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I know as a parent we often worry that our children aren’t eating enough, aren’t eating the right foods and aren’t drinking enough either. Let’s face it – parenting is one worry after another.
But, the Infant and Toddler Forum have created the Tot It Up tracker to help parents to have more of an understanding of the things their children are eating, whether they’re the right balance of foods and also to try and give them more inspiration when it comes to children’s meal times.
Over the last week I’ve been using the tracker to record what Little Man has been eating – breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks and drinks. The tracker was really easy to use and remembered recently added foods which made it simple for things like breakfast where most of Little Man’s choices involved milk and I could just click to add it.
Looking at Little Man’s food across the week we had a lot of repetitiveness but also a lot of variety. Often we have the same breakfasts or the same lunches but they gave a healthy balance through the meal even if we had the same meal a few days in a row. For example, Little Man’s lunches are usually a sandwich – often cheese or jam – with crisps and fruit. I think it gives a good balance and because it isn’t just a sandwich he doesn’t mind this style of lunch each day.
Over the week he had three meals a day, at least two snacks and plenty of milk and water to drink but it was interesting to see the results of how healthy is diet was over the week. Little Man was getting plenty of carbs, plenty of fruit and vegetables and plenty of dairy. But, he should be having more meat in his meals – which surprised me as we always eat a meat based meal in the evening.
The results also showed that he had a lot of foods that were high in fat and sugar but breaking this down it was really just his crisps at lunch as a ‘large’ portion is 6 crisps which he exceeds with lunch all day but, as part of a healthy balanced diet I don’t see it as a problem.
It also flagged up something I was aware of – that he needs to drink more water – and so we offer him water constantly now and remind him all the time rather than just leaving his drink somewhere accessible for him.
One other thing that the Tot It Up tracker records is how much active time the children have – aiming for three hours of activity each day. We walk or scoot to school and the children are on the go from the minute they get up until the minute they go to bed – aside from an hour of tablet time each day and mea times so again this isn’t something I’m worried about. But, if the children had more of a sedentary lifestyle it would give us something to aim for.
You can try the Tot It Up tracker for yourself over on the Infant and Toddler Forum website and they’ve put together this handy infographic which gives a really good visual example of the things that should be on your children’s plates.
I’m pretty confident that our children eat the right things and over the course of a week they have a good balance where food is concerned and have a pretty active and healthy lifestyle. But, if you’re not sure if your child is eating the right things or is getting enough of a balance the Tot It Up tracker could be worth trying out. It’s free to use and there’s also great information on Portion Sizes which is a great resource – especially when it comes to meal time inspiration and ideas.
Why don’t you give the Tot It Up tracker a go and join in with the Tots It Up Challenge! Running from today until 21st November you just need to register on the Tot It Up tracker website and log at least one full day – breakfast, mid-day meal, evening meal, snacks, drinks and activity. Out of everyone who takes part ten names will be pulled out of the hat at random to win a £50 shopping voucher! So, it’s free and you could win. What are you waiting for?