BLW and finishing food

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.

BLW and finishing food

Postby Sandytoes » 18 Jan 2014, 22:40

Sandydad and I have had a few discussions recently about BLW and what our expectations should be wrt T finishing meals. We DO NOT expect her to sit at the table and clear her plate. But I frequently find myself saying, "If you're not hungry for X, you're not hungry for Y," because she will have something on her plate that I know perfectly well she can eat, but she will be asking for something else.

Or, what winds me up even more, she will leave half her dinner, and half an hour later (or less) when she's already upstairs and halfway into bed, she will be saying she's hungry and wanting to go downstairs and have a snack. Is it in keeping with BLW to let her have one (or, as we sometimes do, to give her the rest of her dinner)?

I don't like the habit of eating in the middle of the bedtime routine AT ALL, because I tend to think she's just procrastinating, but if she says she's hungry is that unfair of me? How do people deal with this? It's not just bedtime, actually - she will often start somethign and not finish it and then want something else - but it seems to be a particular issue at bedtime.
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Re: BLW and finishing food

Postby mamapup » 18 Jan 2014, 22:44

Well, apart from the three years between our kids, I could have written this verbatim.
Mr.C is much stricter than I am and had laid down the law : the puppy can eat until he brushes his.teeth before his bath but after that, it's.milk only (and yes, I know that's naughty too but he barely has any.and we.have other battles to fight before we.stop milk before bed!). He is convinced the procrastinating whereas I hate the idea of sending a.child to bed hungry. The puppy does seem to have stopped asking though, so (ugh) Mr.c May have been right (dont tell.him!).

Wrt asking for other food our answer is that if the puppy has asked for x, he doesn't have to finish it but he can't have y unless.he does. This normally.comes at breakfast where he'll ask for Brown four.of one cereal and then decide he wants something else. I say no, not.until he' bowl he has or he stops there. His call.
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Re: BLW and finishing food

Postby blackberrycrimble » 18 Jan 2014, 23:00

How long is it between meal and bed? We move very quickly from tea to bath and bed, so I don't tend to allow more eating (and in fact they don't ask). But I think you probably have a later bedtime than we do? It does sound like procrastinating, to me, and at the age she (and mine) are, I think they can understand that this is their opportunity to eat. Also depends on what the meal was. If, as you say, it is something you know she will eat, and doesn't eat it, and then wants a snack, I wouldn't give one (might offer the rest of the meal if I genuinely thought they were hungry). If it is something unusual and they try it and aren't keen, I usually make sure they can have e.g. A banana as fruit which will fill them up a bit. Another idea, if you do have a bigger gap before bed, might be 'supper' which is part of the routine, if you see what I mean, so it is quick and 'standard'.

Re eating things and asking for other things - We're quite strict with that, they can't have more of anything unless they have at least tried everything, and if it is something I know they will eat, eaten a fair amount of it. If it isn't part of the meal, they don't have it, unless (for example) they've eaten everything available of the meal, in which case they could have bread (and fruit). Breakfast is a bit of an exception to this, they pick their food from standard breakfast options, and sometimes we do end up with them having half a piece of bread and then asking for something else. I'm a softer touch at breakfast because I want them to go to school having eaten, and I'm usually rushing around trying to get things ready.
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Re: BLW and finishing food

Postby Treeb » 19 Jan 2014, 02:34

On the first question, I think it depends what dinner is and what it is she is asking for. If she is asking for more of something that is a part of dinner, but doesn't want to eat a different part (wants more fruit but hasn't finished her pasta, for example) I'd give her more of what she is asking for. If she is requesting something that isn't a part of the meal at all I'd be more hesitant to give that, especially if there are a variety of options in the meal. The only exception I can think of is how sometimes they go through a protein kick or a carb phase or whatever - if their body is craving a certain type of food and nothing that fits that is in the meal, then maybe I could see them needing something different, but that's also hard to judge. In general I would stick to the rule of "This is what there is for dinner, and if you are hungry you will choose from these foods, not get something special."

Personally I'd say definitely no food at bedtime. This really does sound like a stalling tactic. I think she's old enough to understand that you eat your food at dinner time, not halfway through the bedtime routine.

Of course L is a lot younger so I haven't got to this point in parenting yet, but to me both of these situations sound like limit pushing/testing the rules. You and Sandydad need to come to an agreement on what the rules are and then you both need to stick to that. I think once she has firm boundaries and knows what to expect and what is or isn't allowed then she will adjust to that and be fine with it.
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Re: BLW and finishing food

Postby StJuniper » 19 Jan 2014, 03:09

Like Treeb, I let P choose which parts/how much of each part of the meal he eats, but don't give anything different. I generally serve a veg, a carb, and a protein at every meal so whatever phase he's in is covered.DH and I are evening snackers and if P is up he is welcome to snack with us, but I wouldn't entertain a food request at bedtime. If he's hungry, he can fill up on breastmilk the next morning. So far he doesn't seem in any danger of wasting away. We have one snack time during the day as well, no random snack times or I suspect he'd happily live on bm and Cheerios.
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