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Do Your Kids Ever Go to Bed Hungry? - Page 3

post #41 of 303
Quote:
We don't make our kids go to bed hungry. We don't agree with making food that much of a control issue.
He He, see, I was going to say I don't make food that much of a control issue so my older dd absolutely went to bed hungry on occasion:

For meals, I made what I made and that was it. If she didn't want it, I would put it in the microwave, if she decided she wanted it later, we could heat it up. If she really didn't want it, she was welcome to get something from "her shelf" in the fridge, or once she was old enough, make herself a sandwich or cereal or something. "Her shelf" in the fridge was a shelf I set up of healthy snacks, like cheese cubes, grapes, applesauce etc etc. Basically, if she didn't want what I made, then she took care of her hunger herself.

And this, on occasion, meant that she went to bed hungry, if she was too stubborn to get something herself. There was the occasional night or two where she INSISTED she wanted tacos or whatever, when that wasn't what I had made. Too bad. So, if she was so insistant that she never got herself something, then she went to bed hungry.
post #42 of 303
Within reason, that's pretty much how I handle it too.

I make one meal, there are enough things on the plate there should be at least ONE thing they like. I'm not playing "What else can I have?" at meal time. I don't even have that much money to let them get more food from the pantry.

I have daycare parents who say "but, my child is a picky eater and will only have chocolate milk". I won't make chocolate milk twice a day for one child. He or she will eat something that day. They never just sit there eating nothing. But, I don't mind if they just eat a fourth of what I serve and throw the rest away.

My cousins broke all thee of their kids by allowing them to eat only the foods they love. Now all three are morbidly obese, and two have type 2 diabetes. Yet, at every family meal or get together, they bring a huge sack of fast food for themselves, AND cupcakes or hostess treats that they don't share with the other cousins. The three of them will spend the day at the kitchen table eating what they brought, then go lay on the couch. Mom keeps saying "I know, but they are so picky".

I say, healthy eating starts early. If they don't like what you are having, they can certainly eat an extra peice of bread, or a piece of fruit. They will feel pretty full just on a glass of milk.

Now, if I KNEW my child hated salmon, I would give her a peanut butter and jelly in place of salmon. We don't always like what everybody else does. And, we all have foods we hate. I think substituting a food every now and then is perfectly fine. But, if you had to make two or three dinners every night, that would be too expensive and time consuming.
post #43 of 303
If DS is insistent he's hungry before bed I often give him a very quick, easy, high calorie snack like a cheese slice or some nuts. If it's playtime at home he's welcome to grab a carrot from the garden and wash it off, or in the past couple weeks blackberries from the canes. If he didn't finish his most recent meal and it's still good enough to eat I'll ask him to go finish it if we have time for that. I avoid using grains to fill him up, maybe a few Triscuits once in a blue moon.
post #44 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post
I avoid using grains to fill him up, maybe a few Triscuits once in a blue moon.
same here. Bread at every meal isn't very healthy, IMO, and I know my kids would fill up on it and not eat as much veggies and protein. I am low-carb, no sugar currently myself, so I keep an eye out on much my kids eat - even whole grain.
post #45 of 303
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Snacking isn't bad, eating because your bored or emotional eating are bad.
Yes. It has taken me basically my whole adulthood to get over the fact that I am not a horrible fat pig for wanting/needing a snack, and that has helped me to not eat out of boredom or for emotional reasons. Food issues are not something I wish on my son at all. So I limit the amount of crappy foods we have in the house so we don't have access to them, and let him make choices about what snacks he wants to eat and when.
post #46 of 303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
same here. Bread at every meal isn't very healthy, IMO, and I know my kids would fill up on it and not eat as much veggies and protein. I am low-carb, no sugar currently myself, so I keep an eye out on much my kids eat - even whole grain.
This is a good point, and I would suspect an undiagnosed special need for a child that literally ate bread at every meal to the exclusion of everything else for days at a time.

I can say that I don't know any bread-eating families (DH is from Asia where bread is the centerpiece of every single meal, no matter what--we're a high-grain family, LOL) in which the children eat only the bread. It's just an alternative to the main meal IF they don't like it.

I hope it doesn't sound like my kid goes to bed hungry every night. She doesn't seem to. She falls asleep and wakes up with energy and is not begging for breakfast. She has gone to bed complaining of hunger once or twice. That was after I made a decent meal and she had bread and milk offered, but she refused.

Quote:
Now, if I KNEW my child hated salmon, I would give her a peanut butter and jelly in place of salmon.
My child doesn't hate much but since we always have a vegetable, grain, and meat (sorry, we're the urban poor, we can't afford 100% veggies and fruits and meats) I don't make an alternative. I will refrain from mixing in a spice or food she doesn't like--I'll make sure she can separate it.


Quote:
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.
I'm so sorry. I never deny my children food. We just do not have extra food prepared for them. They do not have to eat anything they do not want. They have time to eat. We don't use corporal punishment ever and certainly no punishments for eating or not eating.

I appreciate that it's a sensitive subject for you but I don't think that the abuse you suffered can be compared to not making an extra meal at every meal, or even at occasional meals, you know?

I guess I come more from the perspective of living in Asia with DH's family and seeing the whole family eat the same thing. I never saw a kid refuse food. They always fought over meat and vegetables from an early age. They didn't provide alternatives for SO MANY REASONS but it was not a control issue for them. It was just... they ate from one pot. And none of them had food issues. My own kids don't appear to, either. They eat whatever, or they eat bread. They are normal weight and rarely complain of being hungry, except when they know there are sugary treats their dad brought from work.
post #47 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
This is a good point, and I would suspect an undiagnosed special need for a child that literally ate bread at every meal to the exclusion of everything else for days at a time.
I'm really not sure how you can equate a child preferring bread to whatever else is offered as an undiagnosed special need. I like bread - some restaurants I have been known to enjoy it more than the meal (especially this wonderful Italian restaurant). While I was in college I went on a tour of Europe and there were times that bread was all I had to eat for several meals in a row - it was always the one thing that I could count on that I would like if there were no other options that I would eat.

Kids can be extremely picky at times in their lives - they can also be stubborn. If there was nothing that my child wanted to eat that was offered I would be glad that bread was something that was acceptable and would fill her belly until the next meal/snack/morning.
post #48 of 303
Thread Starter 
I am talking about ONLY bread for SUCH a long time that it would be to the exclusion of any other thing. Not sure if you read the whole thread, but we do offer bread at each meal and my children eat it every so often instead of a meal.

However, another poster suggested that eating "so much bread" could also be unhealthy. And I am just saying, if you're eating so much bread that it's unhealthy, that suggests another problem. It suggests that you really cannot stand to eat anything else.

Not that filling up on bread at Guido's suggests a special need. I love bread! But I also occasionally eat other things, LOL.
post #49 of 303
I don't police how much my child uses the bathroom and I don't police how much he eats. That is what his body signals exist to determine. If I see a problem arise I address it, but he is always free to eat if he believes his body is hungry. I trusted ds to tell me when he was hungry as a baby, and there is no reason to think he lost that ability with age.

The only thing I control is the food that comes in the house--and that is a lot of control indeed, more than enough to ensure he eats well.

So, yes I think it is harsh to withhold healthy food. I don't think it is horrible or anything, but it isn't a choice I would make.
post #50 of 303
I agree with Mamaofthree. I think that the whole rigid "3 meals a day plus X number of snacks" each day is actually less healthy than "snacking." (we call it grazing) (provided that the "snacks" are nutritious food) Of course we serve the major meals but if a person's hungry in between those meals, and the overall foods being eaten by the children are nutritious, I think all the other controlling stuff can be done away with. We (in America) seem to look at things in this really rigid, scheduled, food-pyramid kind of way (left over from when we were growing up), but it's really arbitrary, I think. Give the body what the body needs. Seriously! What if you ate whole grain rice for all 3 meals one day, and veggies for the next day, and proteins for the third day....by the end of the week you'd get all the nutrition you need! But I guarantee there are many people who would just feel that was WAY too weird. Of course it is weird to some extent but take a look at diets around the world; our way is not the only way. Viewing other ways of eating gives us some valued perspective.

And by the way, so much of the conventional wisdom we grew up with (like "drink your milk" and "you must have meat at each meal so you can get enough protein") is being proven to be unhealthy. (I just turned vegan recently and in the vegetarian "starter" kit material, I read with great surprise that eating too much protein can actually cause us to fail to absorb calcium properly, resulting in deficiency....I had been raised to think that milk was practically sacred! Oh well, another childhood food "rule" blown away....)

Anyway, I need to get back to work. I am afraid that I will rant if I hurry too much (that ship has probably sailed...my post is all over the map. haha!!) so I guess I'll sign off.

I just wanted to say that two-cents worth that a little flexibility can be sensible and even healthy. :-)
post #51 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 your snacks have the same nutritional level as the foods you use for meals, what does it matter?
post #52 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
If your snacks have the same nutritional level as the foods you use for meals, what does it matter?
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.
post #53 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
What I don't understand is why self regulating food intake is good for your baby but not your 3 year old. I think unhealthy is a better word than harsh. Your 3.5 year old's little body needs fuel. If her blood sugar deeps low it can effect her behavior and her ability to learn. If she goes without food for long periods of time can effect her metabolism. Also being hungry a lot of the time can give her food issues. So If your DD doesn't eat dinner can she have a piece of fruit or leftovers as a bedtime snack?

My 4.5 year old self regulates her food intake. She can eat whenever she wants and what ever we have in the house. She usually does eat dinner with us, but the other meals/snacks are when she wants. Has she ever had Spaghetti-Os? No, we do buy canned beans though and she will have garbanzo or pinto beans for a snack or lunch. I control our family diet when I shop for food. Letting a child eat when they're hungry and letting a child eat overprocessed foods with poor nutritional value are not related issues. Letting a child eat when they are hungry and only as much as they want encourages them to listen to their body when it comes to food intake.
post #54 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
I don't police how much my child uses the bathroom and I don't police how much he eats. That is what his body signals exist to determine. If I see a problem arise I address it, but he is always free to eat if he believes his body is hungry. I trusted ds to tell me when he was hungry as a baby, and there is no reason to think he lost that ability with age.

The only thing I control is the food that comes in the house--and that is a lot of control indeed, more than enough to ensure he eats well.

So, yes I think it is harsh to withhold healthy food. I don't think it is horrible or anything, but it isn't a choice I would make.
I totally agree.
post #55 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.
Isn't it more healthy to eat smaller "meals" more often rather than three large meals anyway. I agree, as long as the snacks are healthy and even out throughout the day in terms of food groups/nutritional aspects, then what is the worry? That is actaully what we should all strive toward, rather than eating larger meals that are dictated by the modern lifestyle.

I often cook separate meals (or parts of meals) for DD as she does not like curry. She often get a choice on those evenings. If, on occasion, she is too busy to eat or not hungry for dinner when it is ready, then it is set aside until she is ready. No biggie - why force a person to eat that is not ready or punish them by witholding food? She also gets plenty of snacks, including a small bedtime snack, which I help her to balance out throughout the day by giving her choices along the way (if she already had two protein oriented snacks, I will encourage fruit or veggies, for example).
post #56 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post
I think that the whole rigid "3 meals a day plus X number of snacks" each day is actually less healthy than "snacking." (we call it grazing) (provided that the "snacks" are nutritious food)
So do I.

We didn't always have domesticated animals and agriculture. At one time, we were hunter gatherers and ate when we found something. Our bodies are meant to graze.

I think the whole "3 meals a day" thing began with agriculture and industry, out of convenience.

DS1 went to bed hungry a few times when he was 5-6 years old. It was a matter of him being a PITA about what I'd made, and too stubborn to get himself a healthy alternative. For us, it was a phase and it passed.
post #57 of 303
Personally (although maybe it's just in our family ) I've found that having fairly structured meal and snack times has made all this a non-issue. They're eating every 2-3 hours. I always make sure to serve at least something they like. They're always welcome to bread and spread (butter, all fruit, pb, whatever) if nothing suits. And we try to just have healthy choices. If my kid didn't eat dinner at 5:30, I probably wouldn't offer anything too exciting if they came to me at 7:30 and said they were hungry... but I wouldn't send them to bed hungry either. Yogurt, cheese, something like that.
post #58 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
If your snacks have the same nutritional level as the foods you use for meals, what does it matter?
Because we eat together as a family, and everyone eats the same thing. I never really put that much thought into it until now. It's just what we do. I think it would be kinda silly for me to prepare something for 2 of us and the 3rd just sat there with a cup of yogurt
post #59 of 303
I think whether a family has a structured schedule for meals or not is really a family preference. I hear so much how much better it is for kids to eat at regular set intervals, but I've never seen any evidence to support that. In fact the adults I've seen that eat like that (that need to eat at 8am, 12pm, 5pm) are by no means in great shape and to me it seems to indicate a certain inflexibility. Having said that, I think we all have a built-in schedule or non-schedule preference. I am pretty positive that my mom fed me on a regular schedule (and enforced a bedtime etc), but I am completely non-schedule type person. Sometimes I am not remotely hungry at meals, and could be starving in between. I don't think it's a big deal one way or another as long as you get in a certain amount of good food.

Ds (2.5 yrs old) eats a variety of foods...I think the only thing he's ever had out of a can was olives (anyone else's kid an olive fanatic???). Otherwise we just don't buy food we don't want him to eat except once in a while.

My big problem with feeding him is that we travel a lot. And there's not always healthy food around, plus there's the distract-ability factor so when we can make a healthy meal on the road, there's too much new stuff around for him to be able to concentrate on the meal. And it's not like you can keep wild salmon around waiting to be eaten when there's no fridge. And, if we're visiting my family, the kids eat crap (like ice cream before, after and instead of dinner). How do I tell my kid that he can't do the same when he's had ice cream like only 4 times in his entire life? Or yesterday, for dinner everyone was drinking Gatorade...and of course, what kid doesn't want to drink stuff that looks like antifreeze? Ugh! So, it's really hard when you're not in your own house taking care of all the meals.
post #60 of 303
Well... I have gently told my kids that they could eat breakfast when they woke up. But I allow them to have a snack up until about 20 minutes before bed, and I do think it would be harsh to refuse a child food if they were really hungry. Leftover dinner, if I felt strongly about it, but no, I don't send my kids to bed hungry.
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