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Old 01-06-2013, 10:02 PM   #21
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I'm struggling with this with my 20 month old, And the few times I've seen her a full meal, she usually still gets hungry for something a hour to 90 min later. Otherwise, she generally needs something every hour or she's after me to nurse. But I suppose its a process to get her off of nursing like a newborn and eating like a human, then we shall work on a eating schedule. And even tho 3 meals and 2 snacks a day sounds ideal, what's really wrong with grazing?

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Old 01-06-2013, 10:14 PM   #22
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

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And even tho 3 meals and 2 snacks a day sounds ideal, what's really wrong with grazing?
I've had this debate with my own family. "They need to eat DINNER!" Yes. They will eat dinner. It might be a banana, then a string cheese 5 minutes later, then a peanut butter and jelly 20 minutes before bed, but they will eat "dinner." I would personally, rather my kids eat HEALTHY food all day long, than not eat anything, or eat junk food at dinner because they are forced to. (By junk food, I'm talking about pizza/food that is NOT so healthy for them in most cases).

NOT SAYING that it's what moms are doing here. Was referring to the conversations I've had with family.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #23
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And even tho 3 meals and 2 snacks a day sounds ideal, what's really wrong with grazing?
In our case, if DS2 was selecting all his own food, it would probably be nothing but bananas, cereal, toast and yogurt. Even though none of those things are bad per se, its not a balanced diet.

DS1 has "anytime foods" like cheese, apples, yogurt, etc, that he's allowed to snack on at will, and he will still eat a healthy variety at dinner. If he had a carrot for a snack at 5, I'm not going to harp on him about his veggies at dinner (although I will ask him to take a bite or two), but if he's been snacking on cheese, I'll be more likely to remind him to eat his veggies, KWIM?
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:19 AM   #24
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

We just started really cracking down on this with our DS. And by "just" I mean like a week ago. Before that it was hit or miss what we did.

I don't try to force him to eat things he doesn't like or hasn't eaten regularly, so I don't feel it's unfair. If he chooses not to eat or be picky, he waits until the next meal or snack. He skipped dinner last night and woke up starving, which was expected. He's a huge breakfast eater anyway though. Each morning starts the day over. I don't feed him a light breakfast to keep him hungry for lunch because he didn't eat dinner the night before, if that makes sense. I let him fill up at the next meal as long as he's eating what's served.

We also started enforcing the "if you get up from the table again, your dinner will be gone when you get back" rule because he was up, down, up, down, up, down, it was ridiculous.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:49 AM   #25
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

I'm probably the odd one but we all graze during the day. There are no set mealtimes aside from dinner. I think that set mealtimes aren't good for you because then your body gets used to eating at a certain time. Because of this, your body automatically starts the digestive process around those times. Your stomach starts to rumble and you feel hungry, but if your body is used to eating at those times your stomach will rumble even if you just ate an hour before. So in my house, the girls and I eat when we feel hungry. They don't overeat, they choose what they want to eat (within reason) and we all eat dinner together. I realize that probably wasn't very helpful, but I guess I am trying to say that we all eat ,like that, so I don't see it as an issue. I think 23 months is a little young to expect to be completely on schedule.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:51 AM   #26
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

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I've had this debate with my own family. "They need to eat DINNER!" Yes. They will eat dinner. It might be a banana, then a string cheese 5 minutes later, then a peanut butter and jelly 20 minutes before bed, but they will eat "dinner." I would personally, rather my kids eat HEALTHY food all day long, than not eat anything, or eat junk food at dinner because they are forced to. (By junk food, I'm talking about pizza/food that is NOT so healthy for them in most cases).

NOT SAYING that it's what moms are doing here. Was referring to the conversations I've had with family.
This is how we are. We eat when hungry. Lunch is usually 2 or 3 snacks spread out over a few hours. I never worry about my kids overeating because they pay attention to their hunger cues.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:53 AM   #27
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

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This is how we are. We eat when hungry. Lunch is usually 2 or 3 snacks spread out over a few hours. I never worry about my kids overeating because they pay attention to their hunger cues.
Exactly.

I have a friend who has a VERY set schedule for her kids. While I definitely agree that a schedule of some sort benefits children, I don't think it should be super strict all the time, especially when it comes to eating. Lunch for her 4 year old, is at noon. Period. If she chooses not to eat, she doesn't get ANYTHING (no questions) until 3pm when her siblings get home from school. It's frustrating, because sometimes she just isn't hungry... but she might be at 1:30, but nope... not allowed. :/
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:56 AM   #28
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

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Exactly.

I have a friend who has a VERY set schedule for her kids. While I definitely agree that a schedule of some sort benefits children, I don't think it should be super strict all the time, especially when it comes to eating. Lunch for her 4 year old, is at noon. Period. If she chooses not to eat, she doesn't get ANYTHING (no questions) until 3pm when her siblings get home from school. It's frustrating, because sometimes she just isn't hungry... but she might be at 1:30, but nope... not allowed. :/
Awe, this makes me sad. I think (no flames please) that rigid meal schedules and punishing/rewarding with food is what leads to eating disorders and other issues. I want my kids to have a healthy outlook towards food and mealtimes. I don't want it to be negative or even overly positive. It's not a big issue. They get hungry, they eat. Period. They all know basic cooking and can make and prepare their own meals. Occasionally I will make something for lunch and it shocks my kids. LOL
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 AM   #29
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

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Awe, this makes me sad. I think (no flames please) that rigid meal schedules and punishing/rewarding with food is what leads to eating disorders and other issues. I want my kids to have a healthy outlook towards food and mealtimes. I don't want it to be negative or even overly positive. It's not a big issue. They get hungry, they eat. Period. They all know basic cooking and can make and prepare their own meals. Occasionally I will make something for lunch and it shocks my kids. LOL
The only meal I cook is dinner, lol. Lunch? Sandwiches, fish sticks, salad, or a boatload of snacks (yogurt, applesauce, string cheese) are all great options. RARELY I will make pancakes or something for breakfast, but it's not often. Most of the time it's oatmeal, oatmeal cookies (premade), granola bars, cereal, poptarts (sometimes), etc. This morning, DS3 had toast with jelly and chocolate milk. When he gets hungry, the snacks are waiting for him in the fridge. All I ask is that they let me know what they are getting, and when. My kids are VERY healthy, very active boys. They go through growth spurts often. Because of this, I would feel horrific if I tried to put them on a schedule. I will limit DS1 on food because he's an 11 year old boy and will eat until his stomach hurts if it tastes good, lol. Also, he tends to eat fast sometimes, so I will remind him to make a bowl, let it sit, then 10 minutes later if you're still hungry, get another small bowl, etc. He's now learning to do this on his own, and I don't have to monitor him as much.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:09 AM   #30
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Re: When to start enforcing meals?

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The only meal I cook is dinner, lol. Lunch? Sandwiches, fish sticks, salad, or a boatload of snacks (yogurt, applesauce, string cheese) are all great options. RARELY I will make pancakes or something for breakfast, but it's not often. Most of the time it's oatmeal, oatmeal cookies (premade), granola bars, cereal, poptarts (sometimes), etc. This morning, DS3 had toast with jelly and chocolate milk. When he gets hungry, the snacks are waiting for him in the fridge. All I ask is that they let me know what they are getting, and when. My kids are VERY healthy, very active boys. They go through growth spurts often. Because of this, I would feel horrific if I tried to put them on a schedule. I will limit DS1 on food because he's an 11 year old boy and will eat until his stomach hurts if it tastes good, lol. Also, he tends to eat fast sometimes, so I will remind him to make a bowl, let it sit, then 10 minutes later if you're still hungry, get another small bowl, etc. He's now learning to do this on his own, and I don't have to monitor him as much.
Oh my gosh, this is my 11 year old too. Must be the age. I make her wait for seconds as well. She loves to eat!
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