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  1. #1
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    Default How long do you leave your kids to eat?

    As the title suggests, how long do you leave your kids food out for them to eat?
    At what point to do know they are finished?

    My kids fart a.ss around with food.
    They will take little nibbles then fidget and pre occupy them selves with something.
    We all sit at the table so after about 45 mins I'm usually sick of sitting around with them not eating so I'll clear the table.
    They then freak out and want the food back.
    I give in and leave them at the table with the food, they will do the same.. Have a nibble.. Fiddle around and not eat.
    By that point the food has turned to sh*t and it's not even worth putting in the fridge to re-serve at the next meal time.
    Then usually an hour after it's been tossed in the bin I get "I'm hungry mum"


    Would it be to "Drill Sargent" of me to just say; 'alrighty kids, we have half an hour to eat dinner/lunch/etc, if you don't eat enough in that time, not my problem you will have to wait until next meal time' ?
    Or is it is kind of mean me putting my kids on a time frame when eating?
    I know I will worry too if they are eating enough, but I was hoping if I stuck to my guns they would soon learn that when the food is off the table, that's its. It's not coming back until the next meal time.
    Thoughts?

    We have very healthy, wholesome fun food around here and I spend a lot of time preparing it all.
    The kids get involved, they do love the food I give them but it seems the way they eat their food is just a sibling war at the moment.
    (They distract each other when fidgeting etc)

    I understand they might not always be hungry, I'm fine with that.
    But this is just getting old.

    So is this something you would considering doing?
    Or am I just being silly in thinking this would work?

    If you have any other suggestions on keeping them food focused at meal time then hit me with your suggestions

  2. #2
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    If they're hungry, but just stuffing about for attnetion or something, I would honestly just put a timer in front of them, give them 1/2 hour or something and say "when this buzzes, that's it, no more."

    I would let them know that they're not going to get into trouble either way, so if they're not hungry, that's fine... but that you're not spending your entire night sitting there with them while they stuff around.

    Dinner isn't really as essential, IMO, as breakfast and lunch anyway. You don't necessarily need to eat at the end of the day, especially if you had enough to keep you going, so I make more of an issue over breakfast than I do with dinner.

  3. #3
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    We have a 20 min timer. Once that's up the food goes and no more tip the next scheduled meal/snack. We have 5 kids- soon to be 6- I don't run a restaurant and bedtime isn't an optional time. I get told its harsh but our kids all eat well and are in bed and well rested for the next day.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions

    I don't want them to scoff their food down, just limit the mucking around if that makes sense.

    Usually for lunch when ds is at school dd will eat her food really well, put them together and it's back to getting distracted.
    they have either me or dh between them now at meal times now but even just side ways glances and silly games across the table is enough for them to forget about food.

    I'm not serving them food at different times or putting them at the table at different times either, personally I think that will only cause more problems, like when we go out to eat etc.
    Plus some times I really don't have the time to do all that.

    I like the idea of leaving them for 5 more minutes after we have finished a meal.
    @Sassy, dinner isn't all that big here, usually a salad or a small serve of protein.
    Breakfast is usually the biggest. And the most difficult when I have to get ds to school and I'm always saying "come on, we have to go soon, eat up"
    They don't.. They are usually high on energy from sleep and this Is when the distractions are the worst.
    Then usually in the car on the way to school I get "I'm hungry!"
    I might try the timer in the mornings, but for the whole time we have to get ready.. So I might set it for an hour and a half and say we have this long to eat,brush our teeth, get dressed, do our hair etc etc, let's see if we can get all that done before it buzzes, make it a bit fun maybe?
    hopefully it will help them realise meal times aren't endless and that we have a time we have to leave to start the day.

  5. #5
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    10 minutes.

    ETA - They usually finish after 10 mins
    Last edited by BigRedV; 13-10-2013 at 16:34.

  6. #6
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    Also want to add that my kids will tell me when they're hungry. They wake up and ask for breakfast. They take after me. I love food

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    1/2 hr here for major meals with no distractions. If they dont tuck in straight away they're not hungry obviously.
    I donr believe in making them clear their plates but within 20-30mins they should be able to eat enough to satisfy them until the next meal

    Sent from my GT-I9305 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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    Also sometimes you have to be the bad guy and take the food away and dont relent, going a little hungry is not starving them; work out what you're comfortable with and be consistent.

    Sent from my GT-I9305 using The Bub Hub mobile app

  9. #9
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    In our household our children sit at the table and eat their food. They have 3 chances. If they are mucking around they get a warning. After 3 warnings their food is taken off them. If they tell me they're hungry later it's tough titties. They have to wait for breakfast the next morning. Same goes for every meal. They muck around food gets taken off and they have to wait until the next meal with no lollies or any other food in between. Rarely do my children now muck around with their food or not eat it all/ most of it.

  10. #10
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    My kids can muck around a bit,usually when it involves veges lol. I made the rule that they must eat equal portions,like mouthful of veges,mouthful of sides,then mouthful of meat.otherwise they eat all the good stuff and leave the veges.if they stuff around,I will say,ok you've got 10 mins then you are done. I let them know there will be nothing else after dinner,not even fruit.i find they complain they are full,then 10 mins later are hunting in pantry for food!drives me nuts!


 

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