In Response to Too much of a good thing?:
Two questions for you: I have 23-month-old twins and they LOVE blueberries. I just read that blueberries are one of the top ten "superfoods for toddlers" and I know they are really good for them. My question is: should we limit the amount of blueberries we allow our boys to eat in one sitting? I've heard that children know when they're full and will just stop eating, but I'm not so sure! ;) Both boys are within healthy weight ranges and they eat pretty decently for toddlers. We usually give them fruit at the end of their meal, and they love all kinds of fruit, but with blueberries, they go hog-wild! Should I put a limit on how much they can have? I only offer blueberries once a day as it is, and not every day. It's not that big of a deal since they will eat lots of different kinds of fruit, just wondering what your thoughts are. My other question is about milk. Both of my boys, but one in particular, LOVE milk. He probably drinks about 30 ounces a day! They take milk with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and still eat pretty well. They drink water between meals and they don't drink juice at this point. We are giving them whole milk, but wondering if we should switch to 2% because they drink so much. Any thoughts? Is there such a thing as "too much" milk? Thanks for your help!
Posted by Rustie.Dimitriadis
I’m glad to hear that your boys love fresh fruit and blueberries! However, yes, you can definitely have too much of a good thing. For a child that is 2 years old, it is recommended that they have no more than 1 cup of fruit per day. Therefore, even though they love blueberries, limiting them to 1 cup per day (which can be spread throughout the course of the day) is recommended. This will help make room for the other food groups they need (grains, vegetables, dairy, and protein).
You are also correct in that you should never force your child to eat. According to author and registered dietitian Ellyn Satter, it is up to you, the parent, to provide the what, where, and when of feeding, but children are responsible for the how much and whether of eating. Offering your children nutritionally balanced meals in proper proportions, while letting them decide how much of it they want to eat, will help them develop a healthy relationship with food, while ensuring their nutritional needs are being met.
To learn more about proper food portions and food groups visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html
As for milk, the recommended amount for your boys is 2 cups per day. Drinking more than that could lead to iron deficiency anemia, because excessive milk consumption decreases the body’s ability to absorb iron. Additionally, once your boys are 2yrs old, they should begin to drink 2% milk. After the age of two, whole milk is no longer recommended. In addition to drinking 2 cups of milk per day, water should be the main beverage offered to your children. If you are going to offer fruit juice, it should be limited to 4 to 6 oz per day.