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Old 02-05-2013, 06:27 PM   #21
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Re: kids eating all day...

We went through this with all our kids when they were little. The oldest two could handle it a lot better as they got older, but the littlest two are too difficult to get to eat only at meal and snack times. The littlest is almost exclusively breastfed, but he sometimes wants to get in on snacking too.

Before my husband and I separated I used to have a stock of containers just for snacks. I don't know what happened, but at the end of his first deployment they seemed to grow legs. I used to fill each container with snacks and leave them in the fridge or pantry/cabinet at the end of every night. There was also a stock of granola bars, but I learned quickly that yogurt isn't an option with my kids because they'll eat nothing but that. With two dairy allergies in the house, we just can't do that anyway. They had their own shelf in the fridge and pantry/cabinet where all their snacks were kept. They were given freedom to take any of the snacks, as long as I didn't find them all over the house. At the end of the day I'd make more.

This worked great for us because I could also determine how many snacks to offer. If there were leftover snacks at the end of the day, I didn't make as many the next day. My goal was always to have all the snacks gone by the end of the day. If they started complaining they were hungry when the snacks were gone, I'd make up more batches for the next day. The kids really loved it when I made trail mix because they could trade out their favorite parts or share trail mix with different things in them each time so they all got variety.

If my boyfriend gets this job then we're going to look into buying some containers and going back to that. I think the older kids will have a little more freedom of choice when it comes to things like apples and oranges because they'll actually finish them when they take them, but the little ones need something a little more sized to how much they'll actually eat and I want to leave out limited amounts of things they'll try but may not like so much.

Bonus to doing it this way? I stopped having to dole out snacks all day! Instead I just had to open containers or granola bar packages every now and then. My kids loved the independence of being able to do it themselves so much that I never got asked or nagged about anything, which really worked for us.

Also, my oldest is pretty thin and the boys are average for their height (though my middle son is tall and heavy for his age), so I'm not too worried about how much they eat. Obviously they need the food. And they're very active and would prefer to work on art projects and watch movies than boredom eat, so that's also how I'm able to be pretty confident they're eating what they need.

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #22
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Re: kids eating all day...

if they have a high metabolism, their bodies say to eat more. I have low blood sugar so I need to eat small amounts all day long. I also sometimes eat when bored.
I would say maybe try more high protein snacks vs carbs.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:09 PM   #23
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Re: kids eating all day...

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Originally Posted by reneaumommy View Post
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?
I have a 2, 3 and 6 yr old and one on the way

The last month they have all started EXACTLY what you described. What I've been doing is telling them if they don't finish their meal or snack they will not get anything else..if they do finish what they ask for and want something else a little later I give it to them but only healthy foods. I let them have all the fruit they want so even when I think they have had enough food they can always have some fruit or some carrots and celery
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:45 PM   #24
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Re: kids eating all day...

My kids eat the same! They are asking for food before I even get done cleaning the dishes and picking up the meal! CRAZY!
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:05 PM   #25
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Re: kids eating all day...

I have 4 boys (5 1/2, 4 1/2, 3 1/2, 1 1/2)And we do the same as Melinda. Meals are scheduled. Break, lunch, snack, dinner. That's it. If they chose to not eat enough of their meal to last them to the next meal, than they're out of luck. We've always done this. So there is no whining or asking for food. They all no the rules and everyone eats accordingly.
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