Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I need your two cents...

I mentioned it awhile ago briefly, but lunch has become a bit of a power struggle for young R and myself. It started when he was still going to Lunch Bunch one day a week at school, starting to just eat his snack part of the lunch (like the chips or pretzels) and not the sandwich or fruit. Not much I could do when he was at school, so I tried to just let it slide.

Now our challenge is he sometimes goes on a hunger strike at lunch. Won't eat it, and if I save it for afternoon snack time he still won't eat it so then he super hungry and ornery before dinner. Lately I have been telling him that he can tell me when he is hungry, and they giving him a "lunch time is almost over" warning. This works sometimes, but not always. I just don't want to get in the practice of him skipping lunch, only to snack up a storm instead.

So my questions are: A. Does this ever happen to you? B. Any good tricks up your sleeve?

I have cut out the morning snack so, in theory, he should be very hungry. I also give him a couple options from which to choose for lunch, not forcing one option on him.

I'm all ears,
SPC

9 comments:

Slacker Mama said...

Both my girls are grazers, and would be happy to pick at this and eat at that all the live-long day if they could.

Maybe rather than fighting it, you could make his lunch more of a (healthy) snack extravaganza: Make a roll-up with a filling and a tortilla and cut it into bite sized pieces.

Give pita chips and hummus to dip it in...or veggies and dip...or fruit and dip...or cheese and crackers.

Also, I've been known to give the girls some yogurt and an (organic) cereal bar for lunch and call it a day.

Deep in the Heart said...

My kids are still good eaters, but I my niece is a struggle with every meal. Of course for her, she's just not hungry and Melissa has learned - reluctantly - to let her eat when she's hungry.

My guess is that if you keep things consistent R will pick up his appetite again.

Steel Magnolia said...

I wish I could help. We have the same situation with Harrison, except it's at supper time. The boys will go to bed hungry a lot of the time, as he is a grazer too. I have started giving him hummus and pita as an appetizer before dinner when I am certain he won't eat what's on his plate. Sorry I couldn't be of more help....

Slacker Mama said...

Oh...going off of what SM said. I generally offer snacks that I would be A-0K with if that was all they ate (or if they ate very little after that). When we get home in the evening, they get a piece of fruit or carrots or grape tomatoes to tide them over until dinner.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

That is good advice...

I think part of my issue prior to school letting out was that the snacks they were providing weren't as nutritionally strong as I would have liked...so naturally R loaded up on snacks and then didn't feel that motivated toward lunch.

But now that school is out, I can help control this snacking issue.

I mean really, is chocolate pudding a good idea for a snack at 10am?? I talked to the director last year and things have improved. I don't want to be the nutritional nazi mommy...

I can only imagine how I will feel in elementary school.

JerseyBaby said...

In addition to all of the other good suggestions, how about letting him plan lunch? I wonder what he would choose if left to his own devises (and the very healthy contents of your kitchen, of course).

Deep in the Heart said...

I know what you mean SPC. The kids' preschool had awful snacks, but luckily they ate lunch there so I didn't have to fight the battle when they got home. Usually Rachel eats more at school anyway.

whit. ing. said...

Just keep pluggin' away. Don't give him any other options but the healthy ones. And to keep yourself from caving in, throw away the options you don't want him to have.

Maybe cut things into fun shapes. Or when you are in the produce section in the grocery store, let him pick things out and put them in the bags.

I find that whenever I include my son in the decisions and preparation, he is more apt to eating it.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Thanks everyone. It is good to be reminded of the basics of getting kids to eat healthy!