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Do you think a child should be on a schedule to eat?

Do you get hungry anytime? What if dinner was set for 6, but you weren't hungry til 7. Should you be denied food because you didn't eat at 6? I feel sorry for children who are fed on a schedule. We do not get hungry at the same time. Perhaps if we are involved in the same activities together, we would be hungry together. What is your feeling on this?


Asked by Godswk at 12:47 PM on Aug. 30, 2010 in Food & Drink

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Answers (10)
  • We do have a general daily schedule, simply because we don't get anything done unless I have it all down on paper... But no, I don't force them to eat at set times... My kids eat all day, snack when they are hungry and still eat 3 meals... As long as it's healthy stuff, I don't see a reason to stop them from munching whenever they want to.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:50 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • Yes, my children eat at mealtimes. We have snacks from time to time, but they are pretty rare.

    In life - school, careers - we do need to learn to eat on a schedule. It may not need to be rigid, but we do need to learn that we really cannot just graze all day long.

    Answer by caseyandkids at 9:59 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • Actually yes, that is how my house is run. Feeling hungry when one chooses not to eat at mealtime is a natural consequence. My kids always knew that the had to eat the healthy meals that were prepared for them because they would not be allowed to snack between meals. I now have 3 beautiful and healthy teenagers.
    This country's population, as a whole, is fat. Far too fat. It's not healthy. People are fat because they overeat. Yes, it sure is possible to overeat at mealtimes, but constant munching isn't the answer to a lack of self regulation. It's important for people to learn how to eat, what to eat, and when to eat.
    People tend to confuse "hungry" with "hunger". Feeling hungry is normal and natural - and it's good to be able to identify feeling hungry as opposed to eating out of boredom, or eating for comfort. Missing one meal does not mean a child is dealing with "hunger" - they're merely hungry.

    Answer by missingruth at 10:08 AM on Aug. 31, 2010

  • I think a small child an infant needs an eating schedule, as for older ones, if you create a habit of the same time for eating there shouldn't be a problem..

    Answer by older at 1:04 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • In my house with my children dinner is between 5-5:30 and lunch is around 11:30-12:30 so if my kids are hungry they can let me know my 13 yrs old will my 2 yrs old tells me she needs a snack. Munching on something to hold them over is just fine with me but they also know what time lunch and dinner is and if they want to eat earlier then that is fine also.


    Answer by raemommy at 12:52 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • We have a pretty set schedual for eating. If they are not hungry at dinner their food goes in the fridge and they can eat it later when they get hungry. Same with breakfast and lunch too.

    Answer by othermom at 12:53 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • We try to have a schedule but not one set in stone and if my kids are hungry at different times I liet them eat

    Answer by fryshannon34 at 1:02 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • I don't think anyone should be on a schedule for eating. A person should eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:15 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • no... i find that we do tend to eat around certain times... but i will never force or deny my children meals... or healthy snacks...

    Answer by asil at 11:34 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • I don't think anyone should eat on a rigid schedule. People's energy use changes day to day, just as the fuel a heating system uses day to day changes. While it might make sense to some kind of advisor to only use 1/365th of the fuel in a heating system in a day, but since that would mean heating on days when it's hot and not enough heating when it's freezing, it's a system that would only work in the tropics where the temperature stays almost the same every day of the year.

    Kids, particularly, need a varying amount of food --they grow sporadically, they are more or less active on different days, their immune systems are busier, they're learning more, or resting more, all of which change their caloric AND nutritional needs.

    It might be fun to live in a world where everyone needs exactly 1200mg of vitamin C and 3c of water every day, but we don't live in bodies like that, and the sun in that world is a different color.

    Answer by LindaClement at 12:53 PM on Aug. 30, 2010