HOW MUCH SHOULD MY CHILD EAT?
As much as they want! Within the scheduled meals and snack times, anyways. Your pantry doesn’t need a revolving door.
As a part of the Division of Responsibility in Feeding, it’s up the the baby/ toddler/ preschooler/ child/ teenager to choose the amount they eat. Whether it’s nothing at all, or third helpings. While some parents are concerned their child isn’t eating enough, others worry when their kid seems to eat and eat and eat. So they cut them off after one or two helpings, worried that their child is not able to control their appetite and will gain too much weight (check out Ellyn Satter’s handout: Your Child’s Weight).
However, what happens when you restrict food is that your child will binge and eat as much as they can at every opportunity. Backfire! We want our little ones to listen to their appetite. Maybe they are going through a growth spurt, or making up for last week when they ate very little!
To share an example, recently for evening snack my 16 month old ate black beans, strawberries, cheese, a boiled egg and mini wheats. Lots of them. And I’m pretty sure he ate half of a kleenex too. I just kept on offering him food….and offering, and offering. Until he started throwing it - a clear sign he was finally full!