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Do Your Kids Ever Go to Bed Hungry? - Page 2

post #21 of 303
I am very lenient with food for many many reasons.

I do not want food to be an issue and i don't want to create food struggles and food issues now that will haunt them the rest of their lives.

I think grazing is healthier - an apple here, a handful of nuts in an hour, a yogurt later etc. This keeps the body fueled and keeps the stomach used to small meals not huge portions. I feel much better when i have one egg and a piece of toast and tea for breakfast, a yogurt 2 hours later, a fruit and glass of milk 2 hours later etc rather then stuffing down 2 eggs, toast, fruit and milk then not eating again for 4 hours.

I am crabby when i am hungry. So are my kids. That is one reason dd has to eat something before school. It takes her an hour to eat 4 oz of yogurt but i would not dream of sending her without because then her poor teacher would be stuck with crabby pants till snack time. We eat before going anywhere so the public isnt stuck with abunch of crabby people too.

I sleep better when i am not hungry and so do the kids so again, i make sure no one goes to bed hungry. As a matter of fact, being huge pregnant i have been eating a piece of cheese 20 min before bed in the last month. Both kids have done the same and they are sleeping longer

I make sure every meal has something they like in it (that is not a carb) so they can eat too. If i am making something i know they hate i will make something different for them. I do NOT cook different meals all the time but if i want something specific and i know they dont like it i make them something else (usually just a sandwich or quesadilla etc). I would hate it if i was forced to eat something i didnt like or *nothing* Dh would eat steak and potatoes every day. I would be starving all the time. I would eat shellfish everyday - dh would starve. We try to work with the needs of all members of the family.

If the kids are hungry they are always welcome to fruits/veggies/nuts.

So, no, in short no one goes hungry here.
post #22 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Well, I do it to my husband, LOL! And he can't cook and I don't buy him junk so guess what. I am not sure if my husband qualifies as an adult. Sometimes I think he's in-between the 12-month-old and the pre-schooler in terms of emotional development, but that's a different story.

I don't have time to cook separate meals.

We don't have stress over meals. It's just a fact- we eat family food and we eat together and if you don't want it, cool, but I'm afraid I don't have time to prepare something else.

BTW, they get snacks when they want, just not unlimited. It's not like, come for your banana. It's more, "I'm hungry." "There's fruit in the basket on the table. Have a piece. Don't eat them all because that's all we have for the week."

Unlimited snacking is to my mind absurd. I thought snacks were for active days? When we asked for food (after a meal and a healthy snack) when I was a kid my mom said, "You're bored. Go make something." I say the same.

I thought snacking between meals was supposed to be bad?!? That only little kids needed a couple snacks instead of breastmilk if they weren't nursing?
As long as my son has eaten a meal, I let him snack as much as he wants. What I don't do is let him not eat breakfast lunch or dinner and snack instead. I don't necessarily see anything wrong with unlimited snacks, as kids are still growing, but I do not agree with unlimited snacks if a nutritous meal hasn't been eaten.
post #23 of 303
i haven't read the whole thread yet, but I wanted to chime in. DD (20 months) doesn't get sent to bed hungry. If she doesn't want to eat what we're eating, fine, but I refuse to make two dinners. If she doesn't eat dinner she can alwasy have fruit, cheese or whatever else she can feed her self out of the fridge.

Why can't your kids have fruit, veggie or some other healthy snack that they can self feed if they don't eat dinner? i completely understand not wanting to make two dinners or even heat up leftovers for someone, but if they can feed themselves, what's the big deal?
post #24 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carhootel View Post
interesting thread...

I only have 1 kid and he's 15mo and still not big on the solids. Right now we eat at the table together and he is offered whatever we're having for dinner. I do try to accomodate him in the sense that if we are having indian food, I'll pull out some of the unseasoned veggies and rice for him to eat but generally he is given what we're eating. If for some reason he won't eat it then later - separate from our family dinner I'll give him something he will eat - usually yogurt. This is working for us right now but I have been warned by my Ped that he is manipulating me and I'm setting us up for big trouble down the road... I dunno but I'm subbing to this thread!
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.
post #25 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by nola79 View Post
As long as my son has eaten a meal, I let him snack as much as he wants. What I don't do is let him not eat breakfast lunch or dinner and snack instead. I don't necessarily see anything wrong with unlimited snacks, as kids are still growing, but I do not agree with unlimited snacks if a nutritous meal hasn't been eaten.
Meals aren't necessary in order to eat a healthy, nutritious meal. Plenty of people in this world have a healthy, balanced diet and rarely eat a full meal everyday.
post #26 of 303
We offer DS a "bedtime snack" most nights (fruit, cookies and/ or cheese, usually). It's more substantial on nights when he hasn't eaten dinner. A lot of the time he doesn't want to eat the snack anyway, but we offer it.
post #27 of 303
I don't have scheduled mealtimes for myself or for my child. We eat separate from each other most the time due to school/work conflict, etc. When he is hungry, I will make him his food. He gets unlimited healthy snacks every day. I don't control his healthy food intake because I grew up very poor and did not get much food and suffered both nutritionally and psychologically. If he is hungry, he asks to eat and I feed him.
post #28 of 303
We have a rigid breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner schedule, and we always offer food at fairly consistent times. They (2 and 3) have no obligation to eat it (although they almost always eat some), and on the rare occasion (truly it is rare) that they ask for something at an odd time I just give them some of the same food we would have eaten at one of our usual meals. It's all nutritious, we don't have junk in the house at all (I would definitely include spaghettios as junk), and throughout the day they get a good variety. My MIL made the comment once, when DD was eating a huge afternoon snack, that she would ruin her appetite for dinner, and I just answered that I really wasn't worried about that - even if she did (which she doesn't) she still would have eaten healthily that day. I just don't worry about when exactly they eat it.

Sometimes our kids eat dinner better than others. We eat all together and give them the same food we eat, but we try to always include something we know they like. Sometimes we miss and they don't eat a lot, but usually they eat well. I can only remember once ever when DD said she was hungry at bedtime, and we gave her a snack. If say, at dinner they want more of something like bread and haven't tried something else, we'll ask that they eat one bite of it, but otherwise don't make them eat anything.

So I dunno, I guess I wonder how can a person develop a fixation on spaghettios if you don't ever have spaghettios? Or whatever the thing is.

And for me, a big thing would be if a kid were saying he/she was hungry at bedtime, versus me just being concerned they didn't eat much dinner. If they didn't eat much but they don't say anything, I don't worry. That's assuming they are able to ask for food if they're hungry, but they both do.

I have no idea about when they're older. But right now, I just want them to get good fuel to grow and run around, and hopefully hold off on introducing all the body-image and food fixation issues their parents have dealt with.
post #29 of 303
If I've prepared something and my daughter doesn't want it I tell her that I went to the effort to make it and I would like it if she would just try it. Usually she will. Either way I will get her something else that is easy like yogurt or toast so that she has something in her tummy and isn't so cranky. She is welcome to have fruit or veggies, crackers, easy to grab foods anytime she wants and has a shelf for food she can access her self. As long as it's healthy and she is getting somewhat of a balanced diet, I don't really care when she eats. That's how it was when I grew up and I've never had any issues with food, health, or my weight. I don't see a reason in making it a battle really.
post #30 of 303
I have a 14 year old child that will choose to go to bed hungry because he hasn't liked dinner because it smells funny, has a funny texture, looks disgusting etc. There are homemade burritos in the freezer and 2/3 of the yogurt in the fridge are his preferred flavors, there are plenty of cheese sticks so he doesn't have to actually cut it and often he will still go to bed hungry because he just doesn't see food as a priority and is too lazy to make anything for himself. Yes we have been to an RD. If you totally cater to him, he will eat a wide variety of foods in small amounts - but yeah in an otherwise normal healthy kid, every once in a while you will get one who will choose to go hungry.

And this is my child that was at hockey camp from 8:15 am-4:30pm and then on the lacrosse field from 5-7, every week day/night for the last two weeks.
post #31 of 303
My kids sometimes choose to go to bed without having eaten dinner.

I don't consider this "controlling" about food or unfair. I have three little kids and a husband, and I simply can't make everybody's favorite meal each night. I wouldn't ever force anyone to eat something they don't like, so there is no rule that they must eat. But I can't prepare 5 different meals and/or snacks 3 times a day.

Most of the time that my kids turn their nose up at food, it's not because I'm serving them something that revolts them. It's just that they're not in the mood for that particular meal--for example, they all like grilled chicken, but sometimes dd will just not feel like eating it.

If I had one or two children, I might allow them to fix themselves a snack or eat a yogurt or something. But there is simply too much food waste if people are allowed to follow their whims for every meal. I do try to prepare food that will please people, but I often tell them that food is fuel for their body, and it's okay if they're not eating their favorite thing each and every time.
post #32 of 303
My kiddo would only go to bed hungry if he chose to (never has). I usually only make one meal (maybe slight variations - set some food aside before adding a sauce or whatever). I make foods that I know he likes (maybe not his favorites at every meal, but food I know he will eat) at every meal. If DS chooses not to eat the meal at mealtime, he can have access to it at any time. There was a period of time when he was a toddler that he wouldn't really eat during meal time (although usually stayed at the table with us), but would come back for it a bit later. I just left it out for him. I also offer snacks pretty regularly. Aside from a special treat from time to time, all food I offer is healthy. I don't care if it is eaten all at once as a meal or as snacks through out the day. Kids bodies are growing, and they need more food at certain times and less food at certain times. My DS has been eating a crazy amount of food over the last week - I want him to listen to his body and eat when he needs it, but not eat because he is concerned he won't have access to food later. Also, like a PP said, their blood sugar can dip if they haven't eaten and that can lead to real crankiness. I don't think little ones put together the cause/effect of that, and it doesn't seem fair to hold them responsible for that.

On the other hand, I have a friend whose 4 year old would like to live on 2 foods. She won't offer those foods at every meal, although she does always offer kid friendly foods. He sometimes will refuse to eat if she doesn't give him those two foods - and then he goes to bed hungry. But, they have gotten into a pretty bad power struggle (he pretty much at only these two foods at every meal because she would always cave and give him what he wanted) and she is now trying to correct that. But, I think that is a pretty unique situation.

Barring a situation like that, I wouldn't let a kid go hungry.
post #33 of 303
We have one special needs child (our ds) with some serious food pickiness issues. He still needs to be pushed to be somewhat flexible or else he'd control what everyone eats/never eat with us. The others have different needs but also share some similar options since we don't want the structure too much different for different kids.

We generally allow toast as an alternative to dinner. Nothing too attractive. Ds is eating PB&J sandwiches for breakfast because he refuses to use the raw local milk we get and never drinks soy milk. He wants milk from walmart but we decided to draw a line. He agreed that he would use it if we removed the cream, but he has in fact decided not to. We never make anyone eat anything. I have allowed kids to go to bed without after refusing dinner, but settled on having a boring alternative instead as a gentler solution.

We have open snacks unless it gets close to dinnertime. We usually have one or two fruit, a protein like cheese, and crackers available at any time. A sweet maybe once a day, sometimes not at all, usually midafternoon. Just not within about an hour of dinner. Lunch normally includes several options instead of one for everyone.

I have often based my restrictions on rationing out food within a budget. So everyone gets a reasonable portion and the food lasts and goes around. This has been a big deal at times. So offering extra choices would cut into something else in food budget and that wasn't okay. I had to say no to eat as much as you want when you feel like it. I mean there was always enough but if someone got a lot cause they just wanted to pig out on a favorite we might have someone else get too little or maybe have no snacks left for later that week. I sometimes felt bad, but now I feel good about that and sort of wish I'd been more particular about how I went about that. Now I can simply tell them what a serving size is or how many people are supposed to get a share and they get it. And it's not so much about $$ these days, but I still like the idea that they picture a reasonable amount. Like I teach them to do something similar at potlucks or refreshment tables--look around and think about how many other people should get a cookie from that tray before you take a pile. If a lot off people are sharing a smallish amount of food, taking a smaller share is the right choice.

Letting a child go to bed hungry isn't really shocking to me, but I am happier with just having some plain alternative instead. I thought a lot about how kids can be sensitive to different things and decided I can't be sure when I am being fair and when I am being insensitive. An empty tummy can cause other mood issues I find, no need to add that to the mix. I will draw lines with some things like snack options but if someone doesn't like any of the four snack choices come on they can get a little hungrier and revisit that question.
post #34 of 303
Interesting thread.

I have one child. A nine year old boy.
I always make atleast one thing I know he likes for dinner, but usually more than one thing. If he one day decides that he doesn`t want what I have made, he ofcourse can fix himself something else. Fruit, pbj, some veggies etc.
Here in Norway it`s normal to eat dinner a little earlier than in USA, it seems. We usually eat at 4-5 PM. So, most kids have an eveningmeal, too, before bed. LoveBug always has. And if he doesn`t go to bed right after the eveningmeal, he sometimes gets hungry before he falls asleep. I don`t make him something big at that time, and he totally understands that. But he always gets something. Most often a banana or an apple.

About snacking: I really don`t understand how snacking can be unhealthy. It`s not the snacking we need to worry about, it`s the food we choose when snacking (or eating bigger meals, for that matter). LoveBug spent his first 3-4 years mostly snacking. But the food was wholesome, healthy etc. So there was nothing unhealthy about it. Infact, we still snack a lot. Like today. It`s 11.45 AM, and we haven`t eaten breakfast yet. (He didn`t get up until 11AM, late night yesterday.) So now I will be making a tray of different foods, and put it on the table. And we both can choose what we want from that. And the tray will likely be staying there until it`s empty/we decide we want dinner.
post #35 of 303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post
i haven't read the whole thread yet, but I wanted to chime in. DD (20 months) doesn't get sent to bed hungry. If she doesn't want to eat what we're eating, fine, but I refuse to make two dinners. If she doesn't eat dinner she can alwasy have fruit, cheese or whatever else she can feed her self out of the fridge.

Why can't your kids have fruit, veggie or some other healthy snack that they can self feed if they don't eat dinner? i completely understand not wanting to make two dinners or even heat up leftovers for someone, but if they can feed themselves, what's the big deal?
Well, fruit and cheese are expensive foods per calorie, so we can't afford to feed them only those foods, and they would eat them to the exclusion of anything else if they could. Fruits are desserts--healthy, but not if you eat only those. I should say that when my first was 20 months, and for my 14-month-old, they are allowed to nurse on demand, so they were never hungry that young.

I'm not talking about babies. I'm talking about kids.

"I have often based my restrictions on rationing out food within a budget."

So do we.

And to emphasize, the children ALWAYS have access to plain, whole-grain bread in addition to a tasty, homemade meal. My three-year-old has only gone to bed hungry two or three times, but I do allow it as an option if she insists she won't eat anything but X. It keeps her from refusing food that in principle she likes, but would not prefer to, say, yoghurt and strawberries.

"Most of the time that my kids turn their nose up at food, it's not because I'm serving them something that revolts them. It's just that they're not in the mood for that particular meal--for example, they all like grilled chicken, but sometimes dd will just not feel like eating it."

Exactly.

Interesting to see the reactions, thanks for replying.
post #36 of 303
Has my 3 year old gone to bed or the park hungry? Probably.

Is it because she doesn't have access to food? No.

I don't make alternative meals here either. The meals made are what you get, if you don't want it now we'll save it for later. If the meal doesn't suit you, you're welcome to open the veggie drawer and eat whatever is in there (raw or you prepare it :P).

Additional Snacks in our house are 80% vegetable, 10% fruit and the rest nuts, crackers and sardines or pate, seaweed sheets, dried fish, etc. Chips, prepared foods, and desserts are for special occasions only. We don't do dairy, so no cheese sticks etc.

I sound pretty harsh, but at the play group my daughter goes to the other parents are shocked at the stuff my daughter LOVES to eat
post #37 of 303
Thread Starter 
Littlestbirds

Quote:
"On the other hand, I have a friend whose 4 year old would like to live on 2 foods. She won't offer those foods at every meal, although she does always offer kid friendly foods. He sometimes will refuse to eat if she doesn't give him those two foods - and then he goes to bed hungry. But, they have gotten into a pretty bad power struggle (he pretty much at only these two foods at every meal because she would always cave and give him what he wanted) and she is now trying to correct that. But, I think that is a pretty unique situation. "
See, I think that's actually a REALLY amazingly common situation.

Your style sounds like mine, or at least similar. I cook foods my kids like, of course, but not exclusively, because they're part of the family, not the only people who count. Sometimes they only mildly like it. It's not as though I'm making some wierd soup every night. Most nights they like what's on offer. When they don't, though, tough luck.

And I think that's what prevented it from being a power struggle.

When they can cook their own meals, they can make whatever they want for dinner (barring baked goods... don't touch my sugar, LOL!).

Rhianne, I bet my kids would LOVE seaweed sheets. Such a great idea. Where do you get the dried fish?
post #38 of 303
I always have some food with me when we go out, some fruit, LARABAR bars or other healthy stuff so DS can snack whenever he needs to. I also offer a snack before bed if DS doesn't eat well at dinner.
post #39 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Littlestbirds
Rhianne, I bet my kids would LOVE seaweed sheets. Such a great idea. Where do you get the dried fish?
I get them at the local supermarket when/if we ever run out of what MIL sends us but you might have to try an asian grocery or something like that. They're popular snacks/toppings in Japan and larger ones are used for making stock for miso soup.

--Rhannie in Japan
post #40 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by nola79 View Post
As long as my son has eaten a meal, I let him snack as much as he wants. What I don't do is let him not eat breakfast lunch or dinner and snack instead. I don't necessarily see anything wrong with unlimited snacks, as kids are still growing, but I do not agree with unlimited snacks if a nutritous meal hasn't been eaten.
if the snacks are nutritious why not? i mean what is wrong with yogurt as a snack instead of eggs for breakfast? and if they just ate a big meal why would they be hungry? why would you let your child go hungry because at the time of the meal they were not hungry or didn't like what was being served?

wow, this topic is so hot for me. my parents were very very controlling with food to the point of being hit if we didn't eat fast enough. so the idea of denying children food because A.) they don't like it B.) because i don't want to be inconvenienced to help them C.) so i am in unlimited control over what goes in and out of them... just makes me so upset.
how do i know when someone other then me is hungry? how do i know what they need? a three year old has a small stomach, how are they suppose to get all they need in in one day in three meals and a snack? them grazing all day will more then likely assure that they get all they need, especially if what you are supplying is healthy food. heck when my 3 year old wants a salad after not eating dinner, who am i to say no. go to bed hungry. seems a bit harsh. sorry but it does. i keep in my house what i do not mind them eating. and if at dinner what i make sounds yucky they are more then welcome to make a sandwich, have some cheese, have a yogurt, have a muffin, etc. it's all good to me.
we also do a bedtime snack and since i started making a serious point on this, everyone seems happier. usually it is something like warm milk and whole wheat toast with butter and honey. other times it might be cheese and crackers and maybe a few apple slices.

it could very well be my own experiences as a child that have made me make a serious effort to not make food an issue in my house. my kids have gone thru phases of only wanting this food or that food, and as long as it is healthy what do i care. i eat what i like, why not treat them the same way.

h
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