Kids vs. Snacks

kids-eating-snacksAs a Nutritionist, many people ask me if my kids are good eaters. The short answer is no. The longer answer is they’re better than some, and they USED to be awesome. Then they grew up and the four year-old copies the five year-old and the three year-old copies them both. So if the oldest doesn’t like something, I’m screwed.

Some kids will try anything and some kids will only eat cheese. It’s the way the world works. I can’t change that. I can, however, offer some advice that may be slightly controversial in this day and age. I know-I’m so helpful.

First, only make one dinner (a night, that is-I’m not cruel). That’s it folks. That’s dinner. If they don’t eat it, they will be hungry. But they will not die. They will probably complain, poke the food around on their plate…but even then-they won’t die. TRUST ME.

Second, kids do not need to eat a snack every two hours. They are not nursing infants, they are growing little humans and if they don’t have tiny fish crackers on the way home from swimming lessons they will not die. And they actually might eat their dinner. I get that they are growing, but as parents, we are catering WAY too much to the needs of whiny, entitled children.

I’m not saying I don’t have some snacks in the car. I do. Sometimes. I give my kids snacks. I mostly offer fruit and if they’re actually hungry, they’ll eat it. If not, they usually say no. I don’t believe in giving my children food all the time. Hunger is natural and it’s okay if they feel that sometimes. I feel that sometimes. Food is not always going to be available. They need to learn that food will come…they will not starve. Plus, half the time, kids aren’t even hungry! They’re bored or just used to eating all the time. See if they can make it to the next meal…make it a game! A torturous, awful, patience testing game. Fun!

Plus when children are hungry, they will probably be slightly more eager to try new foods. Maybe. Worth a try anyway. Feeding children can be difficult-but don’t make it more difficult than it has to be!

Trust me. You’re doing your children a favor.
Feed your children. Nurture their growing bodies. Just don’t nurture their entitlement.

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About This Blogger

Seanna Thomas

Seanna Thomas is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist living in Ontario, Canada. She works as a personal consultant and freelance writer out of her home and teaches healthy lifestyle cooking classes to both adults and children in the area. She is a mother to three children, all under the age of six and her husband works as a medic in the Canadian military. Although Seanna is educated in all aspects of nutrition, she focuses on realistic clean eating with a spotlight on healthy family habits. She is known online as the "Nutritionnaire" and writes a weekly blog. She can also be found on Twitter, will soon have a Facebook page, and a website is in the works! In her downtime, she enjoys being outdoors with her family and relaxing at home with her husband and a well-deserved glass of wine.