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To think.. there is a weird obsession with snacking?

(185 Posts)
helpmeplease2045 Mon 20-Mar-17 09:44:12

I have two DC age 6 and 3.

My 6yo has a pretty big breakfast (bowl of porridge with fruit and often second bowl of muesli or cereal for e.g.), we then provide them with a morning snack (maybe piece of fruit) for school, then two hours later they have school lunch then after school parents are handing over more snacks (ranging from fruit to biscuits, cakes, crisps, sandwiches etc), then a snack at home / at a playdate / children's party. There are snacks after activities / on the way to activities.. all this before dinner.

Sometimes I feel like it's a constant battle to stop kids from constantly eating all day! When I was younger we had bkfast, morning snack maybe on a school day and school dinners then we waited till the evening meal. I don't think little children need a constant supply of (often sugary) treats throughout the day.

AIBU to not want my small children to be eating something every two hours!?

Mumgyver Mon 20-Mar-17 09:49:34

I don't give my DC snacks as a matter of course. If they're hungry between meals they have free access to the fruit bowl or they can get a bit of cheese or some carrot sticks or whatever from the fridge but there are no scheduled snack times. Some days they take a snack, other days they don't.

Camomila Mon 20-Mar-17 09:51:14

I think some of it might be because people are so used to/told to give their babies and toddlers snacks regularly/on demand etc. it must be hard to know at what age you are meant to say 'wait a bit, dinner all be ready in half an hour'

I don't think it's necessarily bad to five a snack after school though, not all children have tea at 5, plenty have dinner at 7 particularly if both parents work.

Derlei Mon 20-Mar-17 09:52:19

At primary school age we'd have breakfast, lunch and then dinner; that was it, no morning snacks or afternoon snacks. That was early 90s.
In secondary school we'd have a snack after school but nothing major eg a small sausage roll but that was because we didnt have dinner until 8oclock (we had a business and parents didn't finish workIng until then). Yes we'd be ravenous by 8oclock but we ate a good filling dinner.

The snack culture confuses me, DS is not even 1 yet and I'm already worrying about whether I need to be giving him this or that at a certain time because other parents are

kurlique Mon 20-Mar-17 09:52:43

Stick to your guns OP! My teens are complete snack merchants and I regret not being aware of the bad habits I was setting in place just by following the crowd... when I was a kid we had brekkie, milk at morning break, school lunch, afternoon tea (a drink and a crumpet at most) when we got home from school and then dinner at 7ish. I have fallen into the grazing habit too... and it is so hard to kick.

helpmeplease2045 Mon 20-Mar-17 09:54:15

Yes that's true Camomile, I guess I think they have spent most of their days sitting at tables, have already had bkfast (mine), a morning snack, a full lunch with pudding (school dinners another topic) then given another snack, then maybe playdate and more etc etc. I think it is something that starts when they are toddlers at baby group etc. At my DD's nursery they also offer quite a large snack and do baking regularly.

emanresudilavni Mon 20-Mar-17 09:54:37

I agree with the sugary aspect but having lived around the world, some cultures are entirely bemused by "3 square meals a day" and I can see why. It makes sense to eat what you want, when you're hungry. Why eat a big meal at 6pm just because everyone else does. Why not eat at 4pm if you're hungry and again at 5pm and again at 6pm but smaller amounts.

If your children are a healthy weight and get a balanced diet then mine can eat as many sandwiches, home made cake, fruit etc as they'd like. They do need to eat good amounts at lunch and dinner though.

My school provides a snack mid morning, a big lunch and a 2pm snack (school finishes at 3). It suits children's metabolisms and bodies better. The snacks are healthy though.

helpmeplease2045 Mon 20-Mar-17 09:55:45

Yes I have managed to avoid the straight after school snack but it's hard with his best friend is being given a sandwich, one of those sugary yo-yos and often some crisps...

helpmeplease2045 Mon 20-Mar-17 09:58:13

Yes if mine are genuinely hungry then I am always happy to provide fruit and vegetables as that is what I would snack on if I was having one.. I wouldn't be making myself up a sandwich at 3pm and then having a cereal bar all after lunch and before dinner if that makes sense.

I am worried kids are being taught they can't go two hours without having a snack...

BarbarianMum Mon 20-Mar-17 10:01:17

Hmm, well there's no way mine could have lasted the day on 3 meals as toddlers, mid morning and mid afternoon snacks were definitely the thing. And they do need something to eat straight after school (although 11 year old is growing out of that now). They rarely snack at weekends, probably because our meals are closer together then.

But constant snacking is a problem, yes.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 20-Mar-17 10:04:02

I hear you OP, I have DD9 and DD 20 months and neither of them snack. I'm often bemused when I see other parents of toddlers constantly whipping out crackers, fruit, cheese etc during an activity that is less than 2 hours, I just don't get it?!

BeyondThePage Mon 20-Mar-17 10:07:05

Don't buy the modern day "snack" foods. If there are none in the house, the kids have to choose whether it is worth going out to the shop and spending their pocket money on crap that will not do them any good or have a handful of grapes/a carrot etc..

We don't have crisps/sweets/biscuits/cheese strings/fruit winders/sausage rolls/sugary yoghurts in the house. You want a cookie, you bake some, you want a cake, again, bake one. We do have plenty of fruit and veg, rice cakes, cheese etc so it is not like we would all go hungry between meals.

Snacking seems to be a family thing - some do, some don't - we don't really.

Thefitfatty Mon 20-Mar-17 10:08:20

If I remember correctly we had breakfast (cereal), a small snack for recess like a granola bar and a juice box, (this was only until Year 6, then we didn't get recess), lunch (sandwich, juice box, apple and a small treat size bag of crisps), no snack after school unless it was an apple or orange as we usually had some kind of sports or had to immediately go outside and play, dinner (chicken/meat, veg and rice or pasta and 2 cookies or a piece of homemade cake for dessert), and if we were hungry later an apple or orange.

My kids have the same minus the crisps and the dessert after dinner.

JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 20-Mar-17 10:11:41

I had a similar thread the other day but mine was based on my not every buying "snack foods" and my 12 year old complaining that all her friends had them.

I was deemed not unreasonable.

BeyondThePage Mon 20-Mar-17 10:13:08

When we were young we had 2 weetabix for breakfast with half milk half hot water from the kettle, free milk at school for breaktime, free school dinner (e.g. cottage pie, green veg and sponge and custard) then beans on toast or a chunk of cheese and an apple for tea.

That was our food intake for the day. Except Saturday - treat day - where we would have a bottle of pop and a bag of crisps after an early tea time too.

Ontopofthesunset Mon 20-Mar-17 10:14:24

At primary school in the 70s we had milk at first break and then 2 biscuits and a glass of squash when we got home from school.

itsgoodtobehome Mon 20-Mar-17 10:15:22

Oh yes - I totally agree with you OP. I was at my DS's family assembly at school on Friday. Lots of other parents there have younger children with them. The assembly only lasts half-an-hour, but I couldn't believe the amount of snacks they were shoving at the younger ones. Between them they had numerous cheese strings, crackers, wotsits, dried fruit bags etc. I was sitting there thinking - can they not last half-an-hour without a snack??!!

I've never really done that with DS, and as result, he never asks for snacks when we go out.

CaoNiMartacus Mon 20-Mar-17 10:18:08

Also, the word "snack" has to be one of the most irritating in the English language.

cowgirlsareforever Mon 20-Mar-17 10:18:31

I was never one of those parents who carried around a constant supply of snacks in my bag when my ds were little. I can't say they don't snack now but I try to point them in the direction of the fruit bowl. My ds1 is growing like a weed and is hungry all the time. I encourage him to eat something more substantial like a sandwich or hummus and pita, rather than something less filling, in the hope that it curbs his need to constantly snack. It's hard though, and I'm not sure I'm doing it right, but I'm trying my best.

scampimom Mon 20-Mar-17 10:18:39

<misses point of thread>

Ooh, a bottle of pop and some crisps after tea - for me it would be while watching Juliet Bravo. happy sigh

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Mon 20-Mar-17 10:19:53

When I was growing up we didn't have snacks at all (1970's). If I was hungry, I picked an apple off one of our trees when in season. Other than that, I can't remember ever having anything outside of breakfast/lunch/supper. I don't snack now.

MerryMarigold Mon 20-Mar-17 10:20:31

Some kids don't eat much breakfast. Mine do, but they don't get a mid morning snack in school, just straight through to lunch. They are usually really hungry after school so they do get something then like a flapjack. Then wait till dinner which is at 6/6.30 All the kids who come over/ my kids go to their house have pretty much the same routine. So not sure where all the snacks are happening.

QueenOfTheCatBastards Mon 20-Mar-17 10:21:22

My 9.5 year old turns into the autistic version of the hulk if he doesn't have a snack between 10:15-10:45. We haven't got the science behind it, but the GP thinks he has a natural blood sugar dip around then which turns him into an utter arsehole becuse he doesn't have the skills to deal with the hunger when he's in the throes of it all. He eats a full lunch, two courses with double carbs and protein if it can be done. He has a snack mid-afternoon some days, others he doesn't seem to lose his shit so doesn't need it. When he's well fed and feeling on an even keel he can joke about his weird dependence on the morning snack (tends to be a cereal bar as they're easy to eat, can be kept in a box under his workstation at school, and don't go off) and he's the rather chuffed owner of a 'sorry for what I said when I was hangry' mug.

My other two children can cope quite well without snacks, but do love to raid the fridge for fruit if they're in the mood to.

It's odd to see them in action, and it all makes no sense.

Havingntyped all that, I'm away for a slice of toast as I forgot breakfast and I'm regretting it! grin

MusicToMyEars800 Mon 20-Mar-17 10:21:37

Mumgyver what you said! that's exactly what I do.

WorraLiberty Mon 20-Mar-17 10:23:23


I honestly do think the overweight adults of the future (of which there will be an alarming amount), are going to blame their parents not just for overfeeding them huge portions, but for encouraging all the snacking.

In the same way many overweight adults today, blame their parents for making them clear their plates as kids.

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