*~*~I'd like it if they liked us~*~*
I'm on the bench of eat when you are hungry and learn smart habits at an early age. Isn't there plenty of research that shows grazing is more healthy than 3 big meals anyway? For every article against grazing I bet we can find at least 1 for.
6 smaller meals I believe it is called typically?
We have a similar deal in our house as many of those who have already posted. 3 main meals with grazing in between. It's not unlimited but the limits are more around what type of things they can eat (limited amounts of crap) and when (if dinner is 5 minutes away, they wait). I definitely notice when my kids are going through growth spurts as the grazing seems to become non-stop but otherwise it's not like they walk around stuffing food in their mouths all the time.
Regarding what they eat - it's pretty much unlimited fruits, vegetables, cheese and yogurt. My ds' current after school snack is a small container of edamame beans. If he wants two, he gets two. If he wants 6, I may think he needs to eat something more substantial like a sandwich. Other days my kids don't seem hungry at meal times or don't snack often. I refuse to make food an issue we fight over. If they want two bites at dinner, that's what they eat. I hated the "clean your plate" rule growing up and feel strongly that it can lead to serious eating issues down the line.
Since my kids eat at school I have no idea how much they eat of their lunch. I do know they often tell me they were rushed b/c something happened to make them late for lunch that day, or they wanted to play outside for longer, or the school ran out of the hot lunch they wanted so all they ate was a couple carrots off the salad bar. I'd say they come home from school ravenous about 99% of the time. In some ways I view their after school snack as a lunch replacement, as it will still be 3-4 hours until dinner time.
FWIW, neither of my kids is remotely heavy, both are very active and both still ask if they can have something to eat in between meals. So far, at least, food has not been a big issue with my kids.
Welcome to Fluffytown. No smoking, no farting, no pillow fights.
*~*~I'd like it if they liked us~*~*
I think people here are picturing me as being much more rigid that I actually am. I think opinions would change greatly if people were able to be flies on the wall of my house and able to see how things really are. Of course I'm sure part of it is my own fault. I tend to mention only what is on my mind at the moment, whatever it is that I am focusing on and I don't think I provide the whole picture. I could give more detail I guess, but th eposts would be an awful lot longer and I rarely have time to sit down long enough to give a broad account of things. Life in complex... there are many factors to consider... one paragraph is rarely going to give the whole story... that's all I'm saying.
Stinkeye I went and ate lunch with my kids at school on Friday this week and it was pretty insightful. My DD ate everything in her lunch (which was peanut butter on crackers, pretzels, vanilla yogurt, fruit snacks and a cookie) but my DS who bought didn't come close to eating half of his before he was itching to play and ran off.
I completely agree with this. It is very, very important to me that we all have dinner together as much as possible. Even when my kids aren't hungry they are required to sit at the table until everyone else finishes. We're talking 30-45 minutes. They don't chafe at the requirement (I don't think they realize it is a requirement) b/c it's one of the few times we're all at home, all focused on the same thing. No TV, no phone calls except for emergencies, nothing but conversation and hopefully eating. Every meal is at the kitchen table, with exceptions like the Super Bowl, but then good nutrition flies out the window on those occasions as well.I also think that having a family meal time is important. Meals are not just about nutrition... they are about being social and building relationships as well... I think families should sit down and eat together on a regular basis.
As they get older I realize it will be harder to come by these family meal times so I cherish them now.