Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some Valid Questions

Julie, also known as 3 22nds, asked, "Does having snacks around encourage your kids to snack more?"

It definitely does in the sense that if they see "fun snacks" in the pantry they will whine and beg for them and/or try to grab them on their own. They will go and survey the contents of the fridge when they get hungry and the get excited if they see cheese sticks, strawberries, yogurt cups, etc. It's no different than if you and I had warm chocolate brownies sitting on the counter, just begging for us to eat them!

But having snacks isn't the main reason they eat all the time. I have learned to distinguish between boredom eating and true hunger. My kids are earnestly hungry 5 times a day and they will eat whatever they can when they are hungry, even if it's brown rice or nothing but boiled eggs. They don't seem physically capable of going 4 hours between meals at this point. But, in order to curb "mindless, hobby eating" I have a rule that they may only have a snack at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Having this set in stone helps both the kids and I stay in a routine of what to expect in the food arena. I also cut them off most of the time. After 1 nectarine and 1/2 C. of goldfish crackers I will tell them that they will have to wait until lunch for anything more. Without limits, I wonder if they would eat all day long? It sure seems like I am making snacks/meals all day long because it seems that before and after the older two eat, Justus needs a bottle or a snack too and I'll squeeze my own meal in there somewhere only for it to be time to feed a kid again shortly after!

Cassie asked, "Are getting enough fatty foods to help their little brains develop?"

I would have to say probably, because of the fact that they eat lots of cheese daily (whether in sticks, cubes, or in a meal I fix), homemade yogurt often, drink two glasses of milk per day, have crackers for snack or meat in meals, little chocolate rewards for Jeremiah staying dry all night or going potty, tortilla chips, muffins, peanut butter, etc. If there is one area I could really work on it would be having my kids eat more meat. Neither of us really have to have meat in the meal and so I always need to stop and consider whether my kids are getting enough. So, it's good for me to consider whether or not my kiddoes are getting their daily fat intake as well as their proteins. Thanks!


Kristin said...

Coming from a mother whose kids constantly graze all day long and hasn't been very consistent at enforcing specific snack times (my own fault, I know!), how can I get them on a set snacking schedule while minimizing fits in trying to do so?

LS said...

Perhaps making a game of it and teaching Madison the numbers on the clock and then saying that you can only open the fridge/pantry/cupboard doors at that time for snacks. Kids her age seem to love rules so making a family rule and posting it on the dining room wall might help them when they beg for food and you point them to the sign. Their bodies will adjust, but in the meantime, perhaps distraction and lots of activities to divert their begging until they get into the habit of set snacktimes? I wish you the best!

Rachel said...

Having them eat butter (not margarine!) is one of the best "brain developers."

Sheila said...

I am so glad that you recognize that they physically need their snacks. I'm reading too many things lately from adults who have no need to snack thinking that kids shouldn't need to snack either. I am 42 years old, and I snack. If I attempt to go from lunch to dinner with out a snack, I begin to shake, get light-headed and break out in a sweat. Obviously, not everyone does this, but I do. My kids have always snacked. They always had to check with me, I didn't have an 'open' snack policy, but I do have a 'snack basket' that I fill with healthy snacks. Now they are 12 and 9, and they can snack from the snack basket as they need to. However, they know that 1 snack between meals is what they are allowed (with very rare exceptions). The 9 year old doesn't need to snack as often, and quite often she doesn't. The 12 year old may snack up to 3 times per day, but is 5' 3 1/2" and 106 pounds, so obviously isn't eating more than she needs to. Snacks should be just a part of your healthy eating routine. We do not snacks on chips or sweets. Sorry to be on a soapbox! I guess I'm just always defensive when people say or imply that snacks are bad, because I would just be miserable if I weren't allowed to snack, and I'm not growing! (BTW, I'm not overweight, either.)

Pin It
Pin It
Pin It