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.