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Kids playing with and wasting food + Meal and snack scheduling discussion - Page 8

post #141 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBug
Also my kids ask for something to eat and sometimes I have to say no as it is too close to mealtime. I don't feel there is anything wrong with this, my oldest will sometimes say " Well I am really hungry can I have something to hold me off?" If it not super close to the dinner being ready I will tell him fine he can have something small, but if dinner is almost done then I say no.
I agree with this. If they are going to snack while dinner is on the stove and be too full to eat dinner, why am I even bothering to make it?
post #142 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers
I agree with this. If they are going to snack while dinner is on the stove and be too full to eat dinner, why am I even bothering to make it?
Appetizers. A few veggies and a tiny bit of dressing, a small bit of bread...all things adults are allowed.

And we make dinner for ourselves and our partners (maybe) and other children. We can do this dinner time thing without forbidding anything and helping the child get what she needs.

I know sometimes i say 5 mnuites, but by the time everyone has washed their hands and settled at the table it's more like 15, and in 15 minutes a small child can go from being pleasant to having a meltdown.

Sometimes I go ahead and put the salad or whatever else on my 6 yr old's plate as the rest of the family saunters on in. Sometimes I even go ahead and start the blessing (May faith in the spirit of life and hope in the community of earth and love in the sacred in ourseves and each other, be ours this day and in all the days to com) while people are still walking towards their chairs.

But eveyone gets what they need in the end.
post #143 of 432
Mamabug that post made it much clearer~

I think the key is that in any home you will have preferences, and limits etc. that you all help each other learn to respect. I have always spoken, and expected ds to try to emulate, fairness, and responsibility. Of course if ds asks for a food, I would expect him to only ask if he intended to eat it. I've never really had a problem with this issue. If he snacks while waiting, I probably won't say anything unless I think he's actually filling up. I snack while I wait for food too. If I know it's something that will make him too full to eat, I'll ask him to leave room for the food he requested.

Mamaduck~what a great post! I agree with all of it.

I *am* impressed with what your kids do in the kitchen! Could they teach my ds a few of those skills *LOL*
post #144 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
Appetizers. A few veggies and a tiny bit of dressing, a small bit of bread...all things adults are allowed.

We, the adults, don't eat while dinner is cooking either, unless there is a party(then our guests do, but we don't...unless dinner is going to be late), then ofcourse the children have appetizers too, then they play instead of eat dinner because they are full. The way my children eat, an appetizer is a full meal. They aren't big eaters. Seriously a full meal for my 9 you is 4 baby carrots, a stick of celery, and 2oz of chicken.
post #145 of 432
I do understand where everyone is coming from, but I don't think many of you are thinking about how different families are in their daily life. ppl keep saying things like "If you were hungry you would eat, why shouldn't they?" But in my family NONE of us snack whenever we feel like it. We have Breakfast at 730 or 800am, lunch at 1145 snack at 330 and dinner at 630, period, for ALL of us, grownups AND kids. We don't do a snack before bed because the kids go straight into the bathtub after dinner, then it's a story and bedtime. they go to bed between 8 and 830 every night......because we're tired and are in bed by 9 most nights ourselves. My husband gets up at 530am to get ready for work, and I'm up by 6am. I have coffee, toast and a piece of fruit, for my breakfast, then I make breakfast for the kids when they get up. They usually wake up at 7am. That's not to say we're totally inflexible. If one of the kids is off of their schedule for some reason and didnt' eat well at meal time I'll give them a few crackers or piece of fruit inbetween time. And they are welcome to get drinks from the kitchen and fridge whenever they live. We've just never made between meal snacking a habit in our home so it doesn't occur to them to do it normally.

-Heather
post #146 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers
We, the adults, don't eat while dinner is cooking either, unless there is a party(then our guests do, but we don't...unless dinner is going to be late), then ofcourse the children have appetizers too, then they play instead of eat dinner because they are full. The way my children eat, an appetizer is a full meal. They aren't big eaters. Seriously a full meal for my 9 you is 4 baby carrots, a stick of celery, and 2oz of chicken.
: Egocentricity at play. I always put out veggies while I am cooking, & i am bad about sampling. i also do let my dd start her meal (hence my salad example) as the other older, more patient folks are meandering about and if she needs to.

Although, as long we as are nitpicking, you could go head and serve one carrot, 1/2 stick of celery and .5 oz of chicken--which would only mean that the child has a little less to eat at the 'official' meal.

But any particular post can be picked apart. I think the spirit of it all is helping a child get what they need without arbitrary adult controls
post #147 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
: Egocentricity at play. I always put out veggies while I am cooking, & i am bad about sampling. i also do let my dd start her meal (hence my salad example) as the other older, more patient folks are meandering about and if she needs to.

Although, as long we as are nitpicking, you could go head and serve one carrot, 1/2 stick of celery and .5 oz of chicken--which would only mean that the child has a little less to eat at the 'official' meal.

But any particular post can be picked apart. I think the spirit of it all is helping a child get what they need without arbitrary adult controls

LOL, but you see, if the meal isn't cooked yet, the chicken would still be raw
post #148 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers
We, the adults, don't eat while dinner is cooking either,.

Which is fine for adults, butis it fair for adults to decide if/when children are hungry? Adults get the choice, children don't, they just have to go along with what the adults want, and that's my biggest issue here.

Kids are controlled, but the adults get to feel their own hunger and go ahead and eat if they want to-- then they also get to dedide their children's hunger.

Do you see where i am coming from, at all?

Have you read any Alfie Kohn? Or John Holt?
post #149 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers
LOL, but you see, if the meal isn't cooked yet, the chicken would still be raw
Raw carrots and raw celery, anyone?
post #150 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
Raw carrots and raw celery, anyone?

And oh yeah, if the chilcken is still raw, it's more than 5 minutes until dinner.
post #151 of 432
Something struck me, reading this (yes, I read the whole thing ~ sleeping baby on my lap gives me a good excuse! )

If kitchen BELONGS to Mama, how does this encourage children the take pride or ownership of food choices? I have to think that at least part of the problem here is that the children are a) rather p-o'd at being controlled and b) have no ownership of the area. Respect is learned through interest and inclusion, not by being told (either implicity or explicity) that you are not capable or welcome in a certain area of the home.

Obviously agreeing whole-heartedly with UUMom, mamaduck and others

Anyway, I know OP is probably long gone and even though she seems to have affirmed her original plans, I think the post still has value in that other, more GD-inspired, ideas have been shared.
post #152 of 432
Quote:
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.
post #153 of 432
Quote:
But in my family NONE of us snack whenever we feel like it. We have Breakfast at 730 or 800am, lunch at 1145 snack at 330 and dinner at 630, period, for ALL of us, grownups AND kids.
Why?
post #154 of 432
Whether or not you want to hear this, the minute your child decides she is going to snack behind your back without asking (and most children, around later elementary years, will figure this out. If you don't believe me visit a school cafeteria at lunchtime and witness the phenomenal amount of trading, swapping, and begging for snacks that happens), your entire philosophy of food scheduling will go right out the window. It will be over and you won't be able to do a thing about it.

Food control is always a temporary control. Humans just do not accept having their food limited if they can help it. If you have read anything about life inside countries, armies, or other conditions where food exists but access is restricted, the only thing traded and snuck and ferreted away with more gusto is probably cigarettes. You are certain to lose control long before you expected it. The irony is that most humans take pride in controlling their own eating habits, but we rarely connect the dots. By the time you realize what your kids have already figured out, they won't need or care about your help or approval. They will be quite adept at working behind your back.

Which is the point of this entire thread.
post #155 of 432
My mom played keeper of the kitchen. We were never allowed to go in there, ever.


When I was a kid I carved with a nail on the back fence "I'm Hungry" and it's still there--my dad still lives there. I spent so much of my life waiting until the clock said it was time to eat.
post #156 of 432
I think if somehow you think food=love, then any attempt by parents to restrict access to food (assumng child is still being fed) might somehow translate to deprivation of love.
Food in its natural state is not readily availible to all humans.
Food must be grown or gathered and washed and prepared.
Child or adult, it is the normal state of affairs to have to wait to eat until these processes are complete.
Sometimes I cook while my stomach is growling, but I appreciate my meal that much more when it is ready. I dont just stop and eat somethign quicker instead.
And I dont think it does our children any favors to train their bodies to expect easy to eat foods to be availible at all times.

As for "on demand" feeding. Breastmilk is availible at the right temperature 24 hours a day. But the very first time we offer our child solid food, it is on OUR schedule. Not theirs. They do not ask for somethign they have never had (unless they see us eating it, again which is on OUR eating schedule)
So while I nurse my children on demand, I prepare meals on a schedule.
The first time I offer food I choose the time. The when I offer it twice a day, again I choose the time. Eventually I have chosen 5 times or so a day when I offer my children food.
joline
post #157 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds
My mom played keeper of the kitchen. We were never allowed to go in there, ever.


When I was a kid I carved with a nail on the back fence "I'm Hungry" and it's still there--my dad still lives there. I spent so much of my life waiting until the clock said it was time to eat.
That's so sad. My mom was also a control freak with food, in a very abusive way. Maybe that's why I am reacting so strongly to this thread. It reminds me of the time I accidentally wandered into an Ezzo playgroup, and a little boy helped himself to his own sippy cup- the mom took it away and said, "No. It's not juice time." I thought juice time was when you were thirsty. I suppose there would be legitimate reasons for strictly controlling a child's food intake, such as my friend whose daughter can die if she eats too much protein, but what I am not seeing that here.
post #158 of 432
I do agree with the kids not asking permission to eat, and with whether to eat or not being a decision the child not the partent makes. It is right and respectful.

On the other hand, there is an underlying assumption that doing this will mean that the child grows up listening to hunger cues and not overeating and/or engaging in bad eating behaviors (dieting, binging, emotional eating, bordom eating). Unfortunatly, I think there is a strong genetic, not just learned, component to this stuff. The best we can do as parents is not make these natural tendencies worse, but if they are there, they are there.

My parents actually did everything "right" (except we had to eat what my mom cooked for dinner). We ate whenever we wanted; my mom asked us what we wanted for breakfast and lunch and made it until we were old enough to make it ourselves; there was always food available to us to make and eat. We ate lots of healthy food (spinach was an early favorite of mine), but sweets were never forbiddon. Yet I was weird about food as long as I can remember. I would sit at the table eating teaspoons of suger from the suger bowl, feeling really bad/ashamed that I was doing so (though my parents didn't care); I got tremendous satisfaction from eating and never listened to huger cues because eating never had anything to do with hunger. I remember eating until I felt gross on a regular basis - sitting on the couch and eating packets of saltine crackers and dry ramon noodles (fortunately, I have a really fast metabolism). I also felt really "bad" about this eating.

I imagine if my parents had tried to restrict, it would have been much worse. I do think, however, that parents who restrict are probably themselves a little genetically weird about food (i.e. they get a "abnormal" physical satisfaction and guilt from eating) and thus raise children who are genetically predisposed to binge and diet and engage in bordom/emotional eating. Parents who don't feel the need to restrict themselves and thus their children are more likley to have children who, genetically, are wired to see food as a nice need rather than this weird place of intense pleasure, satisfaction, and guilt (food guilt is hardwired into some people - at four years old I used to imagine "good food" and "bad food" fighting it out in my belly).
post #159 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Sometimes I cook while my stomach is growling, but I appreciate my meal that much more when it is ready. I dont just stop and eat somethign quicker instead.
And I dont think it does our children any favors to train their bodies to expect easy to eat foods to be availible at all times.

As for "on demand" feeding. Breastmilk is availible at the right temperature 24 hours a day. But the very first time we offer our child solid food, it is on OUR schedule. Not theirs. They do not ask for somethign they have never had (unless they see us eating it, again which is on OUR eating schedule)
So while I nurse my children on demand, I prepare meals on a schedule.
The first time I offer food I choose the time. The when I offer it twice a day, again I choose the time. Eventually I have chosen 5 times or so a day when I offer my children food.
joline
I find this to be really sad and controlling. I don't think it does our children any favors, not does it promote attachment, to teach them that their hunger will only be satisfied on our schedule.

The whole point of nursing on demand, in relation to attachment parenting, is to show that mama will satisfy their needs on cue. This need doesn't change when they switch to solid foods.
post #160 of 432
Quote:
Food in its natural state is not readily availible to all humans.
Well there are two points here:

Food is readily available to most of our children and they absolutely know it.
There is no point in comparing them to starving children in another country.

The second point is that children enjoy finding, washing, and preparing foods when they are eager to eat them. So there is no reason to put them at odds with the process.

Quote:
Breastmilk is availible at the right temperature 24 hours a day. But the very first time we offer our child solid food, it is on OUR schedule. Not theirs. They do not ask for somethign they have never had (unless they see us eating it, again which is on OUR eating schedule)
I don't know quite how to phrase this. It seems like you are saying the only reason you breastfed on demand was because no work was involved. Once feeding involved effort, you refused to do it unless you felt like it, and refused to teach your child how to do for themselves.

I am sorry if you meant this differently, but that is how it looked.
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