So much drama in the PDX, it’s kinda hard being….. well I don’t know what rhymes there so I will just stop. Lately I have been doing some extra child care for folks we know here in Portland and some interesting things have come up with, oddly enough, food. Specifically what we do about hungry kids when it’s not meal time. Here at casa Portland Dad I have a no snacking rule. I put out food for Breakfast, lunch, afternoon post nap snack, and dinner and apart from that we don’t snack. More then anything it’s a sheer numbers game. With the three boys, plus who ever else is added to the mix, I don’t want to be in the snack making business so we eat at meal times. My boys are used to this now and know that if they are not hungry they don’t have to eat everything at lunch, but they aren’t getting food 20 minutes later if they are hungry.
I subscribe to the schedule based eating as opposed to the hunger based eating approach that some of the kids I look after are used to. The kids are not big eaters at meal times and so their parents try to have snacks ready when the kid is hungry to make sure they are getting enough to eat. I completely see the logic in this approach but like I said before I am not in the snack making business. It may just be that I have kids that are good, adventurous eaters but it seems to be working in our house.
Meal times are are always held at the kitchen table for breakfast and lunch, and the dinning room table with everyone in the house for dinner. Six nights a week we have dinner together with one of four people in charge of that meal. This has lead to diverse meal plans giving the kids a chance to try new foods, and try they must. They might not like a particular dish but like we read in Green Eggs and Ham “Try it, try it and you may, try it and you may I say!” So try they do and while they don’t like everything they try, they try everything their served and that has lead to some changes in what they like. Primo was not a fan of Avocados at first but after his third try, different meals on different nights, he now loves them.
Now the issue is looking after kids that are not my own. How do I respect their parenting choices while still maintaining the good thing we got going here. The kids I look after from time to time end up having to stick with what we are doing here. I see it as being good for them to see that things are bit different where ever you go and learning how to adapt to those differences is a lesson better learned earlier than later. No snacking away from meal times, and you have to try foods before telling me you don’t like them. This may not be what their used to but a couple of trips over our house and they will be used to it enough.
What do you do for kids meals?