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Old 01-11-2012, 10:03 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,620,437 times
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I have had friends with anorexic kids and I know alot of that problem has to do with control issues.

I have a 9 year old we are having some food issues with. She has a great metabolism, is even skinny, will eat anything put in front of her and is learning how to cook. She does however dawdle over her meals and if we have the small TV on in the kitchen for breakfast - I like to see the news shows- she ends up watching TV and doesn't eat all her breakfast. Oh I know- turn the TV off you say but I enjoy the news and she must learn everything is not geared towards her.

She seems to be in her own world even with the TV off and I'm saying "Come on, eat".

When they come home from school, I have a healthy snack out for them, baby carrots/celery with dip or dressing, fresh fruit, healthy crackers. Inevitable she wants "Something else" which usually means chips which we rarely have on hand but if she knows they are there, she really wants them.

I don't like harping at kids especially at the table. I don't want to set us up for food conflicts.

Do you let your kids this age just go in and get whatever they want whenever they want? i can't remember having this problem with my other FIVE kids. Maybe we did but I've got selective memory.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:08 AM
Location: Brooklyn New York
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when they are old enough to sneak them without me knowing. LOL
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:10 AM
11,229 posts, read 9,228,214 times
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If it were me I would have the chips be more rare, and if they were there I would let her have them. We let the kids eat pretty much whatever is in the house. But we don't buy anything we don't want them to eat. My kids are wicked skinny. When they choose a bagel with cream cheese over carrots, it is probably because they NEED those calories. My son will eat peanut butter and cheese by the truck load. They do all their own non-dinner food prep.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:16 AM
1,135 posts, read 1,983,036 times
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My kids have been allowed to choose their own snacks since they were in kindergarten or so. They're 10 and 12 now. I don't stock junk food so whatever they eat is relatively healthy. I do let them help choose their snacks when we go shopping. One is a normal weight; one is very thin, but her pediatrician says she's healthy.

I limit snacking before dinner to avoid spoiling their appetites and I cut them off after 8 p.m. or so.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:29 AM
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
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While fruits and veges are good snacks, after a long day at school, give them more protein. That will fill them up better and hold them until dinner. Our kids were allowed to eat pretty much whatever they wanted as soon as they were old enough to get it themselves. I 'controlled" what they ate by buying good things at the grocery store with a few "fun" things thrown in. They know that if they eat all the snack cakes in a day, no more until the next grocery store trip so they are pretty good about rationing the treats.

Greek yogurt seems to be the "thing" here right now. Two of our kids have been eating a lot of this and the taste is growing on me. There is a lot of protein in it as well so it is filling.

It could just very well be that your DD isn't a big breakfast eater. My oldest and I am both like that. I eat about 2 hours after I get up. Our oldest is the same. We just sent poptarts with him on the bus and he ate them after 1st hour usually. The rest of the day he ate well and that is fine. He is the perfect weight for his height (50% in both) and is in very good health.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:18 AM
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Yes, I've always let my kids go into the kitchen to get whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

After being babies and toddlers, mine always chose their own snacks. When they were older but still younger (like 4 years old), I'd make sure there were snacks they could just grab. Once they were in kindergarten/elementary school, they were capable of making more complicated snacks for themselves.

By 9 years old, kids should be allowed to make decisions for themselves. I wouldn't want someone selecting my snack and putting it out for me. I might not be in the mood for carrots. I might want an apple instead. Maybe I would just want a piece of peanut butter toast. Maybe I don't know what I want until I stare into the refrigerator and pantry for a while. So if someone asked me all the time what I wanted, I wouldn't be able to give them an answer.

It's sweet you still want to mother them. Maybe put your mothering energy into baking a few times a week. But it's definitely time to allow them to freely raid the kitchen. There's nothing wrong with sometimes buying chips. If they eat them right away, so be it since there won't be more chips for a few more shopping trips. Doesn't hurt anyone. Focusing too much on food can cause problems. It's better to just put the focus on what you actually bring into the house and let the children chose for themselves from there.

btw, there are no weight problems in our house, adults and children are all on the thin side. My free range policy never produced obese children.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:21 AM
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And don't worry about not finishing a bowl of cereal. Not everyone is a breakfast person. I don't believe in belonging to the clean plate club.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:36 AM
32,538 posts, read 29,325,866 times
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By nine my kids were choosing their own snacks from what we called the bread drawer. If it was in the bread drawer they could eat (within reason) whatever they wanted. (Chips and junky foods were not kept in the bread drawer.) And they could have pretty much anything from the fridge. (I rarely bought soda.) But they could have juice or milk or cheese or fruit.

They always said, "Can I have some______?" before they helped themselves. I can't remember where that started from but it was basically code for "I'm starving and need a snack". Edit: Just remembered where it came from. They asked in case it was close to dinner time. I said "No" if snacking was going to ruin their appetite.

The biggest rule we had was that if they ate the last of something they had to write it on the shopping list. Failure to do so subjected them to The Look from Mom when she went for a handfull of cashews only to find the Planters can empty but for some nut-dust and a few grains of salt.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 01-11-2012 at 11:56 AM.. Reason: memory recovery
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:47 AM
Location: Arizona
1,206 posts, read 2,094,316 times
Reputation: 1529
My 9 year old daughter chooses her own snacks. In order to keep the confrontations limited, we try not keep to junk food in the house. On the rare occasion that we have chips or such I will usually let her have some. It's time to let her make her own choices for snacks.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:05 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,898,580 times
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My kids are 6 & 9... Sometimes they choose their own snacks and sometimes I still put it out for them.
They're usually pretty good about what they choose & they know that if they choose something not so healthy for their afternoon snack, that means their "bedtime" snack needs to be healthy then!
I don't worry too much as they are both very thin, my oldest at 9 Is not even 45 lbs yet, very petite...
That doesn't mean she will always be this way, but they are pretty healthy kids!

Our neighbor is at our house frequently and she says we have boring snacks! Lol.. It's because their mom lets them have WHATEVER they want, she makes them homemade cut French fries frequently for an after school snack... Uses a deep fryer.
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