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

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Old 06-20-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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You seem a little stricter than I -- but I do agree panicky parents create picky kids.

I do and did give more options, especially at snack.

I am not a short order cook, but at the same time I do have a child with reflux so at times I have felt like it....but now she if she can't eat what is cooked she can cook her own food or wait and warm it up. Not my concern.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:13 PM
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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
We eat dinner as a family too. My DH isn't home for the other two meals. We also eat the same thing at dinner. The difference is that if DD doesn't want to eat during the meal, it's ok. And if she wants to eat after dinner, she can. For example last Friday I was baking chicken and steaming corn and broccoli. DD was very hungry so she ate corn and broccoli in the kitchen while the chicken was still cooking. At dinner time she drank some veggie juice and just hung out at the table because she wasn't hungry any more. She wanted left over cold chicken and grapes for a bedtime snack about 2.5 hours later. I don't fix different or extra stuff for meals, it just not an issue if someone doesn't eat. Eating just isn't an issue.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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I do not make a special dinner for my son. We all eat the same thing. Before bed, if he is hungry, he has two-three choices.

1) Eat the dinner he didn't eat earlier
2) Have some fruit or yogurt
3) Go to bed hungry
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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We've changed things over the years. We make one dinner. If the kids don't like it, they need to try at least one bite and eat the fruits/veggies. Without complaining, preferably, though they fail that one every time. They actually love most fruits & veggies so that's never an issue. I have one vegetarian dd who I don't make eat meat or anything, but I encourage her to make herself something or tell me something vegetarian to replace the main dish if our meal has meat. She loves to cook, so that's never a problem.

But if they don't like what we made, they're welcome to make themselves something else after dinner. We also eat a snack before bedtime. I eat one, so I can't expect them to not want one. If they fail to eat a snack of their choosing, then they're out of luck after that. Sometimes they will and then insist on eating a snack several hours after bedtime and then we find rotting food in their room or they fall asleep eating or it's obviously an excuse to stay up later, so we've stopped allowing it-mostly due to the safety issues after one too many kids falling asleep with mouthfuls of apple.

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Old 06-20-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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We eat dinner as a family too. My DH isn't home for the other two meals. We also eat the same thing at dinner. The difference is that if DD doesn't want to eat during the meal, it's ok. And if she wants to eat after dinner, she can. For example last Friday I was baking chicken and steaming corn and broccoli. DD was very hungry so she ate corn and broccoli in the kitchen while the chicken was still cooking. At dinner time she drank some veggie juice and just hung out at the table because she wasn't hungry any more. She wanted left over cold chicken and grapes for a bedtime snack about 2.5 hours later. I don't fix different or extra stuff for meals, it just not an issue if someone doesn't eat. Eating just isn't an issue.
Well, to me, what you described is eating dinner. You made chicken, broccoli, and corn. She ate chicken, broccoli, and corn, plus some grapes. That is not what I'm talking about. When I refer to "snacking", it means that my ds is not going to refuse what I've prepared and then 10 mintues later want chips or whatever else.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:35 PM
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Well, to me, what you described is eating dinner. You made chicken, broccoli, and corn. She ate chicken, broccoli, and corn, plus some grapes. That is not what I'm talking about. When I refer to "snacking", it means that my ds is not going to refuse what I've prepared and then 10 mintues later want chips or whatever else.
I'm diabetic and my DH and I are overweight. We don't buy chips. The snack foods we do buy are things like triscuts, cheese, beans, nuts, fruit, and raw veggies. If DD asks for something at the store that we don't consider 'real food' I tell her why it isn't a good food choice and we pick out something she likes that is. We buy a 'treat' food once a month ....... like a pint of natural ice cream.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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I do not send my kids to bed hungry. I have found that if they have not had enough to eat they will not get to sleep in a timely way, and they will wake up very early because they are still hungry. Either way, I am the one totally inconvenienced and I'd prefer they eat something.

After a certain point (say 8pm or so), all they are allowed are cheese sticks. No mess for me to clean up, and they are filling enough to help with sleep. If they will eat a bit earlier, they can have pretty much whatever they want.

Sometimes they eat dinner and sometimes they don't. Occasionally I have veggie booty or something similar for an afternoon snack for them, but usually it is something healthier - and never junkier food at bedtime. They love quesadillas, fig newmans, fruit, berries, cheese, crackers, yogurt, nori, rice cakes with peanut or sunflower butter, tamari almonds, homemade whole wheat pancakes, etc. My DD loves raw cauliflower or brussels sprouts.

We try to eat at set mealtimes, and allow snacking in between/on demand, pretty much right up to bedtime.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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we all eat what we want within reason. im not into getting into power struggles over food. i blame my parents for my major food issues for this very reason.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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I'm diabetic and my DH and I are overweight. We don't buy chips. The snack foods we do buy are things like triscuts, cheese, beans, nuts, fruit, and raw veggies. If DD asks for something at the store that we don't consider 'real food' I tell her why it isn't a good food choice and we pick out something she likes that is. We buy a 'treat' food once a month ....... like a pint of natural ice cream.
Believe me, I'd rather not have chips either. I don't even eat them, but DH does. That's part of my problem with ds snacking, and why I don't allow it unless he's eaten a "meal" first. I do my best to get him to snack on fruit and cheese, crackers, but when he sees DH eating ice cream, he wants some too.That's a whole other story, though, and I don't want to hijack the thread!
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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My dds must be a bit odd. They rarely ask for snacks or say they're hungry unless the see food -- and I'm pretty sure it's not because they're denied when they do ask (because they're not denied, it just doesn't come up). And since dh and I aren't snackers, they don't see that much out food outside of the regular times. They usually nibble on what's being prepared when they see me making dinner and sometimes ask for some other snack at that time (which they get). And they're immediately hungry when we walk into a party or something where food is out and available, but if they don't see something, they don't ask. We have regular meals and snacks and sometimes they eat what's there and sometimes they don't, particularly at dinner they'll not eat much, but they don't ask for other things then. So I guess I don't know if they go to bed hungry. For us dinner is pretty close to bed time and I've assumed if they're not eating their dinner, they're not hungry. Maybe I should ask.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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We do things differently at our house. 6 nights a week, the kids eat early, without us. I don't ask them what they want, though I may give them choices, like peas vs. broccoli. I choose foods that are healthy but that I know they will eat. We do it this way because I prefer to cook my own dinner without having to cater to their tastes. I'm a big foodie, and cooking is fun and relaxing for me. We also eat a lot of "weird" food, like very spicy curries, unusual salads, and so on (yes, I know some kids love it, but mine do not, although as I say below, the older is getting much better).

I know I could go the route of "one thing they like," but I am not comfortable with the kids eating bread, fruit, and yogurt 4 nights out of 7. DD had some pretty bad health issues for a while and it's important to me to see that she eats a balanced diet.

We do have family dinner one night a week and I make something I am pretty sure they will like. They are expected to eat it, but if they absolutely won't, they can have a banana or bread or something.

DD has actually expanded her tastes a lot in the last year, in spite of this "incorrect" approach. She will try almost anything and would probably eat a lot of our grown-up dinners. However, just as she got unpicky, DS turned 2 and got very picky.

It's not worth it to me to cater to a toddler/preschooler palate for my own meals all the time, or to battle at meals or stress about their diet. Dinner is also our adult time together. I do anticipate that we'll mostly all eat together when the younger is school-aged.

Oh, and no, they don't go to bed hungry. They can have something boring--toast or fruit--but this rarely happens, because I do cook things they like for their dinners. (Not chicken nuggets and Spaghetti-os! It's healthy, but boring by my standards.)

I was a very picky eater as a kid, and now I'll eat anything.

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Old 06-20-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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We've changed things over the years. We make one dinner. If the kids don't like it, they need to try at least one bite and eat the fruits/veggies. Without complaining, preferably, though they fail that one every time. They actually love most fruits & veggies so that's never an issue. I have one vegetarian dd who I don't make eat meat or anything, but I encourage her to make herself something or tell me something vegetarian to replace the main dish if our meal has meat. She loves to cook, so that's never a problem.
That's interesting, because I know that if I am cooking for a group where one person is vegetarian I make sure the meal is made in such a way that the main course is two parted so people can opt for the vegetarian part or the non-vegetarian part. I don't really expect them to tell me what else to make or to make something else themselves.

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Old 06-21-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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That's interesting, because I know that if I am cooking for a group where one person is vegetarian I make sure the meal is made in such a way that the main course is two parted so people can opt for the vegetarian part or the non-vegetarian part. I don't really expect them to tell me what else to make or to make something else themselves.
If I had someone over, I would do (and have done) the same. But my dd's goal in life is to be a chef and she BEGS to cook all the time, so I let her pick what she wants and I help/watch as she does so. It makes her immensely happy. I used to be veg and just made whatever making sure there were veg sides for me or an alternative. It's not like I'm serving steak with a side of ground beef for dinner at every meal. Most stand alone without the meat, or I make something like veg and carnivore lasagna so that everyone can pick from one-I usually pick veg, but sometimes eat meat, myself. But my dd doesn't like most beans or veg options, so letting her pick something after we talk about what is nutritionally missing (calcium, protein, whatever depending on the meal) is easier.

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Old 06-21-2010, 09:36 AM
 
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I always enjoy reading how other people handle food - especially on this board where people eat so healthy.

Food is not an issue for us. DH and I LOVE food. We love healthy food, we love not-so-healthy food and we love to cook. Our 3 year old has always eaten what we eat. Maybe we are lucky. We have never forced her to eat - we present the meal and she eats what she likes. For awhile she didn't eat peppers (like bell peppers) because she "thought" they were spicy. We always just reminded her that they weren't, but we also didn't make her eat them. Recently, we cooked some on the grill and she decided to try them. She loved them and now she always talks about peppers-that-aren't-spicy...like it's one word. So cute.

Anyways, we generally don't have junk in the house...and if we do it's usually one bag of chips that we've eaten over the course of 2 days. So she wouldn't ever skip a meal for a bag of chips.

I've also allowed my daughter to eat a cupcake right before dinner. I do it and the reality is that she will eat veggies at some point. We always encourage the healthiest option and almost always my daughter goes for it. And this is not because she is an easy child - she can throw a tantrum. We just don't fight over food.

And though i don't cater to my daughter i also always consider her. We eat a lot less spicy food than we used to, but that;s really not that big of a deal.

Not having junkfood (which is what I consider spaghetti-o's) in the house has made my daughter a better eater, IMO.

Oh, and we snack. I started eating 6 meals a day in college and felt a LOT better. I don't deliberately do that anymore, but I still need to eat often and it really needs to be a protein and a carb. So my daughter snacks with me.

I don't think my daughter has ever gone to bed hungry. If she is hungry or stalling right before bed, she can have a piece of bread. I hate being hungry...it makes me feel sick. I don't know if my daughter feels the same way, but I would never withhold food from her.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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These kind of threads depress me. Why people would choose to make food such a huge issue is beyond me. If your kid is hungry, feed them. If they don't like what you've got, offer something else.

Quote:
I always enjoy reading how other people handle food - especially on this board where people eat so healthy.
You also have to consider who's responding to these threads. People who DO feed their kids chicken nuggets and Spaghetti-os (like me) usually don't respond, because if it's a competition of whose kids eat healthier, eat what they're told when they're told to eat it, me and my kids lose every time.

Anyway.

My one son has a severely restricted diet. We see a pediatric dietician, feeding therapist, etc. Here's what our experts say:

Offer three meals and three snacks a day. Don't comment on what's eaten and what's not, don't coerce, bribe, threaten, etc. Serve it and leave it out for a determined amount of time, then take it away.

When serving new foods, serve it the same way every time--ie, if noodles are the new food (my son does not eat noodles, hot dogs, sandwiches)--serve them the same way each time. So serve buttered noodles every time you serve noodles--don't try them with butter one day, cheese one day, sauce one day, etc. Be consistent.

If he doesn't eat at a certain meal, I make the snack something he likes and give him seconds.

The objective is to expand his palate and remove the stress around eating, not create more by attaching shame.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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These kind of threads depress me. Why people would choose to make food such a huge issue is beyond me. If your kid is hungry, feed them. If they don't like what you've got, offer something else.
Financially, that just isn't always feasable. I have been lucky, that my daughter will eat almost everything (except meat) that I serve. But, if she didn't want what I made, and wanted a different meal, that would probably be a meal that was meant for another day. Plus, I'd be throwing away part of that night's meal. I'd most likely have to throw part of the second meal away too because she can only eat so much.

She is always welcome to eat cereal, or a PBJ. But, she can't go get part of a separate meal that I planned to use for another night.

I'm the same way with my daycare kids. I make LOTS of food for them. So, there is enough for them to choose from. But, I'm not making a backup meal.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:14 PM
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There is definitely a middle ground between "my kids eat Spaghetti-Os 21 times a week" and kids going to bed hungry.

*I* was that picky child, once upon a time. My parents just called me finicky. But now that I have the language of an adult to process it, I can tell you that it really was/is a sensory issue. Certain textures, smells, etc. just make me want to gag.

And you know what, honestly, I resent my parents for not caring more about my needs in that way.

Also, now that I eat a lot of organic food, I also can tell (when I eat conventional produce) that I can taste pesticides. Strange, but true. So perhaps the kids out there who don't "eat their vegetables" would like them more if they were organic.

Therefore, since I have empathy, I am very accommodating to my children, but I feed them healthy things and there is nary a can of Spaghetti-Os in my whole house.


Also, there is, in fact, a "picky gene."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0404/01.html


Moreover, when I send my kids to bed hungry, and I have a houseful of food, it feels disrespectful to the universe and ungrateful for what I have. I think of mothers around the world who would kill for the food supplies I have. I say a silent prayer of thanks, set aside what else I was doing, and feed my kids.

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Old 06-21-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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Financially, that just isn't always feasable. I have been lucky, that my daughter will eat almost everything (except meat) that I serve. But, if she didn't want what I made, and wanted a different meal, that would probably be a meal that was meant for another day. Plus, I'd be throwing away part of that night's meal. I'd most likely have to throw part of the second meal away too because she can only eat so much.

She is always welcome to eat cereal, or a PBJ. But, she can't go get part of a separate meal that I planned to use for another night.

I'm the same way with my daycare kids. I make LOTS of food for them. So, there is enough for them to choose from. But, I'm not making a backup meal.
Again, offer something else. Nobody said it had to be a "meal."

I find that many times people use the financial piece to exercise control and because it's a convenient excuse.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"These kind of threads depress me. Why people would choose to make food such a huge issue is beyond me. If your kid is hungry, feed them. If they don't like what you've got, offer something else."

First of all- food isn't an issue in our house. I think it is partly due to the fact that our children are neurotypical, and partly due to the fact that we have a matter-of-fact, happy attitude towards food. We never force.

To me, always having options at meals creates the basis for a power-struggle. If something is optional, then the child can get attached to the choice and the power inherent in that, instead of the joyful ritual of eating.

And once again, as I said like three times in the OP, I'm NOT talking about kids with special needs. A child who could NOT eat certain foods would not. And the parents would realize this and try to take an alternative approach.

My kids do NOT have to eat everything they are served. I don't even make them try things!

But I do not make two meals or serve endless snacks.

So I guess what I'm hearing is that not being a short-order cook and having snacks available all day IS harsh for some people, LOL. I'm okay with that.

(PS... it's not to me so much about the health of the foods, as the idea of food being an individual vs. communal activity. I'm not saying all our meals are like, super healthy! I SAH so we can eat a lot of homemade meals, but Spaghetti-Os are not shorthand for "gross junk". They're just a fast food, nothing more, nothing less...)

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Old 06-21-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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DS is a picky eater and has seen a feeding therapist for years (he stopped about a year ago, next month he goes back to her to start again). He does not ever go to bed hungry. He is offered what we eat at every meal. Most of the time he doesn't accept it. He has about a dozen or so foods that he eats and we rotate through those and serve him those foods. No sense in stressing the boy out with a plate full of food he doesn't want to eat. From August through May he ate the same exact thing for breakfast every day (he has autism and thrives on routine). Lunches are pretty much the same every day (I packed his lunches). Dinners vary somewhat, but since he refuses most of what people consider "meals", then he mostly eats different foods than dp and myself eat.

If he's still hungry before bed then he can eat anything he wants. Most of the time he chooses bananas (he eats probably 10-12 good sized bananas a week). Rarely does he choose "junk" (ice cream or a hershey's kiss... basically the only sweets he eats). Since I (and dp) do the grocery shopping, we just plain don't buy what we don't want ds eating. So ds is free to eat anything he wants at any time, since I know everything in the house. More often than not, dp and I eat way more junk than ds does

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Old 06-21-2010, 04:27 PM
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But I do not make two meals or serve endless snacks.

So I guess what I'm hearing is that not being a short-order cook and having snacks available all day IS harsh for some people, LOL. I'm okay with that.
Most people haven't said you need to offer other things at meals. And I've never said anyone needs to serve endless snacks. My DD eats anytime she wants to, but unless it's something that needs to be cooked she can get it herself. She can go to the refrigerator and get a container of garbanzo beans out, get a bowl of cherries, grapes or strawberries, open the container of left over meatloaf, reach in the cabinet and get a box of triscuts. The tomatoes and apples are in a bowl on the counter. Anyone over 2 can learn to get most of their own snacks.

You said your baby feeds on demand. I imagine you eat whenever you want. Why is it wrong for children to eat just when their bodies are hungry? You asked if it was harsh. I said going hungry is unhealthy and can lead to unhealthy eating. Self regulating food intake by listening to your body instead of learning to eat at habitual times or for social reasons is healthier and can prevent obesity and other food issues.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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yeah ds2 is a major grazer
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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Again, offer something else. Nobody said it had to be a "meal."

I find that many times people use the financial piece to exercise control and because it's a convenient excuse.
She said that her children are always welcome to a PB&J or cereal. I think that IS offering something else.

And, lucky you that you're in a financial situation so that you don't have to worry about eating every day. Not all of us are. That doesn't mean that we are "conveniently" using it as an excuse - it means that we don't have the money to provide unlimited access to expensive foods.

I will say that my son has never gone to bed hungry since he is still nursing and so he gets nutrition that way. But, as he gets older and more capable of fixing himself foods, he will be required to make himself something when he doesn't want what I make for dinner. Thats where cereal and PB&J come in.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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I also didn't see where anyone said you have to make separate meals and remain in the kitchen all day serving snacks. But that we would never make our kid go to bed hungry.

The special needs/food allergy thing is interesting to me, b/c it's hard to know what people are sensitive to especially kids. I may not (or maybe I do) test positive for milk or gluten allergies, yet as a kid I hated milk and PBJ sandwiches - especially on wheat bread. My parents made me eat them b/c that was the meal served, and I needed milk to grow big and strong. Whatever. I mentioned upthread about not drinking any milk as an adult, and I still wouldn't eat a pbj. I am now 2 weeks gluten and dairy-free (minus cottage cheese I had a couple times - but it's cultured), and let me tell you - I feel sooooo much better. A lot of my health issues have gone away, or subsided a ton. I'm just mentioning this b/c maybe as a kid consuming those things made me feel crummy.

I know people here aren't saying they force their kids to eat whatever is prepared, exactly, but I just think we should let our kids decide what and when they eat. If beans don't appeal to them, have other options available. It doesn't mean you have to be a short-order cook, or that kids will only eat junk food (don't buy it) - but certainly everyone should be able tofill their belly with something they actually like eating.

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Old 06-21-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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I do not make a special dinner for my son. We all eat the same thing. Before bed, if he is hungry, he has two-three choices.

1) Eat the dinner he didn't eat earlier
2) Have some fruit or yogurt
3) Go to bed hungry
I do something similar. Mostly, the option is carrot sticks or plain yogurt with strawberries. They like them. Have no problem eating them. So if they're *truly* hungry, that's what they'll eat.

However, often the not eating supper is really jockying for something else (like dessert, which we rarely have). When that's the case, they'll refuse the proffered carrot sticks and I'm on to them. So yes, each of my kids has gotten to bedtime having eaten no supper and probably pretty hungry. Their choice.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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it means that we don't have the money to provide unlimited access to expensive foods.
Neither do I, but there are things like beans and rice, potatoes, oatmeal, fruit on sale etc. which are filling but not expensive. Once you have a teenager it is really important to have stuff like this--you can't believe how much kids eat when they grow 7 inches in one year!

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forget it
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And give me a break about how "lucky" I am with my situation that you know *zero* about. I'm so lucky to have a son whose sensory needs are so great that he doesn't eat anything besides Cheerios and pretzels. I'm so lucky that he qualifies for nothing in our school system, and insurance won't pay for a feeding therapist. I'm so lucky that I get to pry his BMs from his butt while he screams and cries.
I am so sorry.

I really thought it was clear at the beginning of this thread that I was talking about typically-developing children, and specifically not special-needs children.

I don't think anyone here that does the three-meals-limited-snacks-too-bad is talking about what they would do for a special-needs child. We are talking about what we do for our children who are developing more or less normally.

I hope your son gets the services he needs.

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Neither do I, but there are things like beans and rice, potatoes, oatmeal, fruit on sale etc. which are filling but not expensive. Once you have a teenager it is really important to have stuff like this--you can't believe how much kids eat when they grow 7 inches in one year!
That is what we eat already! Not what they would prefer to, say, what I cook. My kids want as alternative dinners, mangos, pineapples, apples, oranges, bananas (and I'm sorry, calorie for calorie these are expensive), walnuts, almonds, and chocolate.

The walnuts thing gets me the most. I mean walnuts are hecka expensive.

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She can go to the refrigerator and get a container of garbanzo beans out, get a bowl of cherries, grapes or strawberries, open the container of left over meatloaf, reach in the cabinet and get a box of triscuts. The tomatoes and apples are in a bowl on the counter. Anyone over 2 can learn to get most of their own snacks.
Okay. Those are all expensive foods to us. I only buy canned tomatoes. We do not buy grapes, cherries, or strawberries unless I can get them through WIC organic.

And... my child is three. So, I appreciate that an older child could make her own meal and I cannot wait for that day, LOL. But if my small child wants something, I'm going to be the one to make it, especially if dad's home late.
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he eats probably 10-12 good sized bananas a week
We buy 12 bananas for our family per week. That's it. We cannot afford more, we simply cannot. That's what I'm talking about when I say, "We can't afford to have them snacking like that."

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I find that many times people use the financial piece to exercise control and because it's a convenient excuse.
You know, if your examples of healthy alternatives were apples on sale in season, that would be one thing. But the alternatives being offered here- meatloaf? Do you know that we eat meatloaf twice a year? Fresh, seasonal fruits? BERRIES? These are all foods that people living on less than $2,000 month for a family of four cannot afford much of.

I mean I'd love to go Paleo and everything but we live in the city and I lost my WAHM job so we're living on not a lot of cash.

If the suggestion is, give my kids fruit and veggies alternative to those which I've prepared (and usually I prepare frozen ones which are often cheaper than fresh), that's just not going to happen. It would last two days, and then we'd have no snacks for the rest of the week.

Dried / preserved legumes, grains, and frozen veggies make up the majority of our meals. The alternative- bread- is the alternative because it's part of our culture, cheap and requires no additional preparation, not because I want to torture my children with homemade sourdough.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
You know, if your examples of healthy alternatives were apples on sale in season, that would be one thing. But the alternatives being offered here- meatloaf? Do you know that we eat meatloaf twice a year? Fresh, seasonal fruits? BERRIES? These are all foods that people living on less than $2,000 month for a family of four cannot afford much of.

I mean I'd love to go Paleo and everything but we live in the city and I lost my WAHM job so we're living on not a lot of cash.

If the suggestion is, give my kids fruit and veggies alternative to those which I've prepared (and usually I prepare frozen ones which are often cheaper than fresh), that's just not going to happen. It would last two days, and then we'd have no snacks for the rest of the week.

Dried / preserved legumes, grains, and frozen veggies make up the majority of our meals. The alternative- bread- is the alternative because it's part of our culture, cheap and requires no additional preparation, not because I want to torture my children with homemade sourdough.
I agree. Food is expensive here. We're now able to grow some of our own and sometimes get lucky at the Farmer's Market, but most of the suggestions for letting kids eat whatever are waaaaaay too expensive for your average family. Seriously. Cherries? My kids if let alone to eat whatever they want will eat pounds a day. And at $4 a lb even one lb a day for a month is $120 just for cherries. And that would only be a few cherries per kid and not all of their food by any means. Bananas are pricey here, too. Not where we used to live, but they are now. I try to let my kids eat as much fresh stuff as they need, but sometimes have to draw the line. I don't think that makes me cruel or "making excuses", that's called reality.

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