Developing healthy eating habits with older babes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not quite sure how to explain myself, so bear with me:

Mamas of older babes who have started solids, do you ever offer snacks if your lo is cranking, say in the car? Do you ever think it may create an "unhealthy" association w/ food as something to do when bored or unhappy?
And I've read a few things that say how breastfed babies who are nursed on demand and for comfort won't necessarily associate "eating" with comfort (ie. emotional eating) when they're older... but I'm curious what others thoughts are on this. I mean, how are the seeds for emotional eating planted? How do you tell w/ a lo who can't verbalize what they want if it's hunger or comfort or boredom? There was another thread I saw a little while ago that talked about not making an issue out of food (as in being too strict), but then how do you prevent a picky eater who will only eat one or two things?

I'm just curious to know what other mamas think, and how you're handling the transition from ebf to more solids.

(dd is 12 mo, nursed on demand, and has days when she loves solids. I will give her snacks in the car, and we have zero mealtime structure at home...)
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#2 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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My belief is that kids up to about age 3 have a fabulous ability to only eat when hungry. Even if they are offered their favorite food they will only eat when hungry. Therefore, I see no problem with snacks in the car. Usually, if they're not hungry they just try to dump the O's out of the snack trap anyways. Either way, they're entertained.

With my 3 yo, I wait for him to ask. When he does, I try to have good snack options available in the car.

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#3 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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nak...
I agree with pp. I think that we need to follow their lead when they are very young and then try to help them keep listening to their bodies as they get older!
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#4 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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I don't offer food in the car to a young child mostly because I worry about choking... honestly, I don't offer food in any situation where I can't be paying attention/able to be immediately responsive.

That aside, I agree with the "browsing/snacking" ideas put out by DrSears. I make "nibble plates" for my ds and similar plates for my older kiddos. I've found with my older kiddos that having a snack tray ready and waiting for them actually cuts down on "non-hunger" eating. If they are hungry, there are several options on the tray (for example, right now there are apple slices, peanutbutter for dipping, banana chunks, and cheese cubes on the girls' tray and banana chunks, "mashed" black beans, and baby rice crackers on my son's tray). If they complain that they're hungry and don't want those options I know it's probably not hunger something else at work... so we have a glass of water, do a craft or take a walk and check back on the "hunger" subject later.

But I don't know about offering food specifically because a child is bored/fussy. I can see how that might create an association (I'm bored, so I eat). But if it's only every now and then it probably wont be a crucial part of their food picture. Is there something other than food that could be offered in the car seat? A special toy, interactive mirror, sing along music? I know at a year it's tough to find something for the car!

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#5 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 05:05 PM
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i worry about the same thing as i have also given dd crackers in the car with extreme fussing. on the one hand, i don't want to be the mom who doles out food with every whine and i know i've been guilty of it at least on one long road trip (there was no way she was actually hungry for that many bottles and snacks...it was all for comfort at a certain point.) and yeah, i don;t like the safety aspect of it.

on the other hand, dd is usually pretty laid back in the car and if she's crying it usually means she's putting herself to sleep and only lasts a couple of minutes. so if she's still freaking out back there and the crackers have helped...maybe she really was hungry. plus it's only happened a couple of times.

i'm interested in the snack trays for younger kiddos though....i like the idea of enabling her to her maximum and had planned on having available self-serve snacks when she was a little bigger.
where do you put these snack trays for babies and at what age would you start?
at 10 months now i feel like she might just make a mess out of it all or eat just because she loves what's there. or maybe after the initial excitement she would regulate and just go over when hungry???

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#6 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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My ds is 10mo too! And yes, there is some mess involved. Actually, "some" is an understatement when black beans are on the menu. But for the nibble trays at that age I only put out small amounts and if the mess seems like it may get out of hand I redirect him. The girls are 3yo and 5yo so they require less supervision.

Dr Sears has a whole book about child nutrition (The Family Nutrition Book) and a family nutrition section on his website.

Hmmmm... the girls' tray is just a large platter that sits on the kitchen counter. They can reach it but ds can't. Their water bottles are there too (ds likes to dump stuff ). Ds's tray is on a wooden stepstool. He can stand/cxruise but doesn't walk yet. The snack tray is a "grippy" footed bowl that has three sections. But I've used muffin trays, ice trays, random plates/bowls, plastic plates from IKEA, etc.

Hmmmm... there is also the "introducing solids" page on the kellymom breastfeeding site. It has a lot of links about all sorts of stuff, including grazing/snacking in older infants and younger toddlers. It might be worth checking out even though you've obviously done the "introducing solids" bit!

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#7 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
But I don't know about offering food specifically because a child is bored/fussy. I can see how that might create an association (I'm bored, so I eat). But if it's only every now and then it probably wont be a crucial part of their food picture. Is there something other than food that could be offered in the car seat? A special toy, interactive mirror, sing along music? I know at a year it's tough to find something for the car!
I guess that's the thing I was getting at-- since dd can't tell me that she's hungry, I don't really know unless I offer her something (after I've tried non-food solutions like a toy or change of scenery) and she accepts or rejects it. Its easy to tell with nursing b/c she'll just dive for the boobs or pull my shirt down when she wants them; but there are times when she definitely wants solids, but it's tough to tell when that's what she needs/wants.

What the pp said about them (being lo's 0-3) only eating when they're hungry makes sense. I guess it's the offering part that i've been thinking about-- like will they think they should be hungry or want to eat b/c you're offering them something? I don't think I'm setting the stage for emotional eating with dd, i've just been thinking about how our relationship to food starts, what influences it. I was driving somewhere far away with my brother and dd was cranking hard-- she didn't want to play peek-a-boo or sing or read a book or play with anything, even my iPhone-- so I offered her an apple, which she loves. She had at it; but my brother asked me if I worried that giving her food when she was cranky would set her up for emotional eating. I said no, but couldn't explain why. So I've just been thinking about it ever since....

Thanks for the Sear's book rec-- I will check it out.
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#8 of 8 Old 07-21-2010, 01:47 AM
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i'm totally going to do self-serve baby snacks! i love love love it!!!!

oh crap.....the dog.....well, we'll figure something out.

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