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Do Your Kids Ever Go to Bed Hungry? - Page 6

post #101 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I understand your position, but I don't see a child consuming an entire can of garbanzo beans in one meal. I would think it would go more like....the kid eats some garbanzo beans, the rest of the beans are stored for a future meal, and the barley the child didn't eat will be eaten at a future time (either by the child or by someone else). That's how I would do it, anyway.
My DD usually asks for garbanzo beans when she sees me making hummus. She gets some, I make hummus with the rest. When we do open a can just for her, she has beans several times out of one can or someone else has some of them too.

When my food budget was tighter and I was living in an area with higher food cost I cooked my own beans instead of using canned.

Also letting a child eat when they want doesn't mean they are going to eat more total food per day, just that they are not going to eat when they aren't really hungry and they aren't going to go hungry because they can eat. So it doesn't have to be more expensive.
post #102 of 303
I must have very abnormal children, then. Given free access to food, they are like goldfish. They will just eat and eat and eat and eat until the food is gone. For ten years we had an open pantry policy. We simply can no longer afford it. And after being married for 15 years and mothering for 11, I know my way around a budget, a coupon organizer, and a surplus outlet. It's not a matter of me being better organized, it's a matter of them eating the food until it's gone. And I'm not willing to say "Tough crap, then, I guess we're out of snacks." That seems crueler to me than structured mealtimes and snacktimes with steady alternatives available.

ETA: I don't think there's a one size fits all method for this. There are many contributing factors-- our past experiences with food, family size, budget, family culture, health needs, etc. I think there are many different choices along the continuum that could be done with love and gentleness, and I don't think one is right and one is wrong. I think it's a matter of finding what works for everyone in your family. As long as you are not using food as a punishment (You didn't do what I want so now I won't let you eat), I think it's fine.
post #103 of 303
I do much the same thing. I say "This is what's for dinner. I'm not cooking a special meal for you. If you don't eat now and tell me again you're hungry later, we will reheat this." My son is 4 and would love to just eat toast and milk all day, every day. On rare occasions if I really want to cook something that I know he doesn't like (spaghetti, for example, which he has tried many times and really hates) I might make sure that he has something I know he'll eat.

BUT, I don't "make" him eat if he isn't hungry and if he is hungry at some time during the day that we aren't eating dinner, I will make him a small snack.
post #104 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post
I just have to say your ped is ridiculous on that. If your hubby makes something for dinner he loves, but you don't like, or even just aren't in the mood for, and you don't eat it and have something else instead you're not manipulating him.
I would never do that, and if DP did it to me I would find it rude. Maybe not so much if it was something that he hates, but if he was just "not in the mood" I would feel that it was some kind of weird power game. So yes, I would think it was manipulative. FTR, that has never happened in my house. Neither of us are picky eaters and wouldn't dream of turning up our noses at the dinner that somebody else made for us.

As for the OP, I do think that a bedtime snack for young kids is a good idea. If your child goes to bed hungry, does he sleep well? Personally, if I don't eat enough in the evening then I wake up feeling famished at about 5 am.
post #105 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I would never do that, and if DP did it to me I would find it rude. Maybe not so much if it was something that he hates, but if he was just "not in the mood" I would feel that it was some kind of weird power game. So yes, I would think it was manipulative. FTR, that has never happened in my house. Neither of us are picky eaters and wouldn't dream of turning up our noses at the dinner that somebody else made for us.
Really? DH and I have frequent nights where one of us wants something and the other just isn't in the mood. Rather than spending 30 minutes trying to figure out something we'll both eat we just make separate meals.
post #106 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
That is a lot of money to spend on groceries. Have you looked at other shopping options?
This is totally unrealistic a lot of places. Many countries and areas here in the US have very high food costs. It's not always possible to grow your own, either. We probably spend 30%+ of our income on food, too. And we don't eat anything fancy almost ever and eat out maybe 2 times a month if we have extra money. It was the same with 2 kids as it is now with 4 because I've gotten better at comparison shopping and now buy more natural and healthy foods. I see budgets for families where they'll list what stuff costs and it just isn't the reality here. We don't have a lot of food competition and live in a rural area-it's Walmart or IGA which is twice as much. The HFS is outrageous, but I have to buy stuff there on occasion. We could eat cheaper-but it would be beans and rice every day or else cheap processed foods like Kraft Mac & Cheese.
post #107 of 303
Quote:
But I have to cook the rice for them, do I not? I mean as I understood it, people are saying, "It's really not that hard, just give the kids an easy snack, like fresh fruits."

To which I say, if it's easy, and healthy, it's probably expensive.
I make rice and lentils twice a week and they are in the fridge for whoever wants it. Ds has been making his own oatmeal for years.
post #108 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I must have very abnormal children, then. Given free access to food, they are like goldfish. They will just eat and eat and eat and eat until the food is gone. For ten years we had an open pantry policy. We simply can no longer afford it. And after being married for 15 years and mothering for 11, I know my way around a budget, a coupon organizer, and a surplus outlet. It's not a matter of me being better organized, it's a matter of them eating the food until it's gone. And I'm not willing to say "Tough crap, then, I guess we're out of snacks." That seems crueler to me than structured mealtimes and snacktimes with steady alternatives available.

ETA: I don't think there's a one size fits all method for this. There are many contributing factors-- our past experiences with food, family size, budget, family culture, health needs, etc. I think there are many different choices along the continuum that could be done with love and gentleness, and I don't think one is right and one is wrong. I think it's a matter of finding what works for everyone in your family. As long as you are not using food as a punishment (You didn't do what I want so now I won't let you eat), I think it's fine.
AnnetteMarie, I assure you that even if your kids are abnormal that yours are not the only ones. My kids and my experience are rather like your own. By kids are just big eaters and they will eat until everything is gone too. We've seen our share of food chaos, now turned to a moderate structure. I've just had to find a comfortable balance while responding to ALL of our family's needs. My children eat a lot, there is always some kind of snacks available, but I tend to set reasonable amounts and they have learned to set those amounts themselves now. We have an open pantry on a few basic things like saltine crackers and apples, and I let them know what is available for snacks on a given day. (We're one of the families who allow our kids to eat toast instead of dinner if they want to.)

We used to post a snack list on a chalkboard. The kids sometimes helped figure out what to post and often one of them wrote it. There would typically be a fruit, a grain, and a protein. Our current approach doesn't use a list, but uses a similar availability of a set of choices, with portion limits sometimes for certain things. It might be that having several children, and then also having them get older and more independent in the kitchen combine naturally into a situation that calls for a navigable structure. What we do now is not what we did when we had toddlers, or when we had only one older child who could help herself instead of four.
post #109 of 303
You are responsible for what gets put in front of your child and when. They are responsible for whether they eat it or not. What you are doing is not harsh, you are providing healthy meals with a "fill up on bread and milk" option if they need it.

Being a bit hungry until your next meal or snack once or twice a week is not the end of the world.
post #110 of 303
Thread Starter 
"I don't see a child consuming an entire can of garbanzo beans in one meal."

Hah, you don't know my kids. If I don't use two cans of garbanzo beans in the pilaf, believe me, I am not going to get more than ten beans, because they will eat. them. all. They will beg and beg and beg for our garbanzo beans and of course we cannot resist and they end up with their own beans and our beans.

I don't know why they love them so much, LOL. I looked at the vitamin content and our diet to see if it could be a deficiency but it doesn't seem so.

Quote:
I cooked my own beans instead of using canned.
Yes, I do this as well. Chickpeas are hard only because they are not always available dried. We live in a tiny town and I still haven't found a good source for organic beans and grains yet as I've been busy settling in. I did find organic chickpeas recently, dried. However I think they are as expensive as the canned chickpeas!

Quote:
That is a lot of money to spend on groceries.
It's actually not. We're just really poor right now. We spend less, dollar-wise, than is recommended for a family of our size, by the USDA. Like, $100 less. But we spend more, percentage wise, than most Americans, by like 200% (most people spend 10%, we spend 30%). I'm not going to post our exact after-taxes cash income, but if you calculate the numbers by the USDA, you can figure it out. It's not a lot.

I think we eat pretty darn well, all things considered. We make a lot of sacrifices for food, to have leafy greens every day, to buy thin-skinned fruits and veggies organic because I truly believe they are a necessity. We'd love to save more for retirement but this is worth it to us.

Quote:
"If your child goes to bed hungry, does he sleep well? Personally, if I don't eat enough in the evening then I wake up feeling famished at about 5 am."
She seems to sleep really well, but wake up early. Yeah, 5:30. She can eat breakfast then if she wants. The problem with a before-sleep snack has more to do with bedtime. With her, if there is a break in the routine she goes crazy. She has to re-test every associated limit and then that becomes the new routine. Because it's special. So for example one night, dinner was interrupted and I didn't sit long with them. I later noticed she'd hardly eaten anything. When she asked for a snack at bedtime, I let her get up and have some bread and milk.

Oh. My. Gosh. What a disaster. Then she wanted, of all things, to play Dinosaur Train videos. She wanted to sing loud. Couldn't fall asleep for hours. And every night after that for three months--THREE MONTHS! that's as long as it took to establish our bedtime routine in the first place--she wanted a bedtime snack. I mean literally three freaking months.

Now we do not have bedtime snacks . They go to bed just two hours after dinner so if they don't eat bread at dinner when it's ending at 6:30, there's not a lot of time between that and the bedtime routine to have an additional snack.

So the after-dinner snack has been tried, and it was an epic fail.

Quote:
Being a bit hungry until your next meal or snack once or twice a week is not the end of the world.
Honestly, that's what I thought, but again, I realized that others must not agree if they do have kids who are getting alternate meals at several meals of the week.
post #111 of 303
Being hungry and having to wait for meals on a regular basis can harm your metabolism and eating habits.
post #112 of 303
I get the money thing, I really do. We've been in pretty much the same boat before (1/3 of our paltry income to rent, 1/3 to bills, 1/3 to food & gas).

We still always tried to let our kids snack when they were hungry and self-select their food. Sometimes that meant our meal-planning got all messed up. Sometimes it meant that my husband didn't get to eat any fruit that week because the kids ate it all. Sometimes it meant that I had to finish off several half-eaten pieces of fruit (I *hate* fruit) rather than let them go to waste.

In a crunch, I'd rather compromise my own food and nutrient intake and allow my kids to eat what their bodies were telling them to. They're still growing. As an adult, I have more nutritional leeway.

I do believe that my job is to offer a selection of food, and theirs is to decide what and how much to eat. If they are saying that they're hungry, then I think I need to provide food for them. Not an unlimited selection by any means, but certainly whatever is available in the house at the time (cheese, fruit, nuts, etc.). Bread is all well and good for calories, but has limited nutritional value.
post #113 of 303
would it be considered harsh to send an adult to bed hungry if they didn't like dinner? or is it harsh to nurse an infant only when you feel that they are hungry or when they should be hungry? if the answer is yes to these, then i think it isn't much different to do to a child.
we have had many different levels income, sometimes i could buy all organic at whole foods and other times (like now) we are looking at food stamps and WIC to help supplement our food budget. but i have yet to send my kids off to bed hungry because they didn't want to eat dinner. i LOVE to cook, love it, but not more then i love my kids. and YES my up bringing did color how i see food and how i treat my kids. i don't mind at all scrambling an egg (which all things considered are pretty cheap) and making them some toast, i make muffins which are not any harder to make then bread, we eat beans (which if you buy in bulk are way cheaper then in the can) and rice. we don't always have all the verity that i would love to have, but we always have more then enough food for them. i see people saying they don't want to be a short ordered cook... well welcome to parenthood, it is all about compromise and giving. lets say i am roasting a chicken, and i want to make chard with sweet potatoes, well dh, dd and i will eat that up, but the 4 boys would look at me like i had 3 heads, so i boil up some potatoes make them mashed potatoes and maybe cut up some carrots, I am already cooking what is a couple more steps. i don't make it a big deal so it isn't.
i guess it depends on how you choose to see your kids, more then what your budget is like. i like to see them as people, and try (especially in the body regulation area) to treat them they way i would wish to be treated. i don't police there toilet use, i don't know when they are hot and cold, i don't know when they are in pain or not... i have to believe them when they tell me something hurt, that they are hot, that they need to pee, so i also trust them when they say they are hungry and when they say they like or don't like something.

h
post #114 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I must have very abnormal children, then. Given free access to food, they are like goldfish. They will just eat and eat and eat and eat until the food is gone.
Mine too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
"I don't see a child consuming an entire can of garbanzo beans in one meal."

Hah, you don't know my kids.
Mine too...
post #115 of 303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Being hungry and having to wait for meals on a regular basis can harm your metabolism and eating habits.
But most kids who live in families that eat regular meals as a family almost never are hungry or have to wait for meals. They get meals three times a day, nutritious meals, and healthy snacks.

Not being the sole decider of what kind of food you eat and when does not mean you must be hungry often. It might happen occasionally, but then you learn to suck it up and just eat what everyone is eating. If that sounds harsh, that is how like, 99% of the world lives, and it's not only out of deprivation.

FWIW, my child is 60th % weight for height right now. So I guess she's getting what she needs!
post #116 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post
Really? DH and I have frequent nights where one of us wants something and the other just isn't in the mood. Rather than spending 30 minutes trying to figure out something we'll both eat we just make separate meals.
We do this a lot, too.
post #117 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
i like to see them as people, and try (especially in the body regulation area) to treat them they way i would wish to be treated. i don't police there toilet use, i don't know when they are hot and cold, i don't know when they are in pain or not... i have to believe them when they tell me something hurt, that they are hot, that they need to pee, so i also trust them when they say they are hungry and when they say they like or don't like something.
post #118 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
But most kids who live in families that eat regular meals as a family almost never are hungry or have to wait for meals. They get meals three times a day, nutritious meals, and healthy snacks.

Not being the sole decider of what kind of food you eat and when does not mean you must be hungry often. It might happen occasionally, but then you learn to suck it up and just eat what everyone is eating. If that sounds harsh, that is how like, 99% of the world lives, and it's not only out of deprivation.

FWIW, my child is 60th % weight for height right now. So I guess she's getting what she needs!
If you ask me, "once or twice a week" is often. At least IMO. If it's not, then I don't want to know how many times it has to be to be "often".

That being said, anyone else telling me I can't eat when I am hungry is unacceptable. Anyone telling my children they can't eat when they are hungry is unacceptable. If I won't let other people treat me or my children like that, why would I let myself treat them like that?
post #119 of 303
The problems associated with social eating instead of listening to your body and only eating when hungry is more often obesity than other things. People who have been hungry for awhile eat more than they need when there is food available. The harm that going without food and being hungry does to your metabolism would more often cause obesity instead of problems with being underweight.


My DH and I are both overweight. Our parents did the normal "eat your dinner" "You asked for it, so eat it" and have tried "you need to eat this food before you can have that food" with our DD. We have the normal food habits of our culture. 3 meals a day with the largest one being at night isn't healthy. Since humans are born being able to tell how much and what food they need, we as our DD's parents refuse to interfere with our DDs ability to pay attention to her body's fuel needs. The most we ever do if offer food and make healthy foods available. Also telling someone they can't eat when they are hungry is not respecting them as a person.
post #120 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
If you ask me, "once or twice a week" is often. At least IMO. If it's not, then I don't want to know how many times it has to be to be "often".

That being said, anyone else telling me I can't eat when I am hungry is unacceptable. Anyone telling my children they can't eat when they are hungry is unacceptable. If I won't let other people treat me or my children like that, why would I let myself treat them like that?

MusicianDad,
I just want to tell you that I read a lot of your posts and think you're a GREAT parent!!
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