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Snack Creep and Honoring Kids Hunger

by bkhoury on May 22, 2010

William has officially entered the stage where persnicketiness reigns when it comes to meal times.  If the food is chopped up to his displeasure or isn’t sitting on the plate just right, then up comes the hand in dismay.  He only threw his meal on the floor once and soon found out that was a mistake resulting in a long time-out.  But the use of the word NO is still used extensively.  I know, it is good that he is expressing himself!

Will has also become quite handy at opening the refrigerator and climbing up to help himself to snacks.  So I believe we were experiencing what I call Snack Creep.  Where once breakfasts, lunches and dinners were huge, they now are smaller but more food is consumed throughout the day.  It is healthy food he is snacking on, but now by lunch time, Will has become picky and again does not eat that much, especially proteins—the kid could live on fruit! 

So I have tried to make sure we have a little more structure in our snacks, but I also want to honor his hunger.  And I keep telling myself, it’s not like he’s asking for cookies or crackers.  He’s asking for grapes and oranges for goodness sake!  I will try to have one snack in the morning and afternoon with a healthy protein or a little more substance without spoiling lunch and dinner.  And try to keep him engaged in activities so that he only asks for food when genuinely hungry (easier said than done).  When I am successful doing this, low and behold, he is now receptive to his normal meal with a range of tastes he enjoys.

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