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Old 08-18-2016, 11:31 AM
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Default Limiting Meal Times

Do you limit meal times?
I've never had a reason to until now. I have a new dcb (second week) who is 15 months. At each mealtime, he will sit and look at the food for a solid 20 min. Then after that, he decides to start eating and takes the tiniest bites. If I allow him to eat his way, meals take an hour.
Would limiting meal time to 30 min be appropriate?
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenboo View Post
Do you limit meal times?
I've never had a reason to until now. I have a new dcb (second week) who is 15 months. At each mealtime, he will sit and look at the food for a solid 20 min. Then after that, he decides to start eating and takes the tiniest bites. If I allow him to eat his way, meals take an hour.
Would limiting meal time to 30 min be appropriate?
I have a large group (10-12 kids) eating all at the same time. I set the timer for 30 minutes AFTER all the food is dished up and plated.

I allow 30 minutes but have let kids continue eating if they are on seconds or still eating well..... When the timer goes off, lunch is over. Especially for those that spent the time messing around.

Part of my role is preparing kids for school and in public school around here, you'd be SUPER lucky if you got 30 minutes for lunch so....
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I have a large group (10-12 kids) eating all at the same time. I set the timer for 30 minutes AFTER all the food is dished up and plated.

I allow 30 minutes but have let kids continue eating if they are on seconds or still eating well..... When the timer goes off, lunch is over. Especially for those that spent the time messing around.

Part of my role is preparing kids for school and in public school around here, you'd be SUPER lucky if you got 30 minutes for lunch so....
This is so true! This year many of the schools in my district have implemented a "no talking" policy for the first 10 minutes of lunch so children actually eat. Too many parents were complaining of their children not eating and starving when they got home. Now parents are complaining of the "no talking" policy...

Anyway, yes I limit meal times here. I allocate 30 - 35 minutes to eat lunch. I have some that scarf lunch down in 5-10 minutes and others who eat as slow as possible. For my slow eaters I did find it helpful to give them a portion of their lunch at first. For some reason if I gave them all of it, they wouldn't eat. When I gave a smaller portion they eat quickly and then I will serve them their remaining portions.
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:27 PM
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I limit it to 30 minutes. If a child is truly eating and taking longer I will extend but the ones that dilly dally I remind them when we have about 5 min. left of lunch time that food will be taken away.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:15 PM
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30 minutes and done here for all 12 of mine. We have to move on with our day.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:41 PM
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wonder if the kid sits in front of a screen when he eats? I also limit the time and we are all done within 30 minutes.

Just like others if the child is actually working on eating, not just sitting there, I do give them about 5 more minutes to eat.


I have mondays that sometimes it takes the kids 30 min just to eat a bowl of cereal and they don't even make it to the other stuff.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I have a large group (10-12 kids) eating all at the same time. I set the timer for 30 minutes AFTER all the food is dished up and plated.

I allow 30 minutes but have let kids continue eating if they are on seconds or still eating well..... When the timer goes off, lunch is over. Especially for those that spent the time messing around.

Part of my role is preparing kids for school and in public school around here, you'd be SUPER lucky if you got 30 minutes for lunch so....
I also have to highlight this part! At my last school kindergartners had 15 minutes of silent lunch to eat, and that's it (that was school policy). They definitely weren't ready for that! After they finally got their lunches open they had minutes to eat, and I saw this to be a going trend to get back instructional minutes in many schools I visited.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for the replies! I'll definitely start limiting lunch time. Hopefully he learns to start eating right when the food is served.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:08 AM
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I totally agree with a time limit. Whenever I do have a slow eater, we have a habit of sitting them first to eat so they will get a little bit longer. I give a 5-minute warning toward the end of meal time and then it's over.

Blackcat is right, they need to prepare for shorter mealtimes. The unlimited thing is unrealistic.

One more thing; I try to get the parents to realize the same thing so that they do more at home to encourage the children to eat and not play at mealtimes.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:55 AM
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I have never had to limit meal times. 15-20 minutes max and they are done.
Deb
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:28 AM
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Is your 15-month-old sitting with all the other kids while they eat? Is he sitting alone? Try changing it for a couple of weeks. Maybe he needs to focus more, or maybe he needs to be right where the action is.

We do not use high chairs here. I have a Mamas and Papas Baby Snug and Tray for the 6-month-old, and two Me-Do-It chairs by Community Playthings for the littlest walkers. We have cups (no sippies) and real metal appetizer forks/spoons from World Market. All my kids but one came without having used a spoon and real cup before, and now they're all pros. I also have them carry napkins and plates to the table. They love taking ownership of mealtime. Since they participate in the setup of the meal, they're ready and waiting to eat as soon as the food hits the table.

I have a 16-month-old who used to get out of his chair and cruise through the room, foraging off of the other kids' plates. I now have him sit at his own table, and I sit adjacent, to remind him that "We sit down to eat." It's done wonders.
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pestle View Post
Is your 15-month-old sitting with all the other kids while they eat? Is he sitting alone? Try changing it for a couple of weeks. Maybe he needs to focus more, or maybe he needs to be right where the action is.

We do not use high chairs here. I have a Mamas and Papas Baby Snug and Tray for the 6-month-old, and two Me-Do-It chairs by Community Playthings for the littlest walkers. We have cups (no sippies) and real metal appetizer forks/spoons from World Market. All my kids but one came without having used a spoon and real cup before, and now they're all pros. I also have them carry napkins and plates to the table. They love taking ownership of mealtime. Since they participate in the setup of the meal, they're ready and waiting to eat as soon as the food hits the table.

I have a 16-month-old who used to get out of his chair and cruise through the room, foraging off of the other kids' plates. I now have him sit at his own table, and I sit adjacent, to remind him that "We sit down to eat." It's done wonders.
He sits at a kids table with the other kids. We also use real forks and cups. I don't have another table to sit him alone. I'm not sure how he eats at home but I have left the room real quick a couple times and came back to him walking around with food. Eating at a table might be new to him.
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:40 PM
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I have had to limit meal time. I had one who would take 30 minutes to eat a piece of toast. I would tell her she was the first to start and the last to finish and clearly she isn't interested in her meal. I told her she had 20 minutes and if she wasn't done, then she could get down and wash up. It took a week for her to realize she needed to eat or she was going to be hungry waiting for snack. I serve kid friendly meals so there was not excuse. I also had a chatty Kathy who acted like meal time was her personal stage and it was all about her. I told her she has all day to talk and meal time was not it. I have to remind her daily, but it's better.

I treat the dcks like my own. I didn't let mine run the show.
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