Kids playing with and wasting food + Meal and snack scheduling discussion - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-14-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
????
Well, the post I quoted was something you posted in which you quoted me, so I thought you were responding to me.

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Old 08-14-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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Mamabug/ Mmace ~

To begin I just want to point out, I really don't know any children who eat every hour at home. My son has never done it. Most children become engrossed in play at some point during the day, and choose to go much longer without stopping for a snack.

Second, shouldn't children, even at school, have access to a small healthy snack if they want it? That isn't unusual at some schools. In fact it's one of many things that parents really need to think about when choosing a school. Do you want your child forbidden from eating or drinking when hungry or thirsty? Many parents who do not want their children treated like that, make it a point to find a school that is flexible on this issue.

At public schools, you could probably get around this by saying your child may have low blood sugar if expected to go longer than, say, 2 hours without a small snack. Get a doctors note if you need too. Most likely the teacher would be happy to let the child sit out for a few minutes and have a small, quiet, prepared snack from their bag. It doesn't address the larger issue of the schools attitude, but it would address the needs of your own child.

In the real world, most jobs do not forbid a person from attending to their personal needs when they feel it is necessary. I have never had a job which prevented me from keeping a power bar in my purse and finding a few minutes to eat. I personally do not need to do it, but I knew I could if I wanted, and that is really the point here.

In general, I think we need to avoid comparing work and college to the compulsory attitude of schools towards children. In almost half the states in this country, it is still legal to take a wooden plank and hit children repeatedly with it. In my state, Arkansas, it is *legal to hit special needs or handicapped children*. Please think about that. Please think about the way our society *really* views children. It is not the same treatement we enjoy at college or at work. Nobody would *ever* dream of striking a handicapped adult. Can you even image it? Can you picture your boss getting upset with, say, a coworker who had spina bifida, and reaching for a plank, and striking him with it? But right here in my state, it is legal to do this in Searcy county.

My point is that asking "what about school" is a much more complicated question than it is often stated. I homeschool, but I really don't put that out as a "response" because I realize not everyone can or will. However, I think what is important is the attitude you instill in your child. I think it's important for your child to know that *you* believe he has rights, and that you will stand up for him if he feels his needs are not being met in the school system. I think it's important that your child know that you would never be angry or upset with him if he were to snack or drink something outside of that kind of schedule. It may seem like a small thing but it could make all the difference in how your child perceives the school environment.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:52 PM
 
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mmace, at my university, we were treated like adults. Pretty much everyone brought a cup of coffee or bottle of water to class, and we were allowed to eat if hungry. I am not currently in the workforce, but I know my partner is allowed to eat at his desk any time he chooses.

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Old 08-14-2005, 07:15 PM
 
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I find this issue about feeding kids when they are hungry to be odd and hyberbolic. There seem to be people who are confusing "when the child is hungry" with "the instant the child is hungry." If my kids wander into the kitchen while I am getting out the plates to set the table, I am not going to give them a snack because as soon as the table is set (which takes about 2 minutes) I am going to serve the food. The kids will probably be eating within 5 minutes. To me, that is feeding my kids when they are hungry.

If my kids come to me and say, "We're hungry, Momma!" and I say, "Oh, well, I guess I'll go in and start dinner" (which means it will probably be about 1/2 an hour until dinner is on the table), then I will give them a light snack.

Half an hour is a very long time for a 3 and a 2 year old to wait when they are hungry. Five minutes while they was their hands and help set the table is not unreasonable.

If you want to hand your kid a snack any time, day or night, that's fine. But it's also fine to tell your kids that dinner will be on the table in a matter of minutes and they can eat then. Mothers who don't feed their kids instantaneously are not refusing to feed their kids when the kids are hungry.

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Old 08-14-2005, 07:42 PM
 
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dharmamama I think you may overlooked something many keep saying.

It isn't about the mother dropping everything she is doing and leaping into action at the words "I'm hungry". The phrase "Just a minute" isn't a crime. No one said that.

This discussion is (to me) not about what the parent is doing, it is about what the child knows they are free to do, regardless of what the parent is doing.

It may not look very different. In fact, I think it is very rare that a child, hearing snack would be ready in 2 minutes, would actually stop their play to go and fix themselves something in under 60 seconds flat *LOL* C'mon!

If your child knows they are free to eat when hungry, that is a separate issue from how often you are making a point of offering snacks, or the speed at which you put them on the table. I have no idea how often you might want to do that, or how often your child would like that. Whatever you wind up doing, it won't be intimidating or controlling on any level, if your child knows you are not ordering them to wait, you are politely asking. You can't define the difference in that moment. That moment is a reflection of the attitude you already have in your home. If your child knows they are free to grab a cracker if it's that important to them, your "just a minute" is not controlling them.

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Old 08-14-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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{{If your child knows they are free to grab a cracker if it's that important to them, your "just a minute" is not controlling them}}

And hyberbolic or not --this is the basis of my food philosophy.

I even put 'pre dinner' (aka appetizers) food on the table-- raw veggies, bread, sometimes bits of cheese, maybe crackers instead of cheese. It doesn't matter to me. In fact, i think sometimes their tastebuds get a little activated by this.

It's not about dinner is in 5 minutes or 15 or 30. Or whether a person schedules 3 meals a day or 6. For me, it 's all about letting a person's own body dertermining it's needs. If my kid is sitting at the table and I we are starting to serve food or set the table, any person knows that they can reach out a munch a carrot as they do this. It's simply there. If it isn't, any person of any age is *free* to reach into the fridge and get one. I cannot bother to micromange anyone this way. For one thing, it's exahusting, but for me, it's also symbolic of greater control.
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Old 08-14-2005, 09:38 PM
 
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It's not about dinner is in 5 minutes or 15 or 30. Or whether a person schedules 3 meals a day or 6. For me, it 's all about letting a person's own body dertermining it's needs. If my kid is sitting at the table and I we are starting to serve food or set the table, any person knows that they can reach out a munch a carrot as they do this. It's simply there. If it isn't, any person of any age is *free* to reach into the fridge and get one. I cannot bother to micromange anyone this way. For one thing, it's exahusting, but for me, it's also symbolic of greater control.
:

Exactly. This is it *exactly*.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Well, the post I quoted was something you posted in which you quoted me, so I thought you were responding to me.

Namaste!
You asked how holding a child accountable = punishment (and I quoted nothing more than that question); the holding someone accountable that we were debating in that protion of the thread had to do with posters who have their kids work around the house to earn money to pay for wasted food.
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa
mmace, at my university, we were treated like adults. Pretty much everyone brought a cup of coffee or bottle of water to class, and we were allowed to eat if hungry. I am not currently in the workforce, but I know my partner is allowed to eat at his desk any time he chooses.
white collar workers eat at their desk at will. Blue collar workers *may" have to wait for breaks depending on the work.

Regardless. I don'tr think teh fact they will have to eat on a schedule when they are in 1st grade is any reason to make them eat on a scedule at four (there may be valid reasons, but this isn't one). It is like saying, they will have to sit at a desk for 45 minutes strait in kindergarden so I'm going to have them sit at a desk for 45 minutes strait when they are four.
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
white collar workers eat at their desk at will. Blue collar workers *may" have to wait for breaks depending on the work.
Yes there are class issues involved too.

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Old 08-14-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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Second, shouldn't children, even at school, have access to a small healthy snack if they want it? That isn't unusual at some schools. In fact it's one of many things that parents really need to think about when choosing a school. Do you want your child forbidden from eating or drinking when hungry or thirsty? Many parents who do not want their children treated like that, make it a point to find a school that is flexible on this issue.
My children have access to their lunchboxes all day at school. They can drink and snack at will.

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It isn't about the mother dropping everything she is doing and leaping into action at the words "I'm hungry".
Indeed it is not. But this leads back to the Original Topic. I don't think we need to be jumping every time our kids say "jump." But then its only fair to allow them some independence and ownership in the kitchen. IMO -- kids should be able to grab a peice of fruit or a handful of crackers without any help. Even very young kids.
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-14-2005, 11:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Do I want my kids to yell when they are angry? Not really, but I know it's going to happen because my kids are human and not perfect. Same as I am. When I get really angry, sometimes I yell. So do my kids. Then we apologize and move on. I don't believe that, even if I were perfect and never, ever yelled at my kids, that they would never ever yell at me (or anyone else).

i've never been in a yelling family/household. really, i'm not close with anyone who raises their voices. it bothers me so much and just puts out such bad energy. i know it's normal (even rarely) in some places, but it just doesn't sit right with me.

i don't think adults/kids have to be perfect, of course not. i just don't think it can EVER hurt to look closely at negative communication.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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Well unfortunately my child does not go to a school where he will have access to his lunchbox all day long. And I am not going to lie to the school and get a fake note from the Dr saying he HAS to eat, that would just be wrong imo. He can drink when he needs to and often brings in a water bottle with him. The fact is that many schools don't allow children to eat other then at lunch and snack time. Otherwise the whole class would want to eat something and if this happens at various times of the day nothing would get done.

And thank you heartmama for discussing the whole school/food issue and not just stating that you homeschool so you would not know. I agree it would be nice for him to have access to food if he needs it, and I am sure if he came home and told me he was starving in school and needed to eat but wasn't allowed to that I would talk to the teacher and work something out for him, on the up and up though. I was just asking out of curiosity to see if ppl have ideas to address this.

mamawanbe I agree a 4 year old does not have to do the same things that a child who attends kindergarden but making them sit at a desk for 45 minutes is not the same as maybe saying honey since you just ate lunch 5 minutes ago lets wait a little for your snack. And again I will state that when my children are hungry I feed them.

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Old 08-15-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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however If I am offering my child a snack at 9:30 every single day, guess what, they will be hungry for a snack at almost precisely 9:30 every single day. The body is hungry at the times it is used to getting food.
This is not true. People may eat at the same time because that's when they're used to eating (or because their mom wants them to eat a snack, and their hunger for it is irrelevant), but it has nothing to do with hunger.

Bodies don't get hungry at a certain just because they're "used to getting food" at that time.



Really, this discussion about scheduling food is startling to me. The discussion is remarkably similar to debates that moms have who schedule formula or breastmilk for their children.

If my DS is hungry, I don't rush in a prepare a 3-course meal for him, and sometimes I make him wait for a minute or two. But if his body tells him that he needs food, he should listen to that signal, and satiate his need (consequently I have several healthy and unhealthy snacks available for him at all times of the day).

That is what eating is supposed to be all about! Eating when your body tells you to.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:05 AM
 
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If you read further she also says that she does not make her children wait if they are hungry at a different time, but she does offer snacks at certain times during the day. I don't really think anyone on this thread talks about not feeding a child when they are hungry? Unless I totally missed something?

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Old 08-15-2005, 02:11 AM
 
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She definitely DID allude to giving them a snack at certain times that they should eat even if they're not hungry. And many posts have mentioned that they have their children wait until dinner if they're hungry.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:17 AM
 
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I believe that most ppl, including myself said we may make them wait a few *minutes* until dinner, not making them starve until we make dinner.

And alluding is what you see, in another post she CLEARLY said that she feeds her children when they are hungry

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Old 08-15-2005, 04:40 AM
 
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And I am not going to lie to the school and get a fake note from the Dr saying he HAS to eat, that would just be wrong imo.
Why would you lie? I never said suggested you lie. I'm not sure why you took it that way, but apparently I wasn't very clear. If your child eats every two hours and gets hungry and irritable if expected to go longer, they probably do have low blood sugar. Talk to the pediatrician. Pull studies from the internet. There is a great deal of research which indicates that children study and concentrate better when fed snacks through the day (based on the way blood/sugars/proteins interacts in the body and affect behavior). In fact many programs for children with learning disabilities feed regular snacks for this very reason. If your child is much more comfortable eating a snack every couple of hours, and you want them to concentrate in an environment that expects them to learn, I would absolutely talk to the doctor, and have him address this with the school. He will probably choose to do that through a written recommendation. I realize now that speaking to the doctor about this may seem unnecessarily "heavy"~since my son is special needs I am so used to talking to doctors about everything, I forget how formal it can seem if you aren't doing it all the time.

RE the rest of your post~Mamabug there have been posts here which said snacks and meals were on a strict schedule, and eating outside of that was strongly discouraged and or/not allowed at all. I cannot cut and paste for you, but yes, it's been said.

Beyond that, the whole issue of "just 5 minutes" meaning different things depending on the background dynamics, you kind of glossed over in my reply.

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Old 08-15-2005, 10:24 AM
 
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I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, but I would like to point out that we have now spent over 100 posts discussing the finer points of kids' snacking.

We are REALLY REALLY REALLY lucky that such a topic is even cause for discussion, because many people in this world never get enough to eat.

Let's not lose perspective.

Namaste!
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, but I would like to point out that we have now spent over 100 posts discussing the finer points of kids' snacking.

We are REALLY REALLY REALLY lucky that such a topic is even cause for discussion, because many people in this world never get enough to eat.

Let's not lose perspective.

Namaste!
Good point.

The alternative pov, of course, is that having abundant food has not protected people from high rates of eating disorders. This is my first post on this thread (and last...even if I have to sit on my hands, lol)....but I can relate to the passion of many posters about the need for kids to have personal control of eating from a young age.

Food and feeding are hot topics.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:36 PM
 
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Otherwise the whole class would want to eat something and if this happens at various times of the day nothing would get done.
I just wanted to say that I really don't see this happening at my kid's schools. Sometimes the kids come in the morning holding a snack and continue to munch through circle time. Once in a while a child "excuses" himself or herself to get a quick bite by the lockers. More frequently, they are holding a water bottle during whatever is happening. Especially since they don't have AC. They need water constantly.

For the most part though, they are more interested in what is happening in class and don't want to be distracted by food until an official breaktime. They also use the kitchen at school to do group cooking projects -- so they snack on those several times a week as a group. And they all have a working knowlege of what goes into snack preparation and they value the effort and take the responsibility seriously.

This is a whole other subject, but IMO -- if kids are actively looking for ways to avoid schoolwork and classtime, then there is a real problem that needs to be addressed broadly -- probably a problem with the school. And restricting distractions like snacks is avoiding the real problem.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:55 PM
 
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I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, but I would like to point out that we have now spent over 100 posts discussing the finer points of kids' snacking.
It does seem sanctimonious to

1)Assume we are not well aware that many children go hungry and
2)Point this out *after* you've participated and posted, and then been disagreed with, in a thread.

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Old 08-15-2005, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KristiMetz
She definitely DID allude to giving them a snack at certain times that they should eat even if they're not hungry. And many posts have mentioned that they have their children wait until dinner if they're hungry.
I definitely did NOT say they should eat if they are not hungry.
I said I offered it at the same time a day regardless of whether they had indicated they were hungry or not.
Only my children decide whether or not they eat and how much.
Even as infants.
This is something I am so deeply opposed to that I just couldn't not defend myself against this gross misinterpretation of my words.
And to clarify. If I give my kids a snack at 9:30. THat does not mean I promptly remove it at 9:45 or somethign like that. The bowl of crackers or plate of apple slices stays out until it is finished with. I dont care if or when they eat it.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:38 PM
 
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I don't really care whether I have been disagreed with or not. I am well aware that I am not as laid-back, for lack of a better term, than a lot of parents here. It doesn't bother me because I am comfortable with how I parent. I do, however, like to participate in discussions, whether my opinion is the prevailing one or not.

However, I have two children from Ethiopia, where over half of the population is malnourished and on the edge of starvation. Food discussions are very near and dear to my heart after what I have seen in Ethiopia. My attitude toward and about food has changed greatly since my trip there. I do think it's important that people sometimes stop and think about how lucky we are to have to have the luxury of debating the issues we debate. I didn't say that the discussion was useless, nor did I tsk-tsk anyone for participating. I said I didn't mean to be sanctimonious. If you insist on taking it that way, that's not my issue. You don't have to agree with what I have said, but obviously I felt I had something meaningful to contribute or I wouldn't have contributed it.

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Old 08-15-2005, 02:06 PM
 
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If you just felt motivated to point out how you felt, then use "I" statements. Saying something like "Let's not lose perspective" does imply that some of us did or might, if you weren't here to remind us. If this was your only contribution to the thread, I'd just acknowledge it. But you've only said this after many other posts. It's a bit like "pulling rank" in a discussion. Since the point you are making is being disagreed with, you've tied it into a global crisis.

Suppose a parent who was also an abuse counselor responded to gentle discipline discussions against spanking with "Let's not lose perspective, the spankers here aren't beating their kids. Many children die from beatings. A smack on the hand is not a beating". People say things like this all the time. It misses the point completely. It's also a common response from the mainstream to GD.

P.S.

I would like to hear more about your experiences with Ethiopia. That sounds amazing!

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
It's a bit like "pulling rank" in a discussion. Since the point you are making is being disagreed with, you've tied it into a global crisis.
As I already said, I don't care whether I am disagreed with. That's not the issue. I'd have said what I said even if everyone fell all over themselves saying, "Oh, Dharma, your thoughts on children and food are so wise!" Sorry that you think that expressing how this issue relates to me personally, on a broad level, and sharing how I think that experience might be of benefit to others is "pulling rank." Yes, hunger is a global crisis. Yes, we are lucky to have an overabundance of food in this country. Yes, our attitude toward food and the attitude we impart to our children is important. Yes, it's important to stop and remember how lucky we are. Yes, all these things are interrelated. Yes, I shared my opinion on all that.

Namaste!
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:41 PM
 
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I guess I'm now too~you knew it might come across as sanctimonious~and it did.

My own summary~

If you aren't asking, but telling, your kids they have to wait to eat, it says something about the power play over food in your home, and that is the focus of my posts. I think it's okay to discuss that here.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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Chiming in on the issue of school. I have 2 kids in preschool 3 full days a week (well, as of today its only one because DS starts K next week, but anyway...) I have a "free snacking" house -- meaning the kids get snacks for themselves at will, though meals are at fairly set times because they work in our schedule. At preschool, snack times are set and, while water is always available, food is not. Surprisingly, the kids adjust back and forth with ease. I was worried about this so I've talked with my almost 6 YO about it a lot over the last 3 years. He says he's "too busy" to be hungry at school but likes snack time. I've observed class a lot and I've never seen him act hungry or anything.

I realize that these are my kids and this may not be true for everyone. But I also think that setting up a particular approach to snacks for a stay-at-home-toddler (SAHT??) or child in anticipation of school may not be necessary. I think we (in general, but certainly not universally) have a tendency to underestimate the ability of children to adapt to different situations. I am constantly amazed at how different my kids act at school than at home -- food, bathroom, nap, politeness, social interactions are all different (and generally better, but that's another thread). I have to remind myself that they are amazingly flexible, which I think is a wonderful thing.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Johub~

Children do not have a biological need to charge credit cards. They do have a biological need to eat.

I am going to ask whether or not this is ap. I have no problem asking those questions. Disagree with me. Challenge me. I want to discuss this

Why would you demand feed an infant, and then make your older child ask permission to eat, and call both attachment parenting?

There is a difference between AP and GD. All AP'ers do I beleive GD (or try). But there are those of us who use GD (no punishment, no rewards, no yelling, no shaming) but are not necessarily AP.

We make the rules in our homes. Our children do not have a great deal of input into these rules, especailly when they are young.

Some of what people here are calling GD is part of the large AP picture, but IMHO you can GD without necessarily being "AP"

Like Johub (i think) I use the well known philosophy of Elly Satter regarding my "feeding relationship' with my kids.

After the demand feeding of infancy, it goes like this;

I decide when we eat and what is put on the table. My children decide which of these foods they will eat and how much.
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