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hwichlaz 08:12 AM 02-13-2018
...Just thinking outloud....

note: this is for the average child, not children with medical or psych issues around food...

I think we do children a HUGE disservice by teaching them or allowing them to believe, that EVERY bite they take should be something that they love. It's totally okay to decline something that you truly do not like. But not everything you eat needs to be your favorite or something you love. It's okay to be "meh" about something, but eat it because it's fuel for your body and you need it for a balanced healthy diet. This is where letting them be hungry before a meal comes in. We don't have to snack them to death so that they never experience any hunger pangs and are unwilling to eat anything that doesn't entice them by being their favorite. We're breeding picky eaters.
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storybookending 08:17 AM 02-13-2018
I don’t force anyone to eat anything but always encourage to try. My niece will not eat oatmeal but I have been putting it on her plate every time it is served like normal as I do with all of the children. She took a couple bites last week. Still doesn’t like it but ate some.

I think in a daycare sense they aren’t really allowed to get hungry as (at least here) they have to be fed every 3 hours. But I agree at home hey are snacked too much. I went over to previously mentioned nieces house for dinner last night. They wonder why she won’t eat her dinner but maybe the fruit snacks, banana and muffin they gave her before dinner was ready are a clue.

ETA: I am about as picky as the come but I don’t let any of my daycare kids know this. Truth be told I wouldn’t personally eat half of what I serve them. I eat exactly zero vegetables and my dcks are big veggie lovers. I am also not a snacker.. I am more of a let’s not eat all day and eat 3,000 calories for dinner kind of girl.
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hwichlaz 08:21 AM 02-13-2018
My meals are at

730, 1130, and 300

They eat pretty well. And they don't start asking for food until it's almost time for the next meal because we're sooooo busy.

I think every 3 hours is pretty average...but I see daycares that feed kids every 2 hours and I think that they must throw away a LOT of food.

I will point out though...that my 4 hours between meals only works because most of my kids are older. When I have a younger group I put them closer together, about every 3 hours.
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Ariana 08:28 AM 02-13-2018
I feed kids every two hours because they have small stomachs, they donít tend to overeat and are very active. I agree that they do not have to love everything I serve but they also have the right to refuse to eat foods if they donít want to eat.

My least concern is wasted food, especially in a culture where overeating is the norm. I want kids to have an enjoyable experience around food first and foremost and not feel pressured to eat. I serve healthy meals and they either eat or they donít.
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storybookending 08:29 AM 02-13-2018
My regs say every 3 hours from the start of one meal to the next should be no more than 3 hours. Honestly we do lunch at 11ish these days and donít have afternoon snack until 3PM. We go down for nap at 12 and not everyone is awake at 2PM to eat and those that are awake arenít ready to eat yet.
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hwichlaz 08:35 AM 02-13-2018
Originally Posted by Ariana:
I feed kids every two hours because they have small stomachs, they donít tend to overeat and are very active. I agree that they do not have to love everything I serve but they also have the right to refuse to eat foods if they donít want to eat.

My least concern is wasted food, especially in a culture where overeating is the norm. I want kids to have an enjoyable experience around food first and foremost and not feel pressured to eat. I serve healthy meals and they either eat or they donít.
I'm not bothered by throwing food out when there is nothing I can do about it, but feeding every 2 hours would add 2 meals not covered by the food program, AND food getting thrown away. I'm finding that, with this age group, meals every 4 hours means that they only leave on their plates what the truly dislike...rather than just eating their favorites and leaving the rest because they know they'll eat again in two hours. They end up getting a much more balanced diet over the course of the day this way. Mine are older than 3, except for the SN's kids still on liquid diets. They also get fed only every 4 hours, but that's Dr. prescribed medical food on the Dr. prescribed schedule.
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BrynleeJean 08:49 AM 02-13-2018
Exactly what i teach is that thats what food is.

one of my pre weeks is about fuel for our bodies. We watch a Sid the Science kids episode i love about how food is exactly that. and talk all about what ingredients are in what, ill take out like the sugar, flour, salt, whatever i had and we will look at the back of things we eat and drink regularly and measure out how much of each is in what its lots of fun for them.
we talk about vitamins and where to get them and why they are important and that even MissTeacher doesn't like all the foods but i always try them on my plate.

its worked surprising well for most kids in my care. some foods they just couldn't no matter how hard they tried, and i got a little, adventurous, having then try things i knew they didnt like, healthy wise, they would gag, but always tried it wasn't forced but encouraged.

first one with an EMPTY plate gets to play ABCmouse before nap. the others have to sit patiently until the lunch timer goes off, talk to friends at the table or whatever.
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Cat Herder 08:50 AM 02-13-2018
I serve every three hours. More if they need it (like today with the shrove pancake dinner They will get a full meal at PM snack to make up the protein/veggie components. Those can't compete with cinnamon vanilla pancakes. I won't even try. ).

Meals are stress free. I offer a choice of fresh raw fruits/veggies daily (along with planned cooked veggies because I have infants as well), the kids often help me wash them and watch me chop. Some we plant and grow in our garden. They all choose something willingly, IME kids who dislike cooked veggies often love the veggie tray option . I have great eaters, I don't have to ask anyone to eat.

1% Milk is something no one wants. Since the prohibition of whole milk the beverage of choice is ice water with lemon. I see it as a win. We just cheese it up.
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Blackcat31 09:27 AM 02-13-2018
Originally Posted by hwichlaz:
...Just thinking outloud....

note: this is for the average child, not children with medical or psych issues around food...

I think we do children a HUGE disservice by teaching them or allowing them to believe, that EVERY bite they take should be something that they love. It's totally okay to decline something that you truly do not like. But not everything you eat needs to be your favorite or something you love. It's okay to be "meh" about something, but eat it because it's fuel for your body and you need it for a balanced healthy diet. This is where letting them be hungry before a meal comes in. We don't have to snack them to death so that they never experience any hunger pangs and are unwilling to eat anything that doesn't entice them by being their favorite. We're breeding picky eaters.
This is pretty much how our meals are here.
I know my kiddos pretty well and know that "A" does NOT like cucumbers and "O" does not like green beans and "C" likes all veggies if you put cheese or ranch on them... etc...

A gets cucumbers on her plate and if she makes a good attempt at trying them (again) she can pass on them without consequence. Sometimes I will double up on another veggie component (I serve several for lunch) in place of cucumbers. Once you get to know the kiddos you figure out pretty quick which foods they genuinely do not like so our meals are not tailored in any way but are individualized in many ways.
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Country Kids 09:44 AM 02-13-2018
I have a few great eaters and then the ones who only eat fast food or socialize so much they never finish.

I always know which plates will still have food on it on a daily basis at each meal that I will be throwing away.
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daycarediva 09:50 AM 02-13-2018
I agree with you, OP. There is a LOT of snacks. Half my kids come after eating a snack in the car, half have snacks waiting in the car for the ride home.

They never experience true hunger. They confuse thirst for hunger, and most are chronically dehydrated (dark yellow urine)

Originally Posted by Ariana:
I feed kids every two hours because they have small stomachs, they donít tend to overeat and are very active. I agree that they do not have to love everything I serve but they also have the right to refuse to eat foods if they donít want to eat.

My least concern is wasted food, especially in a culture where overeating is the norm. I want kids to have an enjoyable experience around food first and foremost and not feel pressured to eat. I serve healthy meals and they either eat or they donít.

exactly this.
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mamamanda 10:03 AM 02-13-2018
I'm finding this to be an interesting read. Trying to think about it from another point of view. Personally, food is a very hard issue for me. Our family has unique circumstances though. My oldest son was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder last year. My youngest son exhibits many of the exact same behaviors so not formally diagnosed, but I know it's there & am working to address it as I was taught to do for my oldest.
Then there's the fact that all of my children & myself are extremely underweight. There's no known medical reason. Appears to just be genetic. But we're borderline on being labeled"malnourished" according to AAP charts.

Anyway... I've spent so much time trying to push calories wherever possible it's hard to imagine spreading out meals & not worrying about it. My kids don't"eat when they're hungry enough" as so many say. The texture aversions often lead to actual vomiting if they do try to eat certain types of unfamiliar foods. Ugh...I wish eating was simple.
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daycarediva 10:04 AM 02-13-2018
Originally Posted by mamamanda:
I'm finding this to be an interesting read. Trying to think about it from another point of view. Personally, food is a very hard issue for me. Our family has unique circumstances though. My oldest son was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder last year. My youngest son exhibits many of the exact same behaviors so not formally diagnosed, but I know it's there & am working to address it as I was taught to do for my oldest.
Then there's the fact that all of my children & myself are extremely underweight. There's no known medical reason. Appears to just be genetic. But we're borderline on being labeled"malnourished" according to AAP charts.

Anyway... I've spent so much time trying to push calories wherever possible it's hard to imagine spreading out meals & not worrying about it. My kids don't"eat when they're hungry enough" as so many say. The texture aversions often lead to actual vomiting if they do try to eat certain types of unfamiliar foods. Ugh...I wish eating was simple.
I have a kid with SPD- OP specifically stated the average child and those without medical/psychological issues.

SPD is a game changer, I feel your pain.
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hwichlaz 10:13 AM 02-13-2018
The treatment plan for kids with medical issues varies widely too.

I have a 2 yo who wears size 9 months, and doesn't sit up or crawl yet.....who is fed pediasure every 4 hours. She's allowed to have as much as she wants, but it has to be every 4 hours. That's the sweet spot. Because she NEEDS to feel an empty stomach for her to willingly eat more than 1 oz. If you feed on demand, she eats about 6 ounces the entire day. But if you stick to every 4 hours, she'll eat 4-5 ounces every time. Her belly needs to be completely empty feeling for her to eat an amount that's helpful.

She starts feeding therapy next week for solid foods.
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