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Old 11-28-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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kids eating all day...

I have 4 kids ages 3.5 to 5. All day long they want to eat. They have breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, bedtime snack but ask for food between meals and snacks all day. I can't let them eat when they want or the entire day will be spent dispensing food. I can't let them have free reign because they will waste too much and make huge messes. Most times I am cleaning up the previous meal and they are asking for something else to eat. They are given plenty of food and fed a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

A typical days food looks like this:
7 am breakfast: cold cereal w/ milk
9:30 am snack: cheesy eggs and 1/2 banana
noon lunch: chicken nuggets, fresh broccoli w/ ranch, 1/2 apple
2:30 pm snack: grapes and goldfish crackers
6 pm dinner: cheeseburgers on bun, green beans, fresh pineapple
7:15 pm snack: granola bar

Any ideas about how to fix this issue. When I tell them they need to wait until the next meal/snack they just nag me to death (I don't give in so it's not working just driving me over the edge. lol)

I thought about doing a picture chart each morning with the days meals/snacks so they know what is coming but I have no idea if that would help.

Other mamas with lots of kids have any solutions?
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:28 PM   #2
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Re: kids eating all day...

My kids eat like that. Boys, age 4 to 11. They have a snack in the mornings before school (sometimes)... breakfast at school, lunch, a snack at school, a snack at home, dinner, then a snack before bed. A lot of the time they ask for more, but I am not going to just give them food all day long because they want it. I know sometimes they aren't HUNGRY, they just want it because it's there. If they are absolutely ADAMANT that they are hungry, I will give in and allow a piece of fruit, or maybe even a cup of milk to hold them over if a meal is close.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: kids eating all day...

My ds is nearing 2.5, he picks at his food, then complains he is hungry, do yourkids eat all that you give them? If so they may actuallybe thirsty and not hungry, try a small glass of milk between meals
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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Re: kids eating all day...

They don't usually eat it all but most of it. They are allowed seconds of any food as long as they try a bite of the other foods on their plate. They are given milk when they ask and often at meals and they each have a water bottle that they have access to at all times.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #5
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I have certain foods that I allow at anytime, provided the last meal or snack was completely eaten. If there is leftover food from snack/meal previous, that's what you get if you ask for another snack. If it was entirely eaten, you can have an apple or an orange. No negotiating, no other choices. If they are truly hungry, they'll eat it.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: kids eating all day...

Some kids eat out of boredom. Are they getting enough brain stimulating activities during the day?
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Re: kids eating all day...

Yep this is my kids too, especially my 4 year old. I KNOW he wants to eat out of boredom sometimes so I try and find something for him to do between meals and snacks.

If I let them eat whenever they wanted, they would literally eat all. day. long.

99.9% of the time they finish their meals and snacks and 5 minutes later are asking for more. At 5, 4 and almost 2 they each easily eat more than I do and I am breastfeeding and pregnant!

If they were not all below the 30th percentile for weight and height I might start to worry they were eating too much.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:52 AM   #8
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Same here , 4 boys. I think I will go broke by the time they are teenagers!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:38 AM   #9
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Re: kids eating all day...

I think I need to come up with something to have out all the time (maybe dry cheerios) that they can munch on if they get "hungry". I don't want to do fruit because if I had a bowl of apples sitting out I'm fairly certain they would just take one bite and waste them. My oldest has Aspergers and he's the worst. If we have something he likes in the house (brownies, chocolate poptarts, peanut butter cups) he will obsess on eating it until it's gone. Three of the kids are thin and one is average.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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Re: kids eating all day...

maybe try the cheese eggs first? i know if i eat a carb-y breakfast, i get hungry a lot faster than if i eat something high in protein first. you are offering lots of whole foods, so that is good. just limit sugar and refined products (there is corn syrup/sugar in a lot of condiments, as well) and hopefully their appetites will be more sustained and for longer periods.
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