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Do Your Kids Ever Go to Bed Hungry? - Page 12

post #221 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

I believe that teaching my child that others aren't going to go out of their way to make sure her wants and desires are satisfied all the time is more important than whether or not the alternatives I offer for her to get herself meet someone else's standards of the most nutritious foods.

But what if you don't have to go out of your way? A lot of people here are saying that if their kid can go grab something on their own, that requires no parent prep what's the issue?
post #222 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post
But what if you don't have to go out of your way? A lot of people here are saying that if their kid can go grab something on their own, that requires no parent prep what's the issue?
Oh, no, that's exactly what I am saying. I am sorry to be confusing. My point in the post that you quoted was that what the child gets as an alternative is not nearly as important as what she learns by me not make the alternative for her. I am sorry, I totally agree that yes, the kid grabs something else available, no parent prep, totally acceptable.

Of course, there was a few occasions that my dd wasn't happy with ANYTHING available as an alternative (including heating up the dinner she abandoned an hour before) and those are the times she went to bed hungry. At that point, that's her choice. I think that's a perfectly natural consequence of not accepting what someone else has done for you and of being too lazy to fix it yourself.
post #223 of 303
Happysmiley, if you read my posts again, you'll see I'm offering information, not judgment. Peanut butter has aflatoxin in it, and as I specifically said, it isn't about beliefs or whether yoghurt is better organic or not, it is about feeding toxins to our kids. What if a food was comparable to lead... could I mention it then? Because I believe it is. Aflatoxin is some nasty stuff, and people don't know this, and their kids are eating it every single day. Perhaps you don't care, or would rather you didn't know, in which case my information is of no use to you - no worries. However, other parents may find it of use.

Knowledge is power. I'm grateful someone cared enough to bother to tell me, and I am giving this thread that courtesy. Knowledge should move around. Perhaps your reaction is based in feeling judged, in which case perhaps your biggest critic is yourself. And a reminder that judging the input of another is still judgment.

It doesn't affect me personally what people feed their kids, I'm not judging anyone for it... stick 'em with poptarts, whatever, go for it. I give info, do with it what you like.

My overall point is that often these cycles with kids are caused by giving them food with particular chemicals in them, they alter the palette and kids can no longer eat plain veggies as they were designed to. If that was the case, it would be a massive influence to the problem the OP has, and so many other parents.

Quote:
At that point, that's her choice. I think that's a perfectly natural consequence of not accepting what someone else has done for you and of being too lazy to fix it yourself.
I agree with this. I don't think forcing our kids to eat because we think they should eat a particular amount of food at a particular time is very respectful. Not that anyone is forcing their kids to eat, I assume, but it is empowering to the child to allow them to decide if they will eat or not.
post #224 of 303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post
Ah, ok. Then yeah, we define having a family meal together differently lol.



Except what if they refused to eat anything in the cupboard?
FTR, Musician Dad has correctly understood that I'm NOT going to make something else from the cupboard, or let my kids eat leftovers that are planned for another meal (like tomorrow's lunch).

However, I think it's been overlooked that children who have a say in what gets made for meals (much of the time, at least half the time), and who are eating a well-rounded diet, and who have at least two or three foods to choose from at each meal (the main dish, the side dish or meat, and bread), can hardly be described as deprived.

And I'd like to bring up one more example because MD was saying you'd never treat an adult like that. Well I think all adults are expected to eat like that. Suppose you and friends are going out to dinner. There's like six of you and four ethnic restaurants in your price range to choose from.

Are you really going to be the one to refuse to compromise? Can adults not deal with eating food that is not their preference? I mean this happens all the time and I do know people who can't compromise--it HAS to be Thai, they feel like Thai, blah blah--and they don't get called up often after that. Like, if I don't want Thai, I'm not going out with that friend.

If you don't have friends like that, it's probably because you don't enjoy the company of people who can't compromise, so why raise your kid like that? Just eat with the group and deal.

Now, MD's child is way too young to fully absorb a lesson on compromise like that. But a three-year-old isn't. And I'm talking about KIDS, not babies.
post #225 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
And I'd like to bring up one more example because MD was saying you'd never treat an adult like that. Well I think all adults are expected to eat like that. Suppose you and friends are going out to dinner. There's like six of you and four ethnic restaurants in your price range to choose from.

Are you really going to be the one to refuse to compromise? Can adults not deal with eating food that is not their preference?
Compromises voluntarily entered into so that everyone can enjoy themselves are a far cry from arbitrary rules enforced by someone else. I mean, if my husband told me that I couldn't eat the almonds out of the pantry because it was after dinner and only bread was allowed, that would be...ridiculous. I think it's equally ridiculous for children. It's not about sometimes eating food that's not your favorite (that's just life), it's about artificially limiting their food choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
However, I think it's been overlooked that children who have a say in what gets made for meals (much of the time, at least half the time), and who are eating a well-rounded diet, and who have at least two or three foods to choose from at each meal (the main dish, the side dish or meat, and bread), can hardly be described as deprived.
I can see that you're happy with the way you're doing things (which, hey, great!)- I'm just not sure why you asked if your food policies were harsh if you're completely convinced that they're fine.
post #226 of 303
Quote:
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.
Bingo.

I've noticed people saying that eating grains and meats and so on are cheaper, this isn't entirely true. Per pound, most veggies are cheaper than meat and you get much more bang for your buck insofar as nutrients, and quality protein, esp in greens and superfoods like cacao (kids LOVE chocolate!). Although processed grain foods like pasta are cheaper, true.

If any of us here were asked, "What is healthier, a cup of carrot or a cup of chicken?" we'd answer the carrot, in a heart beat, right? Regardless of whether we are vegetarian or a meat eaters, we all agree that the healthiest food is in fact fruit and vegetables and all things that grow on trees. We do the heavy protein thing because we bought into the bullsh*t from mega industry that tells us we need that much protein. As I mentioned, babies need more protein than adults.. yet breast milk is an average of 5% protein. Gorillas are strong and muscley, yet they don't eat heavy proteins, they eat greens.

I'm not pushing veganism here, I'm simply trying to alleviate the idea that we need to fill our kids up with protein. Relax and trust their food choices, there is eons of wisdom in them. Although, this trust will backfire if the house is full of choices you'd rather they didn't make.

They want sugar, and will take it in candy form if it is there however the craving for sugar IS genuine, and was naturally designed to be met by fruit. We were once indigenous, all of us, and our bodies were designed to assimilate nutrition from the trees... it is easier to sneak up on an apple than a rabbit, and much more appetising to bite into.

Think of kids covered in mulberry stains, running in rotting apples in an orchard... you get the idea... it is the fabric of life, children and fruit are married... our culture is trying to cleave them apart in favour of dead things because some professionals told them so. I recall it was a professional that told us to leave babies to cry it out, too. Something to think about.

This is worth scrolling through, to ease the protein fear based on myths. Greens have more than enough protein, because we don't need protein... we need amino acids. The body has to cleave the amino acids apart when we eat complex proteins, which taxes the system, esp the enzymes, and we make a finite amount of enzymes in a lifetime. Kids are drawn to fruit for a reason, fruit sugars are exactly what our brains use for fuel, PLUS they come with their own enzymes...

Nature doesn't make mistakes, we do.
post #227 of 303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post


I can see that you're happy with the way you're doing things (which, hey, great!)- I'm just not sure why you asked if your food policies were harsh if you're completely convinced that they're fine.
I just wanted to know what other people thought, not whether I should do something else. See, my thought was, How could a child possibly be eating only x, y, and z, provided that x, y, and z show that the child in principle can tolerate several different textures and flavors? Or only one food? If you just say "no, tough luck, I'm not cooking it", then HOW can they develop the attitude that that is all they'll eat?

And then it occurred to me. Perhaps said parents felt that going to bed without dinner was NOT a viable alternative. Without that alternative, yes, you are pretty much stuck. You can try to compromise, or offer another alternative, but in the end, if you refuse to let them go to bed hungry, you have to give them what they want.

I imagine that would lead to an exhausting power struggle nightly. I'm just not up for that.
post #228 of 303
In our family we eat meals and snacks together. We have 3 meals and then 3-5 snacks depending on our day and the level of activity we are in. More active we are being the more we eat. Meals are usually a starch, a meat/protein, a dairy and 2-3 fruit/veggies and snacks are either a grain or a fruit/veggie (like right now we have oranges, celery sticks and carrot sticks). We sit down as a family and make a meal plan every other week. Occasionally when Im cooking my daughter will tell me she wants this or that instead and Ill write it down and tell her Ill work it in the meal plan (I do the same for DH and myself if there is a meal we really want). So, when we sit down to meal plan everyone gets at least 1-3 meals that they really want in any given 14 days.

I'm lucky that my girls don't really struggle with what I serve them. I serve what I have planned and that is what they get to eat. There is always something that they like and I try to serve it in components instead of a big dish. For example, instead of serving tacos as one thing we will have all the ingredients laid out so if someone doesn't want something (like the other day when on a whim my 3 year old decided she didn't like beef) then they leave it out. Also with every meal there is something that someone likes, if that means that they eat just green beans for dinner than so be it. If they decide that they don't want anything then I'm sorry I'm not making another meal for you. Eat whats on the table. We don't' have the money to be making 4 different meals 3 times a day. Its just not feasible on our budget. If I know its something that they REALLY don't like (like I can't stand oatmeal, my husband can't stand green beans, my oldest can't stand spicy food, my youngest doesn't care yet what we eat) then Ill do something around it. For example, with the oatmeal Ill make myself a different starch, with the green beans Ill include another veggie on the table, with spicy food I make hers mild first and then add some spice for the rest of us. TO me its not making different meals, we all eat the same meal, its just making allowances for different food tastes. I understand that certain things illicit different responses in different people, its not hard to accommodate one meal into different peoples tastes. Another example for us is spaghetti, my oldest doesn't like a lot of sauce, my hubby likes a ton of sauce just not mixed in (he eats it with his sauce on top) and I like a moderate amount of sauce mixed in. So I serve the sauce separately from the noodles, give less sauce to my oldest, more sauce to my DH and mix my sauce in with my noodles on my plate. Everyone is happy and I only have to cook one meal.
As for snacks, if they are hungry directly after a meal (usually within 30 minutes of dinner) Ill offer them leftovers if they don't want that they can wait until after I'm done with cleanup. Occasionally we eat all of the dinner (this is a very rare thing, like tonight we did) they can have a snack (like tonight the girls shared a banana and string cheese). If its later (an hour or more after a meal) Ill offer them a snack. Usually if they have snacks it would be when they wake up, about 2 hours after breakfest, after they get home from the park (which is usually an hour before lunch), about 2 hours after lunch, an hour to 1 1/2 hours before dinner and right before bed. I don't think my daughter has ever gone to bed hungry. If shes truly hungry she will either finish her dinner or have a snack right before bed.

I don't give into food demands and luckily my oldest (my youngest is to young to talk) rarely makes them. Sometimes when she does Ill tell her sorry these are your alternatives. Im blessed, shes never turned down my alternatives except once and it wasn't a big deal. If she would turn down all the alternatives then Im sorry Im not making a special meal/trip or using something earmarked for another meal. Like I said, we live on a strict budget and cant really afford to re-buy the ingredients for different meals.

Personally, I think most of the people on the thread are trying to say the same or similar things but no one is really listening. Everyone is jumping to conclusions. I don't think anyone here is starving their child or abusing them we just all have different (but similar) ways of doing things.
post #229 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
Compromises voluntarily entered into so that everyone can enjoy themselves are a far cry from arbitrary rules enforced by someone else. I mean, if my husband told me that I couldn't eat the almonds out of the pantry because it was after dinner and only bread was allowed, that would be...ridiculous.
The OP's rules aside, this does sometimes happen in real life. Numerous times my husband has wanted to snack on something or open something which I wouldn't let him eat. "Oh, please don't eat that! I was going to use it in our dinner tomorrow," or "If there's only three left would you mind not eating one so I don't have to deal with fighting kids tomorrow when they see there's not enough to go around?"

And he always complies. Unless he's really REALLY hungry for it, and then later that night he'll go out and buy me a replacement. My kids, of course, aren't old enough to replace items in my pantry yet.

Quote:
I think it's equally ridiculous for children. It's not about sometimes eating food that's not your favorite (that's just life), it's about artificially limiting their food choices.
See, I don't view it as artificially limiting food choices. I view it as assisting my children in making their food selections, because what they eat not only impacts them, but the whole family.

When I go shopping, I have a list of things I NEED to buy for meals. If my kids wanted to eat those things, then there isn't enough for the meals. Sure, I buy tons of snacks, too, but sometimes even the snacks aren't good enough. So helping themselves to whatever they want does not work for us, because it means I've just gotten my meal planning all messed up.

Also, there are many, many times when my kids will ask for a bowl of cereal. Sometimes I tell them no, they've had too much cereal in the past few days. Sometimes they want a third piece of cheese and I tell them no, you've already had too much and you always get constipated with dairy. Sometimes they want to eat a second fruit bar and I tell them no, you've already eaten your share and your siblings would like their share later.

Kids don't always make the best or wisest decisions regarding their food intake, which is why I help them decide and place rules and limits on things, after all, I know more about nutrition than they do.

That is not arbitrary or artificial. It's just life and part of belonging to a family.
post #230 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Now, MD's child is way too young to fully absorb a lesson on compromise like that. But a three-year-old isn't. And I'm talking about KIDS, not babies.
He has one 2 year old DS, but his 11 year old DD is certainly not a baby.
post #231 of 303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
He has one 2 year old DS, but his 11 year old DD is certainly not a baby.
Did not remember his 11-y-o DD, though now that you mention her I remember her. Ooops.

In that case, hrnh?

Quote:
See, I don't view it as artificially limiting food choices. I view it as assisting my children in making their food selections, because what they eat not only impacts them, but the whole family.

When I go shopping, I have a list of things I NEED to buy for meals. If my kids wanted to eat those things, then there isn't enough for the meals. Sure, I buy tons of snacks, too, but sometimes even the snacks aren't good enough. So helping themselves to whatever they want does not work for us, because it means I've just gotten my meal planning all messed up.

Also, there are many, many times when my kids will ask for a bowl of cereal. Sometimes I tell them no, they've had too much cereal in the past few days. Sometimes they want a third piece of cheese and I tell them no, you've already had too much and you always get constipated with dairy. Sometimes they want to eat a second fruit bar and I tell them no, you've already eaten your share and your siblings would like their share later.

Kids don't always make the best or wisest decisions regarding their food intake, which is why I help them decide and place rules and limits on things, after all, I know more about nutrition than they do.

That is not arbitrary or artificial. It's just life and part of belonging to a family.


Not to mention all the times we say YES- Yes, please help yourself to a banana. Yes, we do have enough mango to open another one. Yes, you may have ketchup on your rice (silent gag). Yes, you may have yoghurt in your soup. Yes, you may have another piece of bread. Yes, you may have a plate for the spinach you're picking off your macaroni. Yes, you may have the ragout on the side. Yes, you may be excused. Yes, good idea, you give your sister the yolks and she'll give you her whites. Yes, I have a few beans left... go ahead, baby, eat them, fill your wee tummy. Yes, we do have some of that trail mix left--can you wait until we get home?
post #232 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

I believe that teaching my child that others aren't going to go out of their way to make sure her wants and desires are satisfied all the time is more important than whether or not the alternatives I offer for her to get herself meet someone else's standards of the most nutritious foods.
I'm not sure why you'd consider food a "want" or "desire." It's a need.
post #233 of 303
Ednamarie, I noticed in one of your earlier posts you said you didn't think snacking was a good idea and that fruit was a now and again treat - I hope you've read my posts because our kids really need that fruit, it is the most important thing they eat, next to green leaves.

The funny thing with nutrient dense foods is we end up eating less than we think we would. I've met many starving obese people. They are starving for nutrients by eating the wrong food, and so their bodies keep triggering the hunger button.

So when our kids say they're hungry and we hand them some cheese or something, we are giving them calorie dense foods in an effort to "fill them up", but fill them with what?

Hunger is a trigger for nutrients, not calories... and we can't tell what their bodies need, so when they say they want a fourth orange or a piece of chocolate, we can trust that. The problem becomes when the chocolate is cooked, milked and sugared with refined sugar etc... but cacao itself is full of magnesium and so many other amazing nutrients that our kids are naturally drawn to (as are women once a month ). I find my daughter loves raw cacao nibs or if you are feeling fancy, cacao powder mixed with coconut oil and maple syrup or other natural syrup, perhaps add some maca powder or some flour, rolled into balls, and maybe rolled in nuts or shredded coconut. Great for growing brains. Throw some rum in a couple of them for mama.

My daughter made this raw dairy free chocolate mint walnut icecream.

A close up pic. Mint from the garden, yummo!

As for the hungry bedtime topic, I can understand your stance on it, I can also understand the opposing stance. This is a difficult problem, because kids make these choices based on desire, not aversion... they like chicken, but don't want it tonight, they want something else, so they reject dinner. It can make us want to rip our own faces off sometimes. My daughter can be like this. They aren't really hungry though, that's the problem - I've seen hungry kids in Indonesia, and I promise you, they don't behave like that.

My daughter must come to the table ravenous, or I may as well just throw it in the bin. I solved it by experimenting in several ways. The two successful ones were to go more raw, and to make dinner (at least for her) at about 3.30pm - she is ravenous after school, and it turns out so is my son... and so am I. So I make a big platter of raw foods or whatever, maybe sandwiches for late afternoon and the results were like a slap in the face - I felt like an idiot for not thinking of it earlier. And most kids are totally ravenous at that time of day, but they snack and then reject dinner a couple of hours later.

But I do see what others are saying, that the respect we pay adults should be given to children, which is the philosophy of MDC overall, or at least what Peggy has tried to impart with her books and mags. Whether it be sleeping, manners, eating... her philosophy is less "training" kids and more "trusting" them. I think the majority of parents in our culture would resonate with your philosophy, and most MDCers would resonate with the opposite: that children's desires should be respected also... so although you may feel like you have a lot of opposition here, in the real world you would have the most support.

I'm not sure where I stand on the issue yet, because I've found that there is often a big gap between "ideal" and "workable". So if you were interested in other options that aren't going to bed hungry, perhaps you'd like to try more fruit, an earlier dinner (or dinner instead of an afternoon snack), more raw, and only stocking what you'd want them to eat so you can comfortably say "if you can find something else, eat it".

Another tip is: Tart cherries have the most melatonin of all the foods, and as an after dinner snack are perfect for inducing sleep and overall helping mood and balancing behaviour. Carbs also induce sleep as they are precursors to serotonin, particularly bananas.
post #234 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

I imagine that would lead to an exhausting power struggle nightly. I'm just not up for that.
Actually it's quite the opposite. Trying to get a hungry child to sleep would be the exhausting power struggle, imo.
post #235 of 303
One more thought--sometimes thirst feels like hunger. So we always try water first and then food.
post #236 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Actually it's quite the opposite. Trying to get a hungry child to sleep would be the exhausting power struggle, imo.
That's been my thought when skimming this thread. If ds doesn't eat, he can't get to sleep, and then he doesn't sleep well and will wake up in the middle of the night and sometimes need to eat then, or will wake up incredibly early in the morning. So its makes my life a lot easier if ds eats something at night.

Also dp, ds, and myself all show symptoms of hypoglycemia (dp and I were both diagnosed as "borderline" hypoglycemic as kids) so if we don't eat we are not good people, the anger, the fighting, the tantrums, the crying, the refusal of food, the storming out of the house, the throwing things (and I'm talking about the adults!!! )

so yeah, I try to NEVER let ds go to bed or out in the world hungry. I always have snacks on hand (and when I don't, I usually end up buying something that isn't the best choice after someone has a meltdown).
post #237 of 303
i think it *really* depends on the child. My kids are generally great eaters, and if i am serving something that they have eaten in the past and they don't want to eat it, i don't make them something else. my kids' hunger levels vary dramatically depending on whether they're growing or not, their activity level that day/week, and the season of the year, and sometimes they are just not very hungry. or not hungry enough to eat what is in front of them, though they might eat ice cream or some other thing they are more enticed by. so my kids sometimes go to bed without eating, but i don't think they go to bed hungry. if they were truly hungry they would've eaten what was offered. i know not all kids are like that, but mine are, so i don't sweat it if they skip a meal here and there.

now if i make something that i'm not sure they will like, i make sure there's plenty of other stuff on the table in case someone doesn't like it, and in that case if they tried it and were still hungry (ie it was the protein on the table they didn't like) i would make them something else. but that's really rare, my kids rarely dislike anything.

if they were different kids, my approach might be very different. but i trust my kids to eat what i fix them if they are hungry, and if they're not hungry i don't see the point of fixing them something they fancy to make them eat when they really don't need to. when they need the nourishment they will eat so much it's astounding. other days they eat very small portions or entirely skip a meal. they are healthy, smart, and growing well with no issues whatsoever, so i trust them to trust their bodies. but like i said, if they were different my approach would be different. i think the most important thing is to know your kids and handle mealtimes accordingly.

so i don't see it as a discipline issue. in our case it is simply respecting times when they don't want to eat. i don't think that's 'harsh,' if anything it is teaching them to trust their bodies, to know when they are hungry and when they are not, and to eat accordingly. all i ask is that they try everything. what they do after that is up to them, within reason (i will encourage them to finish something that's been neglected on their plate before getting seconds of something like bread, for example)
post #238 of 303
From reading this entire thread, the nearest conclusion I've come to...as to what I think I would do in any case...is that it completely depends on the situation and the child. If it was a "holding out" issue like with the cherry example, I think I'd be more likely to "let" my child go to bed "hungry". Wheras some of the other situations being described here sound more just like straight-up food and budget issues. So I'd handle them more by looking at that aspect.
post #239 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
You can try to compromise, or offer another alternative, but in the end, if you refuse to let them go to bed hungry, you have to give them what they want.

I imagine that would lead to an exhausting power struggle nightly. I'm just not up for that.
post #240 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
You can try to compromise, or offer another alternative, but in the end, if you refuse to let them go to bed hungry, you have to give them what they want.
That is a very clarifying point. And it helped me articulate in my head that what we allow in our house are respectful choices and responsible choices, whether we are talking about food or language or whatever. If I have a food item meant for a birthday surprise for my neighbor, and my child is dead set on eating that or nothing else at 11pm, no I am not giving it to him and I won't feel the least bit bad over it. There are other things to eat and demanding that one item isn't very respectful of my intentions. I'm not a doormat.

I also expect everyone to make financially responsible choices. If a meal for three people needs one ingredient, it is irresponsible to make a snack for one person of that ingredient by eating it all yourself. That isn't responsible and a better choice should be made.

And I honestly have to say that in 14 years my son has had little problem understanding these simple rules. I am one who said up front my son can eat when he is hungry, whatever the time of day, and for the most part he can eat what he likes, since we don't keep junk food in the house. I never ended up with a child demanding a slice of grandmothers birthday cake a day early, or else--perhaps I am just lucky, but I think we are very reasonable and grounded in common sense on this issue, while allowing ds a lot of freedom, and for the most part, he has been reasonable about food in response. The majority of the food here is always available to him, and he has always cooperated with the few limits in place due to finances or future plans for certain items. These few limits have never led to any ongoing problems at all.
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