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My three year old son is constantly raiding my kitchen.

Posted by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM
  • 18 Replies

It drives me batty.  I swear to you not 15 minutes go by during the day when he doesn't ask for something to eat.  If I say no, or ask him to wait a while he freaks out.  And then, as soon as I am not looking he sneaks into the fridge or cupboard for a snack.  I try to make sure that any junk is out of his reach and have even resorted to putting a lock on my pantry door.  But he still gets into the fridge or climbs on the counter to get at food.  If I catch him taking food after I have already told him no, he has a meltdown.

He is not starving.  He eats three meals every day and I do give him plenty of healthy snacks in between.  I am an emotional eater, I eat when I am bored.  And now I am already worried that that is what he is doing.  

What else can I do?  Is this normal?

by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
brittany208
by Bronze Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Mine is doing the SAME thing and yes, its driving me nuts too! I always offer him carrot or celery sticks. If he is truly hungry, he will eat them happily. If he says "No, want something else" and tries to get at the chips... he's not hungry. The other day DS said "not hungry" to yogurt and fruit (both of which he loves), then 10 minutes later was sooo hungry for a donut. Um, I don't think so.

And if he really is getting hungry--good! then he'll eat a good lunch/dinner in an hour.

Also, I send my LO straight to time-out for having a meltdown. He knows this is the rule. And he sits there until he calms down and is ready to listen.

Its hard to say no when a kid asks for food, but I am not about to let him eat snacks all day and not eat his dinner.

lapcounter
by Silver Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM
I don't mind my kids doingbit because they are getting fruits.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
LDavis33
by Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Yep, I tell him "if you're not hungry enough to eat healthy, then your not hungry period".  

Generally though it is healthy food he's taking.  We keep very little junk in the house and it is kept well out of reach and he only gets it once in a while.  Basically, it's fruit, fruit juice and yoghurt that he is sneaking.  Although yesterday he took a tomato and I caught him in his toy room eating it like he would an apple.

My mom was strict about what we could eat and when we could eat it and I hated that growing up.  I always had to ask permission to have an apple or a sandwich, and I don't agree with doing that.  But at the same time, enough is enough.  

Quoting brittany208:

Mine is doing the SAME thing and yes, its driving me nuts too! I always offer him carrot or celery sticks. If he is truly hungry, he will eat them happily. If he says "No, want something else" and tries to get at the chips... he's not hungry. The other day DS said "not hungry" to yogurt and fruit (both of which he loves), then 10 minutes later was sooo hungry for a donut. Um, I don't think so.

And if he really is getting hungry--good! then he'll eat a good lunch/dinner in an hour.

Also, I send my LO straight to time-out for having a meltdown. He knows this is the rule. And he sits there until he calms down and is ready to listen.

Its hard to say no when a kid asks for food, but I am not about to let him eat snacks all day and not eat his dinner.


LDavis33
by Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

I really wouldn't mind except it seems to me that he is constantly eating.  It's all healthy stuff that he is sneaking, so it's not that I'm worried about him eating too much junk.  I'm just worried that he is forming an unhealthy relationship with food (not to mention I can't imagine what our food budget will look like in 10 years).

Quoting lapcounter:

I don't mind my kids doingbit because they are getting fruits.


Allie_kat1
by Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:31 PM
My 2 and 3 yr old girls are the same way. They are pretty much allowed free reign on fruits and veggies, but anything else they need to ask for. They are nearly constantly eating, but are very active, and very healthy weights (actually on the small side) for their ages.

Is your son a healthy weight, active through the day, willing to eat healthy snacks most of the time? He may just have a fast metabolism if the answer to these questions is yes.
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kayjayjess
by Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:34 PM

I call my 3 year old my little hobbit. She is always hungry and always eating. I let her, just make sure its healthy.

My children are the source of my strength, frustration, happiness, insanity, sanity, irritability.  They are the definition of unconditional love.

brittany208
by Bronze Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM

 :) yup, my DS is the same way. We had to put a lock on the fridge when DS was younger (actually DH did this and I thought it was entirely too nice so I didnt argue) or he would have been eating grapes ALLLLL day long.

As far as being strict... I feel like I make waaay too many rules, but its easier to have rules for things instead of sometimes letting him have things, sometimes not, and then constantly having him ask me for things bc my answer is always different. For example, at breakfast he gets to pick what he eats, but at dinner, I pick. (And at lunch, we usually negotiate). He went through a phase lately where he was saying "no, want something ELSE" and I wanted him to have a little say, but still learn to eat what he is given. He also knows he isn't allowed to have treats unless he eats his healthy foods all gone first. It makes it easier when he knows oreos are not a breakfast food.

Quoting LDavis33:

Yep, I tell him "if you're not hungry enough to eat healthy, then your not hungry period".  

Generally though it is healthy food he's taking.  We keep very little junk in the house and it is kept well out of reach and he only gets it once in a while.  Basically, it's fruit, fruit juice and yoghurt that he is sneaking.  Although yesterday he took a tomato and I caught him in his toy room eating it like he would an apple.

My mom was strict about what we could eat and when we could eat it and I hated that growing up.  I always had to ask permission to have an apple or a sandwich, and I don't agree with doing that.  But at the same time, enough is enough.  

Quoting brittany208:

Mine is doing the SAME thing and yes, its driving me nuts too! I always offer him carrot or celery sticks. If he is truly hungry, he will eat them happily. If he says "No, want something else" and tries to get at the chips... he's not hungry. The other day DS said "not hungry" to yogurt and fruit (both of which he loves), then 10 minutes later was sooo hungry for a donut. Um, I don't think so.

And if he really is getting hungry--good! then he'll eat a good lunch/dinner in an hour.

Also, I send my LO straight to time-out for having a meltdown. He knows this is the rule. And he sits there until he calms down and is ready to listen.

Its hard to say no when a kid asks for food, but I am not about to let him eat snacks all day and not eat his dinner.



 

jules8289
by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 6:38 PM

 At these young ages their little bodies are producing new cells at such a fast rate so they can grow. It is also important for brain development. They hit a growth spurt and look out grocery bill. As long as their are eating healthy I see no problem. Give them proteins to keep them fuller longer. Keep things like those baby carrots and other fresh vegies in the fridge for anytime finger food. It's normal. I used to put a lock on my fridge when our son was like that. It was bad so I understand. That boy would eat any left over meat from dinner the night before for his pre-breakfast snack. And noooobody better have touched it! lol Boys are especially bad with this it seems.

LindaClement
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

If he's hungry, he needs to eat.

If what he's being offered doesn't have enough fat or protein to be satisfying, of course he's going to need to eat more in 15 minutes.

Offer nothing at all, ever, but real food. Remove the junk from your kitchen.

As you have said: you are an emotional eater, and he doesn't need the example in the house. I think you'll find it difficult to be 'emotional' about eating carrot sticks with homemade dip.


kirbymom
by Bronze Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM
1 mom liked this

This is very normal! I have 7 kids and have experienced this will ALL of them. Right now, my 4 year old is doing the very same thing your's is doing.  :)   They go through growth spurts and when the are done, it feels like they have not eatin' anything and they metabolize everything so quickly.  If I were you, I would just make sure that your son isn't eating a bunch of junk food while he is going through this. It will come and go as he grows up.  The only other thing you might want to make sure isn't happening, is your son eating because he is bored.  And the only way to help him through that is by getting his mind off of food and onto something else. Like his favorite tv show or his favorite song or his favorite book.   Good Luck. 

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