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Mindee with a never ending appetite. Ideas for filling meals and snacks needed please!

(22 Posts)
NoHank Tue 16-Apr-13 14:46:09

Because he is eating me out of house and home. Mindee is 2 almost 3. From the moment he arrives he follows me around asking for food, usually biscuits or treats (which I don't have) but will then switch to asking for anything. I have started to introduce set times for snacks and meals as otherwise mindee will just eat all day. I am flexible on times but try to stick to am snack, lunch, pm snack so we have a bit of a routine. This morning within 5 minutes of arriving he was asking for food. I explained we would eat at snack time. He continue to ask for 15 minutes so I decided to have an early snack thinking he might really be hungry. I gave him a slice of toast and a banana. He ate all of this then asked for lunch. This is how he is all day. For the most part I prepare home cooked meals and snack time can easily consist of an apple, tangerine, banana and pancakes.

I don't mind feeding him and I always want my mindee's to eat well however background to this is he started with me on a short term emergency contract. Because it was supposed to be short term (6 weeks) I foolishly did not issue my usually terms so I am being paid a lower hourly rate than I would normally charge and I did not add extra for meals (my own fault, you live and learn)

I am now starting to feel that after feeding him all day, petrol costs running around to playgroups etc. I am not actually making any money. Heartless I know but as much as I love looking after them, I need to make money too grin

So this has turned into a bit of a long one but basically I wanted to ask for ideas for filling and healthy meals, that ideally don't cost too much and also what kind of meals everyone else is providing? It would be much cheaper to feed him half a pack of value biscuits instead of half a punnet of grapes but I don't want to go down that route (even if it would make mindee happier grin)

JennyPiccolo Tue 16-Apr-13 14:48:35

Cheese and apple is a good snack, quite filling. Or toast and peanut butter. Try to fit some more protein in where you can.

Rooble Tue 16-Apr-13 14:50:34

God, those snacks sound huge! Would a big portion of something really filling like risotto plus grated cheese, plus veg fill him at lunch? My DS has always had a v hearty appetite, but risotto seems to fill him

Rooble Tue 16-Apr-13 14:52:29

Just wondering if perhaps he hasn't had a v hearty breakfast before arriving, so if you could maybe start the day with a big bowl of porridge rather than waiting till mid morning for snack?

Jins Tue 16-Apr-13 14:53:45

I agree about adding protein.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Tue 16-Apr-13 14:54:38

What does he have for breakfast? I have a mindee who has cakes for breakfast and she goes to pre school and eats about 5 pieces of fruit at snack as she tells them she's starving!

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Tue 16-Apr-13 14:54:50

I bet he has a really sugary breakfast which makes him hungry not long afterwards.

My dc have really good appetites. One of the best things I give them for a snack is hummus and wholemeal pitta bread (toasted).

forevergreek Tue 16-Apr-13 14:58:38

I would be wondering what he eats at home tbh. Does he actually get breakfast/ dinner, or of so maybe v tiny..

If he comes early can you review contract to include breakfast?

Or maybe mention to parents somehow, he could have worms or something. Even if he hadn't eaten breakfast, it's a bit unusual to be hungry immediately after toast and a banana. ( which is a fair snack for a 2 year old- as an idea my 3 1/2 year old wouldnt ask for anything until I gave lunch, if I gave him that for breakfast)

NoHank Tue 16-Apr-13 16:06:51

I'll bear that in mind re protein. Main meals always include some, often chicken casserole, lasagne, that type of thing.

He will always eat large portions too. Quite often what I would think are adult sized.

To be honest I do think he eats well at home as mum will say how he will quite happily stand in front of the fridge and work his way through it.

Cheese and crackers we often do, will try the hummous and pitta. And the porridge. Really appreciate the ideas

Floralnomad Tue 16-Apr-13 16:13:46

I think you need to have a serious word with the parents ( including the part about not charging enough). It's not normal for a child that age to 'work his way through the fridge' and I'd be worried about him having some kind of medical problem . There is an illness ,which I can't think of the name of which involves compulsive eating .

tasmaniandevilchaser Tue 16-Apr-13 16:16:06

Is he thirsty? It can sometimes be interpreted as hunger

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 16-Apr-13 16:53:18

I really wouldn't just chuck food at him all day. It's not good for him. It's not usual for a child to be constantly eating. I agree about mistaking hunger for thirst. It could also be habit or comfort, or medical, there's no way to know. But constantly eating isn't good for him.

NoHank Tue 16-Apr-13 17:59:18

He does drink lots too and there is always water available for him to drink which he does. In fact thinking about it he would probably drink all day too if he could. I hate to say it but I think he is just being greedy, which is why even when he has just finished eating he is asking for more. For example after lunch today, cheese omelette and sweetcorn, he finished eating first then when my dd said she had had enough (only a couple of mouthfuls left on her plate) he immediately said "can I have it". He did exactly the same when they had their dessert. Just a small bowl of jelly but he asked again to finish off DD's and this was after the omelette.

And I definitely don't just chuck food at him all day! I try and stick to the snack, lunch, snack and distract him with lots of activities etc. He is much better when we are out and about and at playgroups. It just seems to be the minute he isn't occupied he is asking for food.

Ah well, just found out he has a nursery place for September so he will be leaving at the end of August. He really is lovely, just has hollow legs!

Seb101 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:48:41

I'd offer set snacks and meals and that's it. It sounds like he's getting more than enough nutritionally. I wouldn't keep increasing snack sizes, just give him what the others have. Otherwise it'll cost you a fortune. If what you offer isn't satisfying him, id tell mum and ask her to provide additional snacks. Perfectly reasonable I think.

mindingalongtime Tue 16-Apr-13 20:21:05

I'd also offer milk as you get that paid for with the NMRU! It is more filling than water too.

I had one who wanted to graze all day, but I did as you mentioned, snack at certain time, lunch at certain time and no matter how hard the whinge for food in between, do not give in!

NoHank Wed 17-Apr-13 10:38:38

Thanks everyone. I'm going to stick with what I'm doing and start introducing more protien into the snacks and try offering milk aswell. Although I don't get it free, I did apply but didn't qualify for some reason.

And I won't be making the same mistakes again if I take on an emergency placement - they'll be getting charged the same rates as everyone else!!

mindingalongtime Wed 17-Apr-13 16:23:03

Nohank every child under the age of 5 in your care is entitled to a third of a pint of milk a day. The government pay for it. Don't go to any pf the companies who deliver etc and claim for you, just register directly with the NMRU. It is so easy to register and claim online at the end of the month, I claim around £28 a month back and it is paid directly into my bank account.

See here https://www.nurserymilk.co.uk/about_the_scheme.html

MildDrPepperAddiction Wed 17-Apr-13 16:31:38

I would still speak to the parents about it. As someone said he could have worms or another medical issue.

littleducks Wed 17-Apr-13 16:36:27

Mine ate lots at that age, they were very energetic and grew a lot.

Maybe have toast and boiled eggs sometimes in the morning possibly not much difference in price to banana but more filling.

NoHank Wed 17-Apr-13 18:31:08

"mindingalongtime* Thanks for the link, I will certainly get onto them.

Thanks again everyone, all your comments are much appreciated. I will have a chat with mum tomorrow when she picks him up and see how he has been at home lately too, although I am sure they are already aware of his appetite!

Wishihadabs Wed 17-Apr-13 18:41:20

Grapes are expensive ! yy to apple (contains an appetite suppressor) with v thinly sliced cheese. Toast and pb, make your own hummus much cheaper than buying it. Mine snack on carrot sticks, would he accept that ? Carrots are cheap. Will try to think of some more

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 17-Apr-13 18:55:37

My middle DS was like this at 2. He ate and ate. He's a string bean. At nursery they had a today your child ate 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2 portions at breakfast/ lunch/ tea. They joked that they'd introduce a x5 for DS because he really liked his food and would keep going. It sort of faded when he got to 3 and he's generally more of a grazer now.

Without wanting to be too graphic I wonder if some little ones digestive systems are pretty inefficient at getting energy out of their food and it goes through them so they need more. Like when you're first introducing solids and things come out looking almost like they went in.

I used to have easy snacks in the fridge. Ds liked carrot sticks and i used to make porridge oats breakfast bars in big batches - they were made with apple juice to bind them and really cheap to big batch. Pancakes (mini scotch ones with raisons) were a big hit too, but we've always had a ready supply of eggs. I'd batch cook and then microwave as required.

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