|Seriously a full meal for my 9 you is 4 baby carrots, a stick of celery, and 2oz of chicken.
then give her the carrots and celery if she's too hungry to wait, and serve the chicken at the table?
Babies can thrive on a strict schedule. But most here don't think it's best, not only for physiological reasons, but for emotional and psychological reasons, to demand feed.
If an older child says 'I'm hungry, I don't want to wait' why is this your decision? Why are they asking you to decide for them? Is that really what you want? A child who depends on someone else to decide when and what he can eat? How is this the logical next step after two years of demand feeding your baby/toddler?
I don't think it is the logical result of demand feeding and I think parents who believe in demand feeding need to open their minds to continuing, rather than phasing out, that kind of respect for their child's hunger cues. I have no problem with basic routines in the kitchen, minimizing waste, encouraging children to make wise choices, teaching them how to be responsible in the kitchen, how to ask for help, how to be fair with requests they make, etc. That is essential. If you focus on this and never introduce the idea that they must ask permission to eat, or that they can only eat by the clock or by a schedule, there are so many issues parents worry *might* happen, which just do not happen.
Parents cannot underestimate how much easier it is to work *with* a child's natural hunger than to coax them away from it. Food is one of those basics that children are interested in without choosing. It's an instinct, and you can get so much farther encouraging them to make wise choices and learn good kitchen habits *while they satisfy hunger* than you can ever impose while they wait in frustration to eat!
This is such a simple yet almost magical truth. It is much easier to work with natural motivation and teach children when they are eager and interested. It's completely unnecessary to fear this or work against it. Children will naturally learn a great deal of give and take in the home (and the kitchen) without you even knowing it. They learn so much easier and gracefully when they aren't asked to choose between their own motivation to eat, and your expectation that they wait. If you let their motivation to eat guide them to food and help them in that moment to meet those needs in a constructive way, they are just...so much more receptive, it is hard to know what to say to a parent who refuses to look at the issue this way.