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Do you have set snack times for your kids or do they eat when ever they are hungry?

Just wondering.... I have set snack times. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I feel like if I let my kids eat whenever they wanted, they'd eat all day and I don't think that's a healthy habbit. Also, most of the time they complaine they are hungry when they are really bored...that's not a good habbit either! I just noticed that most of my friends seem to let their kids eat when they want. Also, our son is adopted and has issues with food. He wants to eat all the time and will gorge himself on food if we let him. He also has to eat whenever anyone else is eating, so if I let my older two eat when they want, he'll want to eat eveytime they do.....I just feel like a mean mom because I have to be so strict with snack time.

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Asked by Erin333 at 8:18 PM on Jun. 6, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (28)
  • my kids almost always get a pre-breakfast food of some kind (dry cereal or string cheese usually) around 7-8am when they wake up. Once my meds kick in and I can function, I make their big meal around 9:45-10:15-ish and lunch is 1:30. Nappers & quiet resters get a snack/treat around 4 and dinner is around 6:30. Very rarely will there be a post-dinner snack..

    Answer by hibbingmom at 8:21 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • We let Kiwi eat whenever, within reason (not waking up in the middle of the night for a snack, no food after brushing teeth at night). But, she's always been more of an all day grazer w/a little food here and there than set meals and snacks. It seems to work for her. She gets the right amount of food (meat, veggies, fruit, all that good stuff that she needs), she just spreads it out. If she eats a full meal like most kids, she'll get a stomach ache.
    So we pretty much give her freedom of the kitchen. She just tells me when she's hungry and getting something and then tells me what she got and I either approve it or tell her to get something else.
    It's different for all kids. I think you just have to find what works for you and your family and go with it.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 8:22 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • And she doesn't eat too much, she is actually underweight for her age and height, and she's very active and energetic.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 8:23 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • when my girls were younger i did. but their turning five this friday. and i have slowly threw the last couple years kind just let them eat when their hungry. they always get breakfast, cereal, or an acual cooked breakfast. something to snack on when they think their hungry. which is usually about lunch time, lol a couple more snacks before dinner and then dinner.

    Answer by bikerchickmommy at 8:23 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • I am strict w/ snacks because I serve healthy, often organic fresh local foods as meals. They're pricey and very, very healthy. I want my kids hungry so they'll sit and eat. It works..... and I make sure to serve a lot of protein and carbs and filling things to make them last. My son will easily eat 6 eggs in one sitting and I let him... he knows he's hungry.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 8:25 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • How old is he? I used to have set snack times. 10 and 3. But now that my daughter is 2 she just doesn't seem hungry at those exact times. A lot of food was getting wasted and she would whine to get out of the high chair. So now I give her breakfast and she usually lets me know when she is hungry. Usually around 10:30-10:45. I ask her in between if she is hungry and if she is she will take my hand and walk me into the kitchen.

    Answer by MLM0503 at 8:25 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • We have a general flow, but its not set in stone....wake up and have breakfast....snack time around 10:30ish, lunch about 12-12:30, snack around 3:30, dinner about 5:30-6, dessert at 7:30. If they are hungry in between they can have fruit or veggies, yogurt, string cheese...that kind of thing. My kids are both in a healthy weight range and get good exercise every day so if they are hungry I don't mind an extra snack here or there. They say that several small meals a day is healthier than 3 big

    Answer by gramsmom at 8:31 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • set meals and one snack BUT I will let them snack in between with in reason. If it's a healthy snack and if it's not to close to a meal.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:33 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • my girls are grazers... they are both on the petite side, and the dr mentioned that it would be best for them to just eat whenever they are hungry... which is exactly what i do. (i was always on the petite side as well... not so much, now that i'm 8 months pregnant. HA!) it works for them, and they don't over-indulge. they're 4.5 and 2.5.

    Answer by gracefulsky at 8:44 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

  • My kids are both skinny. They eat when they are hungry Sometimes that's all day and some days they don't need any snacks at all. I prefer they listen to their own natural cues as when to eat. But if my kids were on the portly side I would certainly have scheduled snacks.

    Answer by karamille at 8:57 PM on Jun. 6, 2010

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