When to say no(9 Posts)
My 5 year old step son is constantly hungry. He'll have 3 pancakes a piece of toast cereal and fruit for breakfast and I don't mean a small portion of each! He'll waste most of it. Then less than hour later we get 'I'm hungry' and because he's said it his 3 year old sister and my 2 year old son instantly copy him thinking they will all get a snack. I usually say no until about 11 am when they can have a cheese biscuit or fruit. But again within a few minutes 'I'm still hungry' I understand that he us growing. I've spoken to his mum and she said he does the same at home no idea why as both families sways have food in. Times are getting tight with my partner losing his job and new baby's head us fully engaged 5 weeks early! I don't know how we'll manage to feed us all at the same rate we have been. I will never see the kids go without but it's getting to the point when we may have to start saying no more snacks or smaller breakfasts. How do to do this is before its not been a problem?
If he is wasting most of it then he isn't really hungry surely?
My 10yp dss does the same, but we refuse snacks if he hasn't eaten his main meal as he then won't eat the next one, could it be he is thirsty but still too young to know the difference?
Probably not a popular opinion but I hate food waste so, if as you say, most of what he asks for is going to waste, I would provide things that don't need to be thrown away that can be offered later
Why do you give 3 pancakes if he doesn't eat them? Just give one. Same for toast. Fruit can be grapes or an orange so leftovers can be offered next time. If he only eats half of something, save the other half for when he is hungry again.
If he is genuinely hungry and eating what you provide and asking for more and eating it then ... Well what else can yo do but provide more food? Some children eat a lot. Children like to copy their peers. If you have four children I am afraid that is going to be expensive.
My dss eats a lot too. I do yoghurt with cereal and a piece of fruit for breakfast, something like an apple or an orange which takes more effort to eat. We go out until mid morning on weekends so if the huger strikes we have to either wait till we get home to eat or have a biscuit that I've brought along.
I don't see a problem with limiting snacks or snack times if he isn't eating the food provided. Our end "I'm hungry" normally meals I want chocolate so I always offer fruit or cheese and crackers or a yoghurt.
Is asking for food an attention thing?
I have to ask, is he particularly overweight or skinny? Sorry this is not a fat/ thin body image thing , but he might have some kind of metabolic disorder ?
I'd only offer more courses for breakfast if the first one is all eaten - eg cereal first, then toast if cereal finished and still hungry. If he's wasting most of his breakfast he can't be that hungry!
If he is genuinely hungry at other times, then concentrate on cheap but filling snacks - peanut butter or cheese on toast, bananas, homemade flapjacks or banana/apple cake, eggy bread.
My 3yo dd often says she's hungry, what she means is she wants chocolate/treats. I will just offer healthy options, at which point she usually changes her mind! If she says yes to fruit/toast then I know she is properly hungry!
Thanks all he eats all his pancakes and toast and leaves half the cereal. Hv has said to let him choose his own portions which is what we do. I've told him that it takes 20 mins for food to get from your mouth to your tummy and for your tummy to tell your brain it's full lol. Apparently it's true. He isn't over Weight or skinny he does very little exercise too it's the younger ones that do all the running around. I do tend to put what he's left in the fridge and offer it again later when he's 'hungry' then it's off to dad crying because I'm giving him left overs. I think it's an attention seeking thing personally but everything gets reported mummy and then mummy accuses us of not providing for them.
If it's the cereal he isn't eating then you could always put that out later as a snack? If it's not soggy in milk?! My dcs like dry cereal so if it isn't eaten, it sits on the side for a while in case they insist they are still hungry! Or I'll offer crackers or fruit for snacks. I did one hear that radios for toddlers should be the same number of snacks to meals, but obviously you need to decide what these snacks are to be healthy, and also to encourage them to eat meals and not just snack!
Go with protein for breakfast rather than carbs? Eggs? Boiled/poached/scrambled, etc? Porridge rather than cereal?
I just stick to categories for mealtimes. So cereal or toast. If still hungry, more cereal/toast/fruit but the last thing has to be finished before they get more.
I don't think it's sensible to let him choose his own portions if he's leaving half of it. Let him have half the amount of cereal and if he still wants more then he can have more. My 5yo has no idea how much he really wants, the other day he asked for 20 chicken nuggets. DH made him 8 which is far too many. He ate all of them, but didn't eat anything else (obviously!) I think that "choose their own portion" thing sounds like "wisdom" thought up by someone in an office with no actual experience of children. Have you seen children allowed unrestricted access to food at a party? They pile their plate high and eat about 1/4 of it. I don't think they do understand portion control, and why would they? They barely understand dimensions and space - I remember my little brother being upset that everyone wouldn't get into his playhouse at once even when we explained and tried to show him that we couldn't physically fit.
If you have meals at ~4 hour intervals and snack time at ~2 hours in between, it's not a long time to wait if he's still a bit hungry. Unlimited amount for meal, within reason, appropriate food - not snacky/junk food, ONE snack at snacktime, that's it.
I think often they ask to eat out of boredom.
Join the discussion
Please login first.