To snack or not to snack?!

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

To snack or not to snack?!

Postby mummytopumpernickel » 21 Feb 2012, 19:14

Hello all!

I have done mostly BLWing with my lo and all has gone well. She is now a healthy 18 month old, well into toddlerhood. I wondered what all of you other BLWing mothers and fathers out there do about set mealtimes and snacks versus allowing more free access to food. I am a bit worried that I am letting my little one snack too much throughout the day. She has her own drawer in the kitchen that she can access with all of her plates, cutlery and snacks (all healthy and sugar and salt free of course but a little carb heavy...e.g. raisins, rice cakes, baby granola bars, etc). She often won't eat great volumes at meals (understandably) so I continue offering her more of her meal for a while afterwards. Since she isn't that hungry at meals she won't sit in her chair for long meaning that she wants to get down and disrupt the rest of the family meal. In addition I am still breastfeeding and she is demanding this more often affecting how hungry she is at meals. All of this seems to be creating bad eating and dining habits. While I can see that what I am doing isn't working, having set meal, snack and milk times doesn't feel like it is in line with BLW principles either. What have others done?!

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Re: To snack or not to snack?!

Postby SevilleOranges » 21 Feb 2012, 19:27

we have had pretty much open book policy too, I've always just given food when hungry and around times that he's normally hungry, but then our meal times are set around when they get hungry - breakfast (whenever they get up) 6.30amish Lunch 11.00 - 12.30pm tea 3.30-4.30pm, then snacks inbetween. We've always tried to take the kids lead however meal times are pretty much set and always served around the same time so that there is some routine - I think its trial and error and what works for you all as a family.

Is there any room on a side or where she can reach for a fruit bowl maybe - as its a less filling snack.
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Re: To snack or not to snack?!

Postby FestiveTidings » 21 Feb 2012, 19:37

We've got a routine and always have done from 6 months. I offer food every 2-3 hours - if he takes it great, if he doesn't, that's fine too. It's generally goes like this:

7:30 breakfast
11:00 snack (usually fruit)
13:00 lunch
15:00 snack (carb/protien)
17:30 dinner
19:00 bath/bed/milk

Obviously if he seems hungry then I will give him something but he's never really had free access as I tended to find bites out of things then discarded. He's quite able to tell me when he's hungry so leave it at that.
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Re: To snack or not to snack?!

Postby Emedy » 12 Mar 2012, 10:50

We do pretty much the same as sweetcheeks, though Higglet is still not running around at the moment, so at 11am she just has water. Will introduce more food when she's a bit more active. She eats really well at mealtimes and is fairly patient waiting for food if we're a bit off schedule.
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Re: To snack or not to snack?!

Postby Wilma » 12 Mar 2012, 11:49

I don't think having set meal and snack times is anti-BLW. We have rough times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then midway through the morning and afternoon I put some snacks out for him, mainly fruit or crackers so that he doesn't fill up too much. I wouldn't want to have all his snacks accessible to him as I think he still needs someone to regulate for him (even I need that every now and again especially when we have chocolate in the house!). He still chooses whether he wants the snacks and he knows he can ask for more if he's hungry.
If you're worried about what your little one is eating for meals then it sounds like you need to limit her access to snacks or maybe keep the majority somewhere else and only put a few things in her cupboard.
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Re: To snack or not to snack?!

Postby Mummyto1 » 12 Mar 2012, 12:46

I think it is a case of doing what works best with your child, rather than seeing it as BLW or anti-BLW if you see what I mean.

I love the idea of having free access to snacks etc but my children would honestly just stuff themselves with bread and eat nothing else quite happily if we did that! As it is, we have mealtimes and then mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. For snacks I tend to put a couple of things on a plate for them to pick at. This means the favourite things such as oatcakes or bread get eaten straight away but they will then move on to the fruit, veg etc once they've finished it.

I would make a change and see how it feels - you can always go back to the old way if it doesn't feel better to you.
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Re: To snack or not to snack?!

Postby Popsie » 13 Mar 2012, 18:04

As long as LO is eating with you and enjoying mealtimes, that is the key. I would slightly restrict snacks just before dinner and offer a snack say an hour or so before dinner, saying that you can have something now but after that you will have to wait for diner. If hungry they will eat surely??
I dont think having a child who only snacks and never wants a meal with the family is very BLW though....
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Re: To snack or not to snack?!

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 13 Mar 2012, 18:13

Instead of having a snack cupboard how about putting out snacks that are accessible during the day that are a more healthy mix so e.g. small apples, satsumas, maybe some cheese as well as the carbs and dried fruit. We have regular snack times and I don't really think that's anti-BLW, they are at the times I know the girls start getting hungry regularly but there are still times when they ask me for a snack half an hour after breakfast.

We tend to have 'savoury stuff on carbs' as a snack in the morning then dried fruit or apple and cheese in the afternoon. Fruit is available all day.
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