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Do Your Kids Ever Go to Bed Hungry? - Page 7

post #121 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
MusicianDad,
I just want to tell you that I read a lot of your posts and think you're a GREAT parent!!
Thanks. I don't always feel like a great parent.
post #122 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
MusicianDad,
I just want to tell you that I read a lot of your posts and think you're a GREAT parent!!
Yeah I think so too.
post #123 of 303
My kids have never gone to bed hungry.

We have no real rules about food here anymore. Our life is too hectic, it seems....so any normalcy went by the wayside.

The kids have days where they snack healthily all day and never eat a meal. Then there are days when they fill up on good meals and don't even ask for snacks.

Regardless, if I do make a meal at the end of the day and they don't want to eat it their only other choice is a peanut butter sandwich, which they will all happily eat IF they don't like the meal. They usually eat the meal, though.

Now, IF my kids were whining and moping about not being in the mood for a particular meal that they normally liked, AND they whined and moped about not wanting a PB sandwich which they all normally like, all because they REALLY wanted ice cream or some other random kid-friendly food, then at that point I would tell them it's the meal or the PB sandwich or NOTHING.

It's never gotten to that point, though.

ETA: I would also be highly offended if I prepared a wonderful meal that my DH normally loves and he said he wasn't in the "mood" and fixed something else for himself. That would be soooo rude. However, once again, lately we've been eating separate meals anyway because I'm on more of a whole foods diet and he's slowly coming over to my side. Slooooowly.
post #124 of 303
I am really struggling with food issues and my kids. My dh usually doesn't get home until around 7pm, so we don't usually eat dinner together as a family. Sometimes I make something for the whole family that can be served to the kids and then reheated for dh later. But sometimes I make a simple dinner for the kids and then another simple dinner for dh and me. So if I make a dinner for the kids, it's hard for me to make something that I know they won't eat. It's hard to have the whole dinner rejected and thrown away. As a result, I end up making scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, and a couple other "kid" dinners in rotation all week. I feel like the kids are getting pickier and pickier because I'm not challenging them to eat new things....at the same time, I hate it when they dislike and reject food. It's a bad cycle. I don't like sending them to bed hungry, because my ds will ask for food before bedtime, and will wake up in the night asking for food. I feel like it's easy to be judgmental about parents who "cater" to their kids' pickiness, but it's really hard if you are the parent dealing with this issue.

Personally I think it's ok to have one "alternative" for the kids if they don't like the main meal, like a bowl of cereal or a peanut-butter sandwich.
post #125 of 303
Nica, have you thought of including one small amount of something new with the food you make the kids? Instead of having to deal with a whole meal of unwanted food, it would only be a couple of servings of something that can be stored and eaten by you or DH later.
post #126 of 303
Thread Starter 
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?
My kids can eat when they're hungry.

They can eat what we have. We have bread or a meal for the family.

They can't eat, let me remember what the more recent demands were... Nutella sandwich (recalled from months prior), ice cream and blueberry pancakes (and no we don't stock these in the fridge, sorry everyone ), chickpeas (we didn't have any), almonds (didn't have any), waffles (she was offered pancakes, and we don't have a waffle iron).

They eat what we have. That is the SAME as for my husband and I. I don't waste my time cooking myself special food if my husband asked for pilaf, or if my daughter wanted macaroni and (you guessed it) chickpeas. I just eat it.

My children don't refuse once or twice a week. I'd say it's once a month at most that my child will refuse the whole meal. Once a week she tests the rule, ("Let's just see, maybe TONIGHT she'll make me waffles with powdered sugar and ice-cream on them!" (She saw this on TV once.))

And once a week she eats her meal a little later than the rest of us, when it becomes apparent that if she doesn't, waffles (and a waffle iron) will not magically appear.

Maybe once a month, she flat out refuses and doesn't want bread, either.

I think you are perhaps envisioning a scenario in which if a child does not have full control over what she eats at every moment of the day, the child will be deprived somehow. Like, she might NEED CARROT CAKE RIGHT NOW MOMMY NOW MOMMY NOOOOOOOOOWWWWW I NNEEEEEEEEEEEED CAKE! Or perhaps she CAN'T EAT THAT! EWWWW! YUCK! I'M GONNA BARF! NO WAY! and therefore requires an alternative other than wholegrain bread. Namely... what a coincidence... carrot cake... or whatever.

I simply don't view that as a basic human right or a biological need.

I don't judge people who, say, have to prepare separate meals.

I only take issue with those suggesting that I'm controlling, stingy, or lazy when I take a three-meals-a-day approach. Or that somehow, this is something done only to kids.

I don't eat five times a day. I don't get special meals. We all get to make requests. We all can refuse. None of us gets to deny the others their right to eat with the group because they are busy making yet another meal, though, either!
post #127 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by *LoveBugMama* View Post
This.

I just don`t get what people find unhealthy with grazing. Grazing is just eating smaller amounts of food at a time. What might be unhealthy is WHAT people are eating. Not how many times a day they do it.
I don't think there's anything wrong with grazing in itself. But I kind of agree with what the previous poster you were responding to said, about how it would be a problem in their house if a child passed on every set meal and instead only wanted to snack. Especially if you're lucky enough to have family meals, at least some of the time. Family breakfast/brunch on the weekends, family dinner at night, etc. I know not everyone can do this. But I think it's a great tradition. And having a completely unstructured, individualized eating plan for each person would seem (to me) to kind of work against the family meal concept.

That's the main reason I'm more in favor of structured meals and snacks, although I'm by no means militant about it. Exceptions are made on occasion.
post #128 of 303
what about changing food patterns.

for instance my once v. good eater is no longer hot on vegetables. she avoids veggies as much as possible at 7. this is a new thing for her.

i also dont bring in the house what i dont want dd to eat. however she is allowed a treat with adults whenever she is around my friends and its no holds bar at that time. so she had skittles and starburst for snack yesterday.

but no. dd has never gone to bed hungry. its just the two of us and rarely does dd refuse the food.

i have also seen her taste buds change.

what she refused when she was little she totally and happily eats now.
post #129 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.
My brothers are like this still. At 26 and 23 its the family joke that they will eat you out of house and home - and with my older brother anyway its just about true!
post #130 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by thyra View Post
My brothers are like this still. At 26 and 23 its the family joke that they will eat you out of house and home - and with my older brother anyway its just about true!
Well, I do have 3 boys. Although the girl child can put it away too.

Seriously, I think it probably has to do with metabolism as well. My kids can eat like a horse and burn it off quickly. Left to self-regulate their food, my food budget would have to be way higher than it is now. By having three steady meals and three steady snack times a day, they have the energy they need to keep them growing and their bellies are never empty. Like I said before, if a kid every came and said "Mama, I'm hungry," my mama heart wouldn't allow me to turn them away. But I would also feel comfortable saying "Have yogurt. Have a cheese stick. Have honey bread." And if they're not hungry enough to eat that, they're not that hungry. I don't cater to my whims and go out get stuff just because I have a craving for it either. Well, I do right now, but I'm pregnant with twins. All bets are off.
post #131 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Well, I do have 3 boys. Although the girl child can put it away too.

Seriously, I think it probably has to do with metabolism as well. My kids can eat like a horse and burn it off quickly. Left to self-regulate their food, my food budget would have to be way higher than it is now. By having three steady meals and three steady snack times a day, they have the energy they need to keep them growing and their bellies are never empty. Like I said before, if a kid every came and said "Mama, I'm hungry," my mama heart wouldn't allow me to turn them away. But I would also feel comfortable saying "Have yogurt. Have a cheese stick. Have honey bread." And if they're not hungry enough to eat that, they're not that hungry. I don't cater to my whims and go out get stuff just because I have a craving for it either. Well, I do right now, but I'm pregnant with twins. All bets are off.
Us, too.

My kids can really pack it away, and dh is even worse. I don't try to limit food if there is extra, but I'll make smaller portions, and when it's done, it's done. It's also something I learned to do for myself to keep myself from overeating after I had weight issues about 5-6 years ago. But I talk to the kids about these things and nutrition-they know all about vitamins and healthy fats and whole foods-probably more than your average kid out there. But I certainly don't let them free range the fridge anymore. That turned sour when we were spending over $1000 a month on food and still not having enough for meals.

After growing more food, though, I let them freerange anything we grow, provided they share (i.e. if there are strawberries, split them, don't shove them all in your mouth when you see your siblings approach!). They love this tactic, but it's not always been possible. We have a yard for the first time in like 5-6 years! Honestly I look at what a lot of people say about letting their kids eat whatever they have and how wonderful it works for them, and good for them. But that is NOT reality for every family and every child. I doubt any of us here want our children to go hungry as punishment.


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!
I agree. Growing up, I ate when food was offered, but we were also really poor and so I was thankful to even have food. I still have a lot of food insecurity and don't let a single drop of food go to waste anymore. I wasn't offered free range anything as a kid except my grandma's grape vines and I ate at family meals and a few snacks we ate together until I was old enough that I did all the food stuff in the family (long story). I do know what hunger is like having had many times in my life where a can of ravioli a day was shared and all we had. I would never let my kids go through that. It also doesn't mean I need to feel bad for not letting them have free access at all hours to all of the food.
post #132 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
My kids can eat when they're hungry.

They can eat what we have. We have bread or a meal for the family.

They can't eat, let me remember what the more recent demands were... Nutella sandwich (recalled from months prior), ice cream and blueberry pancakes (and no we don't stock these in the fridge, sorry everyone ), chickpeas (we didn't have any), almonds (didn't have any), waffles (she was offered pancakes, and we don't have a waffle iron).

They eat what we have. That is the SAME as for my husband and I. I don't waste my time cooking myself special food if my husband asked for pilaf, or if my daughter wanted macaroni and (you guessed it) chickpeas. I just eat it.

My children don't refuse once or twice a week. I'd say it's once a month at most that my child will refuse the whole meal. Once a week she tests the rule, ("Let's just see, maybe TONIGHT she'll make me waffles with powdered sugar and ice-cream on them!" (She saw this on TV once.))

And once a week she eats her meal a little later than the rest of us, when it becomes apparent that if she doesn't, waffles (and a waffle iron) will not magically appear.

Maybe once a month, she flat out refuses and doesn't want bread, either.

I think you are perhaps envisioning a scenario in which if a child does not have full control over what she eats at every moment of the day, the child will be deprived somehow. Like, she might NEED CARROT CAKE RIGHT NOW MOMMY NOW MOMMY NOOOOOOOOOWWWWW I NNEEEEEEEEEEEED CAKE! Or perhaps she CAN'T EAT THAT! EWWWW! YUCK! I'M GONNA BARF! NO WAY! and therefore requires an alternative other than wholegrain bread. Namely... what a coincidence... carrot cake... or whatever.

I simply don't view that as a basic human right or a biological need.

I don't judge people who, say, have to prepare separate meals.

I only take issue with those suggesting that I'm controlling, stingy, or lazy when I take a three-meals-a-day approach. Or that somehow, this is something done only to kids.

I don't eat five times a day. I don't get special meals. We all get to make requests. We all can refuse. None of us gets to deny the others their right to eat with the group because they are busy making yet another meal, though, either!
First, I think you are ignoring the fact that my post about metabolism was responding to a post (I don't think by you) that specifically mentioned "once or twice a week".

Second, I do consider food to be a basic human necessity. No matter how you try and twist it around, if there is food in the house at that moment there is no reason for anyone in that house to go hungry. Even a two year old (as someone previously stated theirs does, I believe) is capable of getting their own snack when things are set up right.

You don't have to give your kids free range on everything in the house, make huge meals every time they feel hungry, or go out and buy junk when they ask for it in order to avoid them going hungry. All you have to do is have some ready made snacks in a place where either they can access it themselves, or you can just put some on a plate and give it to them. DS has his own collection of safe, healthy, snacking food that is easily accessible to him. He's not even 2 yet and doesn't need to ask me for a snack unless it's something a bit more specialized.

BTW: grains generally only fill you up for a short period of time. They are too easily digested to stave off hunger for more than an hour.
post #133 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post
I don't think there's anything wrong with grazing in itself. But I kind of agree with what the previous poster you were responding to said, about how it would be a problem in their house if a child passed on every set meal and instead only wanted to snack. Especially if you're lucky enough to have family meals, at least some of the time. Family breakfast/brunch on the weekends, family dinner at night, etc. I know not everyone can do this. But I think it's a great tradition. And having a completely unstructured, individualized eating plan for each person would seem (to me) to kind of work against the family meal concept.

That's the main reason I'm more in favor of structured meals and snacks, although I'm by no means militant about it. Exceptions are made on occasion.
You could have snacks with the family. Everyday after school, during the school year DD, ds and I usually sit down and have a snack together. Big meals aren't the only time eating can be a social activity.
post #134 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
You could have snacks with the family. Everyday after school, during the school year DD, ds and I usually sit down and have a snack together. Big meals aren't the only time eating can be a social activity.
We homeschool, but this is what we do. We keep things like dry fruit, pretzels, etc. for snack time between lunch and dinner and before bed. We eat snack together usually unless it's been a busy day and someone is hungry.
post #135 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I don't eat five times a day. I don't get special meals. We all get to make requests. We all can refuse. None of us gets to deny the others their right to eat with the group because they are busy making yet another meal, though, either!
You should eat small quantities of food 5 or 6 times a day. It's much healthier than 3 big meals. Becoming really hungry makes people overeat, that with a lowered metabolism from not eating often enough can cause obesity. I've never recommended special meals, just access to food whenever a child is hungry. Also when food has never been treated as a behavior issue you don't usually have bad behavior about food.
post #136 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
But if the 3.5 doesn't eat, too bad. Sometimes, this results in her going to the park or to bed on an empty or near-empty stomach.

Is that like, super harsh? .....
Now, I KNOW that the child may go somewhat hungry for up to three days. My feeling is, that if this child is otherwise typical, they WILL eat other foods when they are really hungry.

Is that like, really harsh?
Honestly, yes, I think it is.
I don't think parents are under any obligation to be short order cooks, or provide an unlimited variety of foods. But saying "it's after dinner, you may only have bread" when there are other foods in the house that don't require preparation (cheese, nuts, fruit, yogurt, leftovers, etc.) is overly controlling, imo. (you did ask)

What if the child is going through a growth spurt, and is craving extra fat, protein, calcium, vitamin C, or some other nutrient that doesn't happen to be in bread? Why does a parent's arbitrary decision of what is an appropriate snack override a child asking for a different healthy option?

Is it the end of the world to not have immediate access to something your body is legitimately demanding at that moment? No. Is a three year old capable of thinking ahead and deciding to eat extra chicken at dinner because she's really hungry for protein today because she's putting on extra muscle mass but can only have bread later? No. Does this set up a situation where children are encouraged to eat even if they're not hungry, because there won't be anything appropriate later? Yes. Is that particularly healthy? No.
post #137 of 303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
You should eat small quantities of food 5 or 6 times a day. It's much healthier than 3 big meals. Becoming really hungry makes people overeat, that with a lowered metabolism from not eating often enough can cause obesity. I've never recommended special meals, just access to food whenever a child is hungry. Also when food has never been treated as a behavior issue you don't usually have bad behavior about food.
See, I've never seen any large study that says that. And besides, three meals and two snacks is five...

And since my children choose their snacktimes, they always do have access to snacks when they're hungry.

I'm going to be honest- I really get annoyed at the suggestion that all behavior issues are caused by the parent. Sometimes, a child just picks a random thing to get into a power struggle over. However, we don't have issues with food.

My purpose in starting this thread was to find out whether allowing my child to experience this (rare, somewhat painful but certainly not unbearable) natural consequence of not eating with the family was too much.

Kind of like when people ask whether it's too much to ask a toddler to endure the real natural consequence of walking up the slide. I mean, if it's a small slide, they're not really going to break their neck. But it might hurt.

Do you let them, or not?

However that is not how it's panning out.

Quote:
What if the child is going through a growth spurt, and is craving extra fat, protein, calcium, vitamin C, or some other nutrient that doesn't happen to be in bread?
She can eat her dinner!
post #138 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
She can eat her dinner!
Well of course!
But if she's hungry again two hours later, I don't think she should be limited to just bread. The same if she isn't hungry and doesn't eat much at dinner and then realizes later that wow, that chicken actually would be really awesome right now.

I don't think only having bread, or going to bed hungry, is really a natural consequence of not eating dinner. It's a parent imposed consequence, because the parent is the one preventing them from going into the pantry and getting out the nuts/raisens/whatever (either by making them inaccessible or just saying no).

If I'm not hungry at dinner time, I don't force myself to eat the whole thing just because there won't be any food later. I listen to my body and eat a little, and then if I'm hungry later I help myself to some other food that's in the house. I expect my kids to do the same. It doesn't involve any more work on my part, so why do I care if they eat almonds or cheese or bread?
post #139 of 303
I don't think children just pick random things to get into a power struggle with. I think kids, like all humans, have a natural inclination to not agree with every single thing any given adult believes. It becomes a power struggle when the adult tries to push their opinions on a child, who's only means of arguing in their favour is to refuse to comply.

In a power struggle between an adult and a child, you can't expect a child to behave like and adult, you can expect an adult to behave like and adult though. When it comes to food, the adult thing to do is understand that you 1) have no control over another persons eating 2) you shouldn't have complete control over another persons eating and 3) no matter how old, other people have a right to access food when they are hungry whether "they should have eaten dinner" or not.

As for "she can eat her dinner", the dinner may not have what she needs or is craving at that given time. Add to that, the fact that growth spurts require more of these things than the rest of a persons life. I mean that to the extreme too. DD for the most part is not a huge eater, but when it comes time to grow she can (and occasionally will) eat more that DH and I combined without gaining an ounce!
post #140 of 303
My kids are pretty good eaters, and picky at the same time. I very rarely make an "alternative" meal, but I do try to include at least one thing they really like in each meal. If they eat just the one thing, fine. If they want more of the one thing (mainly this rule is for my 3 yo), they must eat a little more of the other things on their plate. I am lenient on this rule though. If I can see that he is still hungry, but will not touch the other things on his plate tonight, I will just give him more of the prefered item. It is more of a strong suggestion.
It sounds like you offer a good variety, and include their favorites often. I don't think that sounds too harsh...
there have been a couple times when my ds has gone to bed with an empty tummy, because, while he liked the things on his plate, wouldn't eat them. (maybe because he was holding out for dessert, or w/e). In that case, sorry.
But if I am making tacos (something my ds will not touch), I will make an alternative for him.
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