Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Taking The Guess Work Out Of Feeding Your Children With Tot It Up

Monday, 7 November 2016

Taking The Guess Work Out Of Feeding Your Children With Tot It Up


When it comes to feeding our children, it can be easy to get confused by exactly how much they need to eat at different ages.

The government guidelines on fruit & veg, sugar intake and so on are pretty straight forward (although not always easy to actually achieve when your children are fussy eaters!) but it has always been correct quantity that has baffled me.

And the infographic below shows that I'm not alone...79% of parents are giving their children portions larger than the recommend size, and yet 73% of parents are still concerned that their child does not eat enough.



I'm one of those mums who is worried about their children going hungry at pre-school, and so the lunches I pack tend to be on the large side because I'd rather them have too much than not enough...but of course that's not exactly the healthy approach, so when I heard about the Tot It Up website it sounded ideal for mums like me who struggle to know how much their kids really need to eat.

Tot It Up allows you to log your childrens food intake each day, as well as their activity level to enable you to see how they're doing...whether they are getting enough exercise, and where their diet is lacking as well as where they are eating correctly.

The service is free and so very simple to use, you simply register and enter your childrens names and birth months and you're ready to go.

The days are broken down into Breakfast, Mid day meal and Evening meal plus snacks and drinks - and you select the foods eaten from easy to identify categories, before adding them to your daily log.

You can switch to the Summary tab at the end of the day to see how they'e done, or you can view it throughout the day to see which areas they could do with improvement in...so if they didn't enough vegetables or meat at lunch, you could then aim to rectify this for evening meal.

Of course it's never going to be perfect every single day, but with Tot It Up tracking your childs intakes you can at least know when perhaps there have been a couple of days off track and can aim to ensure a good healthy day to follow.

There is also easy access to lots of information on portion sizes for 1-4 year olds which I found very interesting - for example, did you know that the correct serving of peas for this age range is 1/2-2 tablespoons? I have been serving Noah and Tyne probably twice this amount for months now, and always trying to encourage them to finish them all!

Another thing that surprised me was apples...with Tyne I would always give him a whole apple, so I was surprised to see the correct serving size for a child his age is actually half an apple.

As well as being a very handy tool for monitoring your childs diet and exercise, the tips given are very useful for parents.

We have been using Tot It Up for a week now, and I have found it so useful...for example on this particular day I would have assumed that Tyne & Noah had eaten ample fruit and vegetables for their ages as they had eaten carrots & peas with dinner, and bananas and apples with lunch plus a glass of orange juice but using Tot It Up made me realise that they ideally needed a little bit more.

I would also have assumed that Ham for lunch and Minced beef for dinner was enough for their meat intake, but again they ideally need a little more so perhaps introducing a little more ham served separately with their sandwiches at lunch would have been an option.

I was also pleased to see that some areas where I thought we might be falling down, we were actually doing well in...such as breads and starches.

I have found Tot It Up to be a really useful resource, and would highly recommend it to parents of toddlers...You can sign up for free HERE

Tot It Up are also running a challenge with the aim of encouraging 1000 parents to try out the the food tracker, and the information gathered will help to build an understanding of toddler eating habits across the nation.

10 people who sign up to Tot It Up and complete the food log for at least one day will win a £50 Love To Shop voucher...so what are you waiting for? Sign up here and start logging!

To find out more, please visit www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/tot-it-up-login


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