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2 year olds - snack on demand or timetable?

(47 Posts)
Shoegazer Tue 19-Aug-08 09:13:18

DD (2.2) is a good eater. She very often tells me she is hungry and would like a snack and I usually will give her something, but it feels like too many snacks to me. She eats well at mealtimes, so its not spoiling her appetite and I know that she should eat when she is hungry but at times this is constant. Her snacks are generally well balanced so I'm not too worried about what she is eating.

She is a very early riser (weep) and often wakes at 5am, we have tried everything to change this but nothing works and we are both early risers and would generally be up at 6am anyway so I think its in the genes. Anyway, this then means she has her breakfast at around 5.30 as understandably she is hungry when she wakes. Her lunchtime is at 12-1pm and her tea is at 4.30-5pm. At the moment she snacks between meals, but not usually allowed in the 1 hr before meals. Could she benefit from a mid morning substantial snack, rather than bits through the morning? How does your 2 year old eat? Am I giving her too much? Am I just too neurotic? Help!

MamaG Tue 19-Aug-08 09:16:05

I always let my DC (from being old enough to understand) help themselves to fruit/yoghurt. Some days they would eat lots, other days not so much. As long as she is eating healthy snacks and still eating her meals, I wouldn't worry, just continue to let her snack.

As she's having breakfast at 5.30 and then lunch at 12-1, perhaps a small sandwich or similar would benefit her mid morning?

I agree. Maybe some toast and fruit between breakfast and lunch.

LoveMyGirls Tue 19-Aug-08 09:21:33

She wakes at 5am, I feel for you! I've never had an early riser but wonder if the breakfast at 5.30am is not helping? I could be totally wrong (i'm sure someone else will come to correct me) forgive me if you have tried all this but I would try not giving breakfast so early maybe move it forward by 15mins per morning I would also encouarge her to stay in bed for as long as possible by leaving a lightshow she can work herself and a couple of books and a juice cup she could spend a bit of time in her room before she wakes you and maybe fall back to sleep? (maybe the last bit is a bit too hopeful?) I would try anything though I'm not really a morning person and getting up at 5am everyday would probably make me crazy.

As for the snacks as long as they are healthy snacks and not too big I don't really see a problem, I usually give mine a snack about 10.30 and then again after school if they go throguh phases of not eating dinner i take snacks away until they eat their meals.

nappyaddict Tue 19-Aug-08 09:23:26

you need to do one of f&z's snack boxes

Shoegazer Tue 19-Aug-08 09:35:42

Lovemygirls, I have tried it all <jaded expression> she has access to all her toys in her room, I have left her puzzles and books (her favourite things!)laid out next to bed, juice cup etc. I do understand what you are saying, but its just her way as it was mine when I was young. I was still getting up at 6am when I was a teenager!

I like the idea of the toast or sandwich mid morning, I do think that this might help.

I'm nervous of the access to fruitbowl/snackbox idea. I want to try it but am worried she will eat it all in one sitting! I like the idea that there is that available when she wants and that she starts to take a little bit of responsibility for choosing her own food. So I might brave it! Is the idea that you fill up the snackbox in the morning and then once it is gone it is gone? Or would you refill it?

mankyscotslass Tue 19-Aug-08 09:40:01

DS is 2yr 10 mths, and always got up between 5 and 5.30 until this month where its moved to around 5.45. He won't stay quietly either, and demands food as soon as he wakes. He shares a room with his elder brother, so we have to take him downstairs when he wakes or he gets up too, and my eldest won't go back to sleep either!

As soon as he gets down stairs he has 1 1/2 oatibix in warm milk, then has two large fromage frais/yoghurts, then about 8 he has a slice of toast.

By the time we get back from the school run he is ready for a snack, and has fruit - usually an apple or banana or a peach, with a handful of dried cereal and raisins if hungry after.

Lunch is at 11.30/11.45, usally sandwich and salad, and some grapes, with some crisps as a treat after that.

He has an afternoon snack about 2, usually a teacake or cheese sticks or a biscuit.
When we get back from the school run he will have another small snack, maybe an Organix fruitbar, fruit or carrot sticks, something like that.

Tea is about 6 when DH gets in from work, then bed at 7.

He dosen't drink milk and never stops running! TBH, I never realised how much he ate til I typed it out, he sounds like a proper human food disposal unit. blush

mankyscotslass Tue 19-Aug-08 09:43:11

And I don't mind about snacks, I just don't give them too close to a meal time, and try to keep them as healthy as possible.
I might give the snackbox thing a go too. With my older two I had to remind them to eat, not used to having this one who asks all the time!

Shoegazer Tue 19-Aug-08 09:46:16

Mankyscotslass, you have just described my DD! She doesn't drink milk either and she wears me out with her energy. I think she eats about the same as your DS. You have just made me feel much better smile

mankyscotslass Tue 19-Aug-08 09:47:52

smile

Weegle Tue 19-Aug-08 09:48:23

DS is exactly the same age. He wakes quite early (not as early as yours, but 6/6.30ish). He gets breakfast approx 45 min after waking - this is cereal/porridge followed by toast, and he keeps asking for more until he is full. Mid morning he will normally have a cereal bar and a piece of fruit. Lunch followed by fruit at 12pm, then sleep. After his nap he will normally have a piece of fruit and if we are out he may get a biscuit, fruit squeezie etc or something if we are at a friend's house. Dinner is then all together at 6pm. He then has an organix biscuit and milk just before bed. He's very tall for his age but verging on skinny so I don't worry he's eating too much. I feed him to his appetite. If he goes fussy over his meals for a few days I pull back on the snacks, but otherwise he pretty much gets when he asks (unless close to meals).

nappyaddict Tue 19-Aug-08 09:50:21

shoe gazer have you tried something like the bunny clock

nappyaddict Tue 19-Aug-08 09:51:11

also do you leave milk in her room for when she wakes up? does she have black out blinds and curtains?

Shoegazer Tue 19-Aug-08 10:00:30

Yes, she has had blackout blinds and curtains since birth, she has a drink in her room for when she wakes up, she wouldn't drink milk as she doesn't really like it unless it is on her cereal.

I did want to buy her a bunny clock, so I showed her the picture of it online and asked if she would like a magic bunny too. I explained that he would help her know when it is still sleep time as he would be asleep too and then she would know what time to wake up because he would wake up. Then to check whether she would or wouldn't grasp the concept as she is still quite young, I asked her in jolly tones"So what would you do if you wake up and then bunny is sleeping?" Her reply was "I press he button. I say "Wake up up up! He be wake then" hmm

mankyscotslass Tue 19-Aug-08 10:05:15

Shoegazer, we have a blackout blind and also curtains on the window in the boys room too!

My friend had great success with the bunny clock and we borrowed hers. DS was quite happy to stay in bed til the bunny woke up, but is incapable of being quiet and kept shouting to his brother to watch the bunny with him. We lasted 2 weeks before we gave it back. grin

mankyscotslass Tue 19-Aug-08 10:06:43

Have you tried the wake to sleep routine, where you wake them about an hour before they usually get up then get them to sleep again so they break the habit and sleep longer?
We tried that, but as soon as his eyes popped open he started shouting for food, lol!

nappyaddict Tue 19-Aug-08 10:18:11

perhaps this sort might be better for her?

Shoegazer Tue 19-Aug-08 10:31:15

Yes Mankyscotslass, we tried the wake to sleep too, you have only got to touch her and she is awake - "Good morning! It time breakfast?" <groan> She sleep walks and talks too so is clearly an active sleeper anyway. She asked to watch tikkabilla the other day, only problem was she was asleep and in the car.

Thank you for the suggestions nappyaddict, we tried fairy lights on a timer so similar idea really. We called them them the sleep fairies, but they didn't work! Maybe when she is abit older, I live in hope. I don't mean to sound dimissive, but we have honestly tried to all. I am now in status acceptance smile

BeHereNow Tue 19-Aug-08 10:33:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nappyaddict Tue 19-Aug-08 10:35:27

My friends dd is a very early waker and she leaves a little pot of dry cereal, a cup of milk, pot of fruit, a smoothie drink and those squeezy pouch yogurts and that keeps her quiet for an extra half an hour to 45 minutes.

BeHereNow Tue 19-Aug-08 10:35:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shoegazer Tue 19-Aug-08 12:04:34

Yes, Beherenow, it all feels better when you stop thinking its a problem to be solved and instead work out how you can best manage the situation to get along as happily as you can.

Have just found the huge snackbox thread here

and have read through it, it makes lots of sense because it feels abit like it was starting to become a control thing as I wasn't sure how much she was supposed to be eating and felt I should be "doing something" and yet I couldn't really think of my reasons why I was saying no to eating!? I am going to try the snackbox idea, thanks nappyaddict.

mankyscotslass Tue 19-Aug-08 12:24:56

Yup, acceptance is the key. We just take it in turns now to get up with him at whatever time, and go to bed early!
It won't be long before they turn into vampires teenagers and won't get up in the day time!

TattooedGrrrl Tue 19-Aug-08 13:26:05

By Shoegazer on Tue 19-Aug-08 09:13:18
DD (2.2) is a good eater. She very often tells me she is hungry and would like a snack and I usually will give her something, but it feels like too many snacks to me. She eats well at mealtimes, so its not spoiling her appetite and I know that she should eat when she is hungry but at times this is constant. Her snacks are generally well balanced so I'm not too worried about what she is eating.

She is a very early riser (weep) and often wakes at 5am, we have tried everything to change this but nothing works and we are both early risers and would generally be up at 6am anyway so I think its in the genes. Anyway, this then means she has her breakfast at around 5.30 as understandably she is hungry when she wakes. Her lunchtime is at 12-1pm and her tea is at 4.30-5pm.

*

She's just like my DS1! He's a dustbin, always asking for food, even less than an hour after a big meal. The minute he gets up he asks for a banana or a cracker, even at 5am. Snack wise he eats fruit, crackers and cheese usually. I usually say yes, unless there's a meal on the way. He eats a wide range of foods, so i leave him to it. If he was demanding sweets or crisps then he'd get nothing.

Shoegazer Tue 19-Aug-08 14:37:57

Ok, I set her up a snackbox for when she got home from nursery. In the last one and half hours she has eaten one cracker, 2/3 a large rice cake, 1x slice of cheese, some blueberries, all her cucumber sticks and a couple of carrot sticks lol However I put it down to the novelty - she said "mummy I have got a picnic!". I will be interested to see how much of her dinner she eats, I will report back!

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