In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Facts about snacks, Picky Eaters and Refusing to eat

Ok, so around here....we are going back to scheduled snack times.  This has been an on again/off again kind of thing around here.  I go from one extreme to the other, either I am a big fan or not a big fan.  I just really hate when my kids don't eat a good meal and when I blame it on tends to make me hate snacking, kwim?  Though, here we are at a point where snacks are absolutely necessary for our little Duckling and for meals and everything inbetween, we need to pack all the punch we can in every food she eats.  So, I pulled out sheets and sheets of calorie boosting tips and informational handouts I've collected along the way.  This is not a new road for us, but yet one we keep veering back to.  I know that we are not the only one's out there with a toddler who won't gain weight and I know how frustrating it is trying to put weight on these types of kids and since love doesn't make them grow...I thought I'd pass along the tips that we are lucky enough to have ahold of!

To start, here are some facts about snacks that I have taken from a handout printed by the Department of Health.
  • A snack for an adult is often a treat, but a snack for a young child is important because children don't eat much at meals.  They need snacks to grow.
  • Snacks are best about 1 to 2 hours before the next meal.
  • Serving foods high in protein will keep your child from getting hungry again soon.  Serve foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, chicken, peanut butter or eggs.
  • Snacks are small meals so serve the same foods that you would give at mealtime, or better yet...serve leftovers!
What about those "Picky Eaters"?  Here is some information taken from another Department of Health Handout.

Every child goes through a stage like this!  A picky eater will eat just a few foods and does not want to try new foods.  It is especially hard if the child's growth slows down, too!  Every child is different.  Some need the extra attention they get by being picky, others are just being 2 and some really do hate the taste of certain foods.

Don't pressure your child too much, it's their job to eat.  Your job is to provide healthy foods at regular meals and snacktimes.

So, what can you do for your picky eater?
  • Expect battles but don't be too strict or too easy!  Your child will use food to try to get some control over their world.
  • Expect children to eat small amounts of food!
  • Do things to slow children down before meals...try a story or quiet time.
  • Serve a very small amount of a new food next to a favorite food.  Don't worry if they don't try it right away, they may need to see the new food a few times first.
What not to do with your picky eater!
  • Don't make eating a battle
  • Don't beg your child to eat
  • Don't threaten your child with what you will do if they don't eat
  • Don't cook something else to get your child to eat.
If your child is refusing to eat, here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
  • Are they too tired?
  • Are they sick?
  • Do you think they want to show you that they have some control over something?
  • Do they know they will get a cookie in a half-hour?
  • Do they want to find out if you will make them somthing they like better?
  • Have they had a snack or drink?
  • Do you think they like the attention they get when you fuss over them not eating?
  • Is mealtime pleasant?
  • Am I putting too much pressure on my child to eat?
  • Does my child eat well for other people?
  • Do I feel like my child is saying no to me?
  • Am I expecting my child to eat more than they really need?
The best thing you can do for your child is to stay calm, even if you aren't!  Relax and don't put pressure on
your child to eat, your child may actually like seeing you get worried.

Coming up next....hiding extra calories with great tasting calorie boosters!

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