I posted a thing on my child's food issues a few days ago (Lying and Stealing). I've been advised to set up a snack bin for him with a certain number of snacks each day, that he can take as he pleases. Then once they are gone, he's done snacking for the day. I really like this idea. He will probably eat everything at once for a few days, but after a few days I think he will figure it out. But here's my question: How many snacks do you think I should put in the bin each day? Here's the catch....we have 4 kids (with him being the oldest), so I think to make it fair I will have to do a bin for all the kids. And we are on a tight budget since I'm doing a full-time internship and money is really tight. Usually they get the 3 meals plus 2 - 3 snacks and occasionally a dessert. So, how many snacks for each kid do you think I should put in the bins?
**UPDATE** Several people have said tohave certain times set when they can get a snack from the bin. Let me clarify: If I set up this bin system, but then give them the times they are allowed to have snack, I'm not doing anything different then I normally do except storing the snacks in the bins instead of the pantry. Normally, the kids get 2 snacks minimum around the same time each day between meals, and they pick what the want to eat at that time. The problem is that my son who we adopted has food issues where he has been stealing food - it used to be he would hide/hoard food, now he's stealing it from other kids at school. My kids do not have free range in the kitchen because we would be shopping every day and broke. So, we were advised to give him his own bin with the days snacks and he could have the control to decide when he would eat them, as along as he understood that was it for the day and the bin wouldn't be refilled. So I was going to just do it for all the kids to make it fair. HERE'S MY PROBLEM....it's 11:00 and 2 of the kids have plowed through them all already. Of course my oldest did which I'm not surprised with his issue, but for the younger ones, as lunch time approaches and they start to feel hungry, they are eating it all not thinking about how they will have nothing later when they are hungry and would normally be given a snack. So, do I throw out the bins and go back to set snack times like normal? Or do I keep the bins and let the kids figure out self control and saving their snacks instead of eating it all the second they feel hungry? That's where I'm confused - if I take your advice and set snack times of when they can get a snack from the bin, I'm just doing the same thing I've always done. Also, I just don't understand how this bin system will solve his food-stealing issue!! Don't you think that if he eats it all the second his bin is full, he will just try and sneak food later when he's hungry?!? Sorry...frusterated and confused. Thank you everyone for your advice!