybe too many short cuts when we get lazy, how do they know when it is too much?


So in essence you really only want people to reply if they are going to agree with you that feeding your kids crap is perfectly ok.

#18 red in oz

Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:49 AM

OH kadoodle, now I want jam roly poly pudding with thick creamy custard, right now. Please someone tell me it's ok to go and get my lunch already...

#19 kadoodle

Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE (Telmatiaeos @ 20/09/2011, 10:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So in essence you really only want people to reply if they are going to agree with you that feeding your kids crap is perfectly ok.


Depends on the crappy-ness of the crap, for me, as well as the proportion of crap.

What's your view?

#20 Guest_Telmatiaeos_*

Posted 20 September 2011 - 11:12 AM

My view is that we eat as little processed food as possible.  We never eat processed meats like ham, rolled turkey etc.  We don't have processed breakfast cereals (we usually just have rolled oats with honey and strawberries or porridge).  Snacks are usually fruit.  Meals are home-cooked with raw ingredients.  We pack as many veges, pulses, beans and whole grains into our diet as possible.  We don't eat red meat.  However, we do have the occasional party food.  Kids parties have chips, soft drink etc.  They also have healthy options.  We have the occasional treat, like we bake a cake or some brownie, but they're occasional foods.  Not something to be consumed every day.  The packets of crap that you can buy on supermarket shelves are not food.  LCMs, muesli bars, cheese dips things, sugary yoghurts etc are just rubbish.  Packed full of sugar, bad fats and salt.  I think it's really easy to fall into bad habits and it's what I've been trying to break for the last few years.  I was raised on all kinds of processed crap like fish fingers.  I seriously thought that fish fingers formed part of a healthy diet until I actually thought about it, simply because it's what I had as a kid, so you assume that it's normal.

Kids don't feel that they're missing out on anything, because I actually learnt to cook.  Meals are tasty.  The veges are tasty because I go out of my way to source good quality veges and fruit and also grow our own, then I actually cook it properly.  When you buy a tomato in the middle of winter in a supermarket it tastes revolting.  Actually there is not taste.  It's just tasteless cardboard.  No wonder kids don't want to eat it compared with an LCM bar.

It's not until you get the processed foods out of your diet that you start to realise just how much crap you had been eating.  They taste disgusting and they're bad for you.  If governments were serious about improving health, they'd be subsidising vegetables and fruit.

Rant over.  Yes, I'm passionate about it because I feel like I was duped for many years and I feel that many people still are.  For the last 8 years I've been overweight.  Since consciously improving our diet the weight is easily coming off.  I'm not having to diet.  There is no deprivation.  It makes me cross that the marketing hype makes us believe that we want to have this crap that they're selling.  It's inferior to what you can cook for yourself.


Edited by Telmatiaeos, 20 September 2011 - 11:18 AM.


#21 peking homunculus

Posted 20 September 2011 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE (red in oz @ 20/09/2011, 10:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OH kadoodle, now I want jam roly poly pudding with thick creamy custard, right now. Please someone tell me it's ok to go and get my lunch already...


My sister comes over for dinner most Sunday nights and she usually brings a Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding that we have with custard.......

Yum


#22 Spartacus

Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:36 PM

I'm too scared to answer since someone caned me for giving my kid a ham and cheese salad sandwich for lunch.

But, I make almost everything we eat, a bit of everything, all colours of vegetables, dairy and protein. I add salt to food, and butter and olive oil.

#23 red door

Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:39 PM

QUOTE (Telmatiaeos @ 20/09/2011, 10:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So in essence you really only want people to reply if they are going to agree with you that feeding your kids crap is perfectly ok.


eh? agree with me that feeding kids crap is OK? did I say that? lol, my kids diet is probably closer to yours (in your following post) then most of the others, with maybe some more packaged food thrown in (since my son discovered a love of shapes ohmy.gif  )...I think when I started this thread I was thinking more in terms of a macro (big picture, not macrobiotics) perspective for "our kids" diets...it was sparked by watching some late night news on childhood diabetes. So, nothing to do with MY kids diets actually.

I don't think my kids move enough though. I spent so much time running around the neighbourhood/ paddock as a kid, and mine don't seem to do that as much, and none of them get enough sport at school. So THAT is something I think I need to look at.

I think its easy (and yes, I am totes guilty of it, which is why I can make fun of purists) to get time poor, motivation poor and fall into habits of grabbing convenience foods...or finding you have had wayyy too much sugar, but I know for us, it pretty quickly effects how we start to feel, so I tend to check myself and replenish. I know that any more then a small glass of juice a day and my kids are a bit frazzled and highstrung.

#24 red door

Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE (Spartacus @ 20/09/2011, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm too scared to answer since someone caned me for giving my kid a ham and cheese salad sandwich for lunch.

But, I make almost everything we eat, a bit of everything, all colours of vegetables, dairy and protein. I add salt to food, and butter and olive oil.


I guess that is what I meant by purists- some people can't see the Forrest for the trees. I know this as I was like that when I had my first child- nothing but lovingly cooked, organic produce was going to pass his lips. he did not have a biscuit until my mothers SIL have him an arrowroot at 2 1/2...he is the one out of my kids most obsessed with sh*t food.

My theory is, and its how I base most food decisions, if it has a great deal of pasty beige, and not much natural colour (by way of veg and fruit) then it cannot be that great for you. Obviously I am not talking about added colour to processed foods, but if you look at two plates, and one is made up of beige and the other is bursting with colourful veg, its pretty obvious which is better.

#25 kadoodle

Posted 20 September 2011 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE (Telmatiaeos @ 20/09/2011, 11:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My view is that we eat as little processed food as possible.  We never eat processed meats like ham, rolled turkey etc.  We don't have processed breakfast cereals (we usually just have rolled oats with honey and strawberries or porridge).  Snacks are usually fruit.  Meals are home-cooked with raw ingredients.  We pack as many veges, pulses, beans and whole grains into our diet as possible.  We don't eat red meat.  However, we do have the occasional party food.  Kids parties have chips, soft drink etc.  They also have healthy options.  We have the occasional treat, like we bake a cake or some brownie, but they're occasional foods.  Not something to be consumed every day.  The packets of crap that you can buy on supermarket shelves are not food.  LCMs, muesli bars, cheese dips things, sugary yoghurts etc are just rubbish.  Packed full of sugar, bad fats and salt.  I think it's really easy to fall into bad habits and it's what I've been trying to break for the last few years.  I was raised on all kinds of processed crap like fish fingers.  I seriously thought that fish fingers formed part of a healthy diet until I actually thought about it, simply because it's what I had as a kid, so you assume that it's normal.

Kids don't feel that they're missing out on anything, because I actually learnt to cook.  Meals are tasty.  The veges are tasty because I go out of my way to source good quality veges and fruit and also grow our own, then I actually cook it properly.  When you buy a tomato in the middle of winter in a supermarket it tastes revolting.  Actually there is not taste.  It's just tasteless cardboard.  No wonder kids don't want to eat it compared with an LCM bar.

It's not until you get the processed foods out of your diet that you start to realise just how much crap you had been eating.  They taste disgusting and they're bad for you.  If governments were serious about improving health, they'd be subsidising vegetables and fruit.

Rant over.  Yes, I'm passionate about it because I feel like I was duped for many years and I feel that many people still are.  For the last 8 years I've been overweight.  Since consciously improving our diet the weight is easily coming off.  I'm not having to diet.  There is no deprivation.  It makes me cross that the marketing hype makes us believe that we want to have this crap that they're selling.  It's inferior to what you can cook for yourself.


You see, I'd call this sensible and ecologically sound, rather than obsessive and food-nazi-ish.




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