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Thread: *closing* the kitchen... (m)

  1. #11
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    Default probably a renegade here but...

    My kids (nearly 6 & 7) eat a really big snack after school and we all have a very light dinner. Gone is the big dinner concept in our house. It's healthier to eat earlier (not right before bedtime) and that's when they are hungry. Who made the rules as to what meals should look like? We often have breakfast for dinner.

    Bonnie

  2. #12
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I think the issue is,

    with young kids, if they keep snacking too close to dinner, then they aren't hungry and won't eat dinner. Then when it is time for bed, suddenly they are hungry. It's a lot of extra cooking/preparing food when they are little. It's easier to cook a nice meal and have everyone sit down and enjoy it.

    I've heard from friends about the teenager thing, I've heard they eat nonstop so a snack 10 min before dinner doesn't mean they won't eat dinner. That's different, I think. That doesn't negatively impact dinner, it just means you've got a lot more grocery shopping to do to keep that fridge stocked!

  3. #13
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default If they have different tastes

    Can you try to incorporate them into one mealtime, so everyone sits down together when they are hungry? For instance, if one likes grilled chicken, and one likes pasta and butter, can you make those two things at once?

    I tend to be pretty strict about the fact that I don't make different meals. I'm lucky because my kids will eat almost anything, but I do know if there is something one of them doesn't particularly love, I will make sure to make the sides that I know they will eat. I never make separate meals. Dinner is what is on the table and there are no other options. (Of course if I make something new I make sides they love, but if they are hungry and didn't like the new dish, that's a different story.)

    I am a really picky eater myself, and I have to say if I make something new that I don't like (but they love, they like a lot more things than I do!) I will wait til they go to bed and send DH on a takeout run for me... So I guess I'm the one with the bad eating habits around here-LOL!

    Good luck!

  4. #14
    fatcat is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    I have an acquaintance with a 4 and 6 year old and she has a drawer and part of the fridge that are always "open." She doesn't care if they eat from there anytime, even right before dinner or instead of dinner. But of course it's all apples, or a whole wheat pita, or veggies and ranch dip and whatever would be a super healthy choice!

  5. #15
    LL2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by northy View Post
    mind you, one of my boys has protein issues so even if it's half an hour until dinner, if he's showing signs of needing to eat - i will feed him! and once one of them gets to eat, how can i say "no" to the others?
    That to me is a non-issue - if one of them truly has a medical issue (I don't know what protein issues are, so I'll just assume it's medical) he needs to eat and they don't, and the other two can just deal. It won't kill them.

    Does this child also have issues with dinner time being a struggle? Is there a snacking schedule you can put the child with protein issues on to make it less likely he'll "crash" (or whatever he does) half an hour before dinner?

    As far as closing the kitchen - you'll have to decide whether this is a hill you want to die on. If it is really important not to disrupt dinner, then yes, you need to close it. Not literally closed, which seems to be the part you're getting hung up on, figuratively closed. If a preteen child is told to stay out of the kitchen, then they should stay out of the kitchen. That is not an outrageous request on the part of a parent. Have a last call at whatever time you deem appropriate and if they ignore you and snack anyway, they get punished. It's not about food, it's about scheduling and listening to you.

  6. #16
    BamBam is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I don't physically closed the kitchen, but mine have to ASK for a snack(M)

    And asking for a snack is pretty rare in itself because my kids always have a healthy after school snack (fruits and veggies only), and we eat dinner early enough usually (5:00-5:30PM). I keep the kids busy with homework, and planned activities like a board game or yoga video, and they enjoy free play time. Mine love to be outside, so as long as the weather is decent, they'll be outside playing the snow or exploring otherwise. I bought a great dvd with soccer drills, so they have fun doing those too (indoors at the moment). They read. When they're busy, they don't think about eating all the time.

    My kids have always known that they must ASK me for a snack... I need to know what they're eating, so I have never given them free reign to get in the fridge/pantry. When they do ask, it seems to me it's when they're bored (or have friends over!). I decide based on when they've last eaten and when dinner will be served. I also encourage them to drink water.

    If for some reason we're eating later due to an activity or something, then I might let them have a small snack later in the afternoon (if they ask) - our later afternoon or evening snacks are always something like fruits, veggies, low fat cheese, some nuts.

    I hope to help my kids make healthy choices, and understand moderation as well as listening to the body's cues about hunger.

    Terri

  7. #17
    Allegro is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    This is the perspective I'm approaching things from.

    I must admit I read the OP and was at a loss as what to suggest because I can't imagine one of the kids having a snack without my permission. As it is my answer is normally "no" although DD seems to be in a bit of a growth spurt and I've been forcing myself to be more lenient. It's hard for a non-snacker who grew up with non-snacker parents to relax but I realize that my too-skinny kid needs to eat more. So lately I've been saying "yes" more and more and seeing how that effects her appetite at meal-time. I've been pleasantly surprised (i.e. she still eats well come dinner).

    Anyway, the kitchen at our home is NEVER open regardless of the absence of physical barriers. The kids still ask -- at times -- if they can have WATER (not that they need to)! I don't think this would work for you though Northy, as this is the way it has always been in our home. I think the idea of a healthy snack cupboard that they know they shouldn't access near meal times might be a start.

  8. #18
    jvirginia is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    You are the mom ... tell them no snacks except fruit from 5-6 pm, or whatever the hour is leading up to dinner. If you tell your kids something like that and they violate it then you have bigger issues than snacking.

    We have one drawer that is always open (except the hour before dinner) and one that is "ask first". Fruit and milk are always okay, even right before dinner.

    At Sue and someone else's suggestion I just instigated a rule that all eating must be done in the kitchen and dining room except on Friday movie/pizza night. The first violators were me and DH. Oops. Kids are sticking with it and don't seem to mind.

  9. #19
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    Default I have a 'closed' kitchen (m)

    It was the way I was raised so it is what I am most comfortable doing with my own kids. If they are hungry outside of a scheduled meal time, they can ask if they can have something, and provided it is healthy (ie, fruits or veg) then I will generally agree. I don't want my kids to go hungry, yet at the same time with four kids randomly grazing whenever they are home it would drive me nuts and I know at least one of them would likely not make the best food choices. Until they are nearly independant adults, I think it is my role to teach them healthy eating and help them implement it through guidence in what and when they eat.

    Amanda

  10. #20
    LL2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvirginia View Post
    The first violators were me and DH. Oops.
    LOL, don't you hate that?

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