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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do your children eat set meals, with no or limited snacks in between, or do they "graze," eating when they want?<br><br>
I am super laid back about meals and my kids are all grazers, but with my one very picky child (7 y.o.) this is getting out of hand in terms of waste. He'll take a bite of something, not want it, then 20 minutes later, want another bite of something, but not what he bit before. As you can imagine this creates waste that we can't afford (and is just not a good thing in general).<br><br>
I want to maintain an extremely laid back attitude about this with him, but am considering trying some kind of "meal" situation, but I've never done this with my kids and don't know how to start. How many meals? How long does the "meal" last?<br><br>
My own experience as a child with "meals" was far to controling, so I know I can't do that.<br><br>
So those of you who do meals-- how do you do it?<br><br>
Or if your DC are grazers, do you have any suggestions?<br><br>
I don't plan to control the content or amount of his meals (no junk food, though, obviously), but the constant "bites" are feeding the garbage can, not him.<br><br>
I don't know if this belongs in "Nutrition and Good Eating," but most of the talk over there is about grown ups.<br><br>
TIA <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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We have three meals/day. I eat b'fast w/them, we picnic for lunch and all of us have dinner. Meals take forever b/c they just hang out and talk and talk. BUt, I figure it's family time. We also have a snack first thing in the morning and mid afternoon. I don't really care what they eat to snack but it does come from what I've bought. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I'll usually lay out some kind of fruit, yogurt or maybe cheese and some crackers. If I'm neglectful, they'll open the fridge and get something.<br><br>
I can't insist they eat everything. Hmmm...I guess I tell them if they're not going to finish ????, then obviously they're not really hungry and should just wait for dinner, etc.<br><br>
Tough one. Sure want to stay away from food controlling issues. ick<br><br>
Oh, so my 2 y.o. is now in the kitchen at 8am. He used the Learning Tower to climb up, open the biscuits tupperware and is sitting on the counter eating. I don't care. He's hungry. It's healthy. He made his own choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So three meals, two snacks? That's what my sister does.<br><br>
My DH is a grazer and refuses to eat meals, so it's hard to have a family sit down at the table (I dearly wish we could though). I am a grazer too, but am more meal oriented than DH and can adjust.<br><br>
I guess I'm wondering what to do if we have a "meal" at 4 pm, picky DS refuses, but then wants something to eat at 4:45. Is the "meal" still happening, or does he have to wait for the next "meal?" My natural inclination is to say he eats what he wants, when he wants, but the waste he is creating is unconscionable for me. There are only so many scraps *I* can eat! I've put out some scraps for the squirrels but it's getting excessive.<br><br>
thanks busymommy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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:LOL we don't have that problem b/c we eat really really late; ie. 7 or 7:30ish or even later. Meals are mainly social for us so even if they weren't hungry, they'd still sit. It's their chance to tell Daddy all about thier day, etc.<br><br>
Could you just call it dinner and everyone sits at the table? MAYBE after time, it would start working more? Or, bribe them w/their favorite meals?<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I guess my dd is a grazer.<br><br>
During the day, it is usually just dd and me (only child). So there are no formal breakfast and lunch--we just eat when we are hungry. Sometimes we make a big deal about one of these meals--fancy service and all--but that is a fun activity....not the norm.<br><br>
For dinner, we have a sit down meal when Dad gets home. Usually early, around 4 or 5 pm. Dd is invited to the table, and normally joins us. Dh and dd usually set the table together, so that gets her involved. If dd asks for food while I am preparing dinner, I tell her that dinner will be ready soon--but she knows that she can always get herself a snack. Sometimes she does, sometimes she waits. Usually she whines continually until dinner is served <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> . I never expect dd to eat what I cooked. She is welcome to anything on the table, but I always set out some simple healthy choices like cut apples, tomatoes, cucumbers for her (and anyone else--but no one else choses them). Sometimes she eats my prepared meal, sometimes not. Whatever. She is always eating healthy food!<br><br>
Dd may leave the table whenever she is done, but usually stays and chats. Food that is not eaten gets covered up and put in the fridge--so those extra cut up fruits and veggies make great, easy snacks if she is hungry 45 minutes later! I never refuse dd food. When she is hungry, I feed her (I may not actually serve her the food, but I make sure that food is accessible for her). But, IMO, it is totally fair to say "I just finished preparing, serving, and cleaning up a meal. You need to get your own snack. Look in the fridge."<br><br>
As for waste--I would wrap up and save all those uneaten snacks and serve them buffet style at dinner! Not to be punitive--just "Here are some other healthy, yummy options if you do not want what I have prepared." Definitely store and save the uneaten food. If it is a matter of not finding the uneaten food until it has been sitting out a long time, restrict the snacks to the table. Wasting food is not an option!
 
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