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Why are there more eating opportunities for kids now than in the past?

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  • zdyb23456
    zdyb23456 Posts: 1,706 Member
    edited April 2016
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    zdyb23456 wrote: »
    I'm not a fan of all the snacks for kids. I have friends who lament that their kids won't eat meals and they are constantly giving their kids snacks/juice at all hours. No wonder.

    We eat at meal times, no snacks unless they are at school. My kid's preschool provides 2 snacks! I notice on those days they tend to not be hungry for dinner.

    That's not a snacking issue really...that's a parenting issue. That has nothing to do with, say, my kid's kindergarten class having a mid morning snack time and an afternoon snack time. Mindlessly eating or allowing your kids to do so is not what I would consider "snacking"...it's just mindless eating.

    I don't see how having a couple of snack times per day is "all the snacks for kids" or somehow out of control snacking. I always had snack time growing up...I still have my snack times...doesn't seem to be slowing me down.

    I see kids eating crackers, fruit snacks, cereal bars, granola bars, applesauce, fruit pouches, yogurts, goldfish, veggie straws, etc. - those are the healthier things I see. While not terrible, I'd rather my kids be hungry for and eat the meals I provide. That's not to say they don't ever eat those things. It's just part of a balanced meal for my kids. Meal times also mean eating protein and vegetables first. If there is still room left then the less nutritious stuff can be eaten.

    It's been my experience that when my kids eat snacks between meals they do not eat their lunch and/or dinner or they just pick at it. Especially if it's something they don't love.

    When friends lament about their kids not eating or being too picky, my first suggestion is eliminating in between meal snacking to see if it helps.

    Granted my kids are still fairly young. Perhaps I will change my mind when they become teenagers. I hear teenager boys are always hungry.
  • zdyb23456
    zdyb23456 Posts: 1,706 Member
    edited April 2016
    Does it matter if a child eats meals or snacks?
    It seems meal times are cultural, not necessarily health-based. Some adults do very well with IF and some better with grazing.

    I think it's better to offer healthy food free range for whenever my daughter will eat it than to try to force her into some arbitrary standard of consumption. At the end of the day, it's the same food as she would have eaten in three separate meal times, but in 7 or 8 instead.

    So sugary junk and juice aside, for children, does frequency matter or is it individualized as with adults?

    Oh and to add, isn't telling a kid "You eat lunch at noon and if you don't, there is no food until 3" going to encourage them to eat even if not hungry so that they don't get hungry waiting for the next meal or snack time? Isn't that the opposite of healthful eating?

    I get what you are saying, but if I want my kids to eat roast chicken and green beans when do I offer it? It isn't something my kids are going to ask for. They'd rather have "snack" type foods all day. Do I cook it at breakfast and keep offering it all day hoping they'll accept? Is that how you do it?
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    I grew up in the 60's and 70's. We ate a lot of snacks. Every church event, every school event or party, concessions at Little League, etc. We ate popsicles and ice cream cones or sandwiches on hot days. Every house had homemade cookies at the ready. Every dinner had dessert.

    It was rare to see a fat child back then. I think the difference was probably because we didn't have video games or cable. Not many mothers worked outside the home back then, at least not where I grew up. I think that may also have been a factor.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    zdyb23456 wrote: »
    Does it matter if a child eats meals or snacks?
    It seems meal times are cultural, not necessarily health-based. Some adults do very well with IF and some better with grazing.

    I think it's better to offer healthy food free range for whenever my daughter will eat it than to try to force her into some arbitrary standard of consumption. At the end of the day, it's the same food as she would have eaten in three separate meal times, but in 7 or 8 instead.

    So sugary junk and juice aside, for children, does frequency matter or is it individualized as with adults?

    Oh and to add, isn't telling a kid "You eat lunch at noon and if you don't, there is no food until 3" going to encourage them to eat even if not hungry so that they don't get hungry waiting for the next meal or snack time? Isn't that the opposite of healthful eating?

    I get what you are saying, but if I want my kids to eat roast chicken and green beans when do I offer it? It isn't something my kids are going to ask for. They'd rather have "snack" type foods all day. Do I cook it at breakfast and keep offering it all day hoping they'll accept? Is that how you do it?

    Generally speaking, if my parents cooked food and I refused to eat it, I got no other food until I did. Fail to eat dinner, sit at the table staring at the unfinished plate until you do. Still don't eat? Guess what's for breakfast. Etc.

    That said, it makes no sense to do that if the kid's eating all day and is not hungry because they're eating enough or too much before they even get to dinner. That was never my problem - I had more of a problem where I didn't eat enough. For me, it was always pickiness.
  • Rage_Phish
    Rage_Phish Posts: 1,507 Member
    tufel wrote: »
    I coached my kids' soccer teams. Boy-oh-boy did I fight those team moms over the half-time snack and the juice box after. Even when the kids were in high-school there had to be a sweet drink afterwards -- except on the high school team, where the parents were not involved.
    I never saw one of those high-school players become so emaciated that they could not make the next game. Nor do I remember feeling deprived, when I played as a kid, when all we got was water from the water fountain.
    It's all too much. It's not the extra calories so much. It's the training, the training that you cannot go for two hours without putting something in your mouth, the training that an activity is not fun if it does not include sugar. Those are bad, bad habits to saddle our youth with.

    you are against post soccer game juice boxes for little kids? ugh
  • x311Tifa
    x311Tifa Posts: 357 Member
    As a kid, I only remember a single snack time in the morning (up until 8th grade- read as homeroom, basically after 6th) in the morning so that way we weren't passing out by lunch time. School started rather early for the some of us that were dropped off early because we had working parents with early schedules.

    Not having kids myself, currently, I couldn't comment on now, but it didn't seem that crazy excessive "back in the day" (all of 10-20 years ago, if you count all of grade school).
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Snacks and drinks around little kid's sporting events are plain stupid. Parent sends a liter bottle of Gatorade with the kid, drinks and treats after a baseball game in which the kid had maybe 1-2 minute of strenuous exercise for the whole game.
  • robot_potato
    robot_potato Posts: 1,535 Member
    With the way our school is, morning snack is a must. They have recess first, then 13 minutes to come inside, get lunch bags, eat, put bags away, wash their hands and be ready to learn. My 7 year old can maybe eat 1/2 a sandwich in that time. If he didn't have a snack in the morning he would be starving by the end of the day.

    My kids are constantly snacking, they never turn down a meal. Most of their snacks are fruits, yogurt and veg, sometimes cereal or granola bars, and i make a batch of cookies or muffins once a week, plus some store bought things. They get a snack after school and are busy with homework, chores, activities and play until dinner, so they don't usually eat much in that time. Water is standard, milk is for with meals, juice is with after school snack if we have it. Dessert happens a few times a week, but of course they eat more after dinner if they are hungry. I don't restrict food for them as they are constantly growing and quite active. The activites they attend don't provide snacks, but they eat before we leave and after we get home, or sometimes on the way home if i bring snacks. Weekends they seem to eat everytime they come inside

    My 11 year old is 5'2" and 94 pounds, my soon to be 8 year old is 4'1" and 53 pounds, so i doubt their eating habits are hurting them at all.

    Pre-teen girls are much easier to deal with when they're not hungry. Hormones and low blood sugar make for a nasty experience.

  • SarcasmIsMyLoveLanguage
    SarcasmIsMyLoveLanguage Posts: 2,671 Member
    I think it depends on the child. My son is a grazer, always has been. He eats small meals/ snacks throughout the day rather than three meals.

    Like dessert with every meal (which is foreign to me), I chalk it up to personal preference.
  • Mommysarus
    Mommysarus Posts: 14 Member
    My boys eat every 2 - 3 hours, so I almost always have snacks about however I'm picky and only carry healthy snacks. Nuts, fruit, veggies and water. Juice is only ever during a sugar low or birthday party. My youngest has problems with hypoglycemia in which his body uses the sugar to fast so he needs extra meals. My oldest and I both have adhd and the hypoglycemia (it's a genetic mutation passed down by my) so to combat the mood swings and lack of focus we both snack often too. Some kids benefit from more frequent meals, with many kids not eating much during main meals due to smaller stomachs. I am all for giving snacks between main meals, but the snacks should still be healthy and fitting one of the normal servings they need to begin with. I don't know many people who can say their kids get the full recommended 5 servings of fruits and veggies in the 3 meals a day. I would never give my boys juice as a snack though, that sugar content is crazy and they can suffice on water if they're thirsty.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    rml_16 wrote: »
    shell1005 wrote: »
    I don't have children, but I am a family based social worker...I often have snacks in my bag. I'd rather have an easy access snack that I know what it is if someone I am working with has a child that gets a little hangry. Not sure why that is some kind of issue and don't think it has anything to do with childhood obesity.

    I also always have a ready to eat snack with me. I'd rather do that then have to buy something when I am out and about.

    Because there's nothing wrong with feeling a little hunger and waiting an hour or so to eat a meal. This having to satisfy a hunger pang the second it hits is an incredibly new, weird concept that I will never understand.

    And, yes, now that I think about it, the constant snacks thing with children is a new concept. I had breakfast, lunch, after-school snack and dinner and I don't remember ever feeling particularly hungry. I was usually too busy playing to even think about food.

    I think with the helicopter parenting these days and kids not being allowed to just be kids, they probably experience boredom hunger in a way we didn't. Even as an adult I feel hunger when I'm stuck somewhere in front of a desk or something where I don't if I'm up doing things, even cleaning my house. I'll forget to eat if I'm engrossed in an activity I enjoy, but feel like a bottomless pit at work sometimes.

    I do think it's probably a good idea to have some nourishment at sporting activities, though. It could be dangerous not to, even if they don't feel like they need it. You don't always feel the need for food or water in the midst of a vigorous activity until it's an emergency situation.

    For moat kida sporting activities some water is all that is needed.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    Mommysarus wrote: »
    I don't know many people who can say their kids get the full recommended 5 servings of fruits and veggies in the 3 meals a day.

    Oh, that's disheartening. Though it's probably true of many parents too.
  • bclarke1990
    bclarke1990 Posts: 288 Member
    Snacks are a good thing. I hate how the weight loss/fitness community has demonized hunger to be a sort of weakness. It's the kind of food and the amount that matters.

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Hey lets have some carrot sticks or a banana. Yay

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Fruit gushers and a fruit roll-up! Nooo
  • 100df
    100df Posts: 668 Member
    Snacks are a good thing. I hate how the weight loss/fitness community has demonized hunger to be a sort of weakness. It's the kind of food and the amount that matters.

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Hey lets have some carrot sticks or a banana. Yay

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Fruit gushers and a fruit roll-up! Nooo

    When I was a kid a trip to the park didn't include anything because I had either just eaten a meal or a meal was coming up. It wasnt just me but everyone else too.

    We talk about how we could go outside and play, not coming home until the street lights came on. Who had snacks for that? Who carried a drink?
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    100df wrote: »
    Snacks are a good thing. I hate how the weight loss/fitness community has demonized hunger to be a sort of weakness. It's the kind of food and the amount that matters.

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Hey lets have some carrot sticks or a banana. Yay

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Fruit gushers and a fruit roll-up! Nooo

    When I was a kid a trip to the park didn't include anything because I had either just eaten a meal or a meal was coming up. It wasnt just me but everyone else too.

    We talk about how we could go outside and play, not coming home until the street lights came on. Who had snacks for that? Who carried a drink?

    I take it by "everyone else" you mean everyone else in your little circle of friends.
  • 100df
    100df Posts: 668 Member
    100df wrote: »
    Snacks are a good thing. I hate how the weight loss/fitness community has demonized hunger to be a sort of weakness. It's the kind of food and the amount that matters.

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Hey lets have some carrot sticks or a banana. Yay

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Fruit gushers and a fruit roll-up! Nooo

    When I was a kid a trip to the park didn't include anything because I had either just eaten a meal or a meal was coming up. It wasnt just me but everyone else too.

    We talk about how we could go outside and play, not coming home until the street lights came on. Who had snacks for that? Who carried a drink?

    I take it by "everyone else" you mean everyone else in your little circle of friends.

    I had few circles through different activities and moving 5 times (different states) between kindergarten and 7th grade.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    100df wrote: »
    100df wrote: »
    Snacks are a good thing. I hate how the weight loss/fitness community has demonized hunger to be a sort of weakness. It's the kind of food and the amount that matters.

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Hey lets have some carrot sticks or a banana. Yay

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Fruit gushers and a fruit roll-up! Nooo

    When I was a kid a trip to the park didn't include anything because I had either just eaten a meal or a meal was coming up. It wasnt just me but everyone else too.

    We talk about how we could go outside and play, not coming home until the street lights came on. Who had snacks for that? Who carried a drink?

    I take it by "everyone else" you mean everyone else in your little circle of friends.

    I had few circles through different activities and moving 5 times (different states) between kindergarten and 7th grade.

    Exactly. What percentage of all children of your age do you suppose that would be?
  • French_Peasant
    French_Peasant Posts: 1,638 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    rml_16 wrote: »
    shell1005 wrote: »
    I don't have children, but I am a family based social worker...I often have snacks in my bag. I'd rather have an easy access snack that I know what it is if someone I am working with has a child that gets a little hangry. Not sure why that is some kind of issue and don't think it has anything to do with childhood obesity.

    I also always have a ready to eat snack with me. I'd rather do that then have to buy something when I am out and about.

    Because there's nothing wrong with feeling a little hunger and waiting an hour or so to eat a meal. This having to satisfy a hunger pang the second it hits is an incredibly new, weird concept that I will never understand.

    And, yes, now that I think about it, the constant snacks thing with children is a new concept. I had breakfast, lunch, after-school snack and dinner and I don't remember ever feeling particularly hungry. I was usually too busy playing to even think about food.

    I think with the helicopter parenting these days and kids not being allowed to just be kids, they probably experience boredom hunger in a way we didn't. Even as an adult I feel hunger when I'm stuck somewhere in front of a desk or something where I don't if I'm up doing things, even cleaning my house. I'll forget to eat if I'm engrossed in an activity I enjoy, but feel like a bottomless pit at work sometimes.

    I do think it's probably a good idea to have some nourishment at sporting activities, though. It could be dangerous not to, even if they don't feel like they need it. You don't always feel the need for food or water in the midst of a vigorous activity until it's an emergency situation.

    For moat kida sporting activities some water is all that is needed.

    My 4th grade daughter is on her school's x-country team. Their practice runs for 2 hours after school and is solidly packed with dynamic warm-ups, wind sprints, wind sprints up hills, at least a full 2K or 3K run if not more, and cool-down exercises, with only a few minutes of rest here and there. She and her team mates put in a huge effort and kick @ss the entire time. It is utterly insane to suggest that these kids, ranging from 4th graders to 8th graders, should not be provided with an energy- and nutrient-packed snack between the time they get out of school and the time they have dinner, forcing them to go without food for 6 or more hours, and expecting a high level of physical and academic performance from them. Like the other runners, she is thin and bony enough as it is, without having other parents suggesting she should follow the diet plan of the Polish Resistance and suck it up like we allegedly did in the olden days, which is likely BS anyway unless you grew up in some sort of Dickensian household, living off thin gruel.
  • Mommysarus
    Mommysarus Posts: 14 Member
    100df wrote: »
    Snacks are a good thing. I hate how the weight loss/fitness community has demonized hunger to be a sort of weakness. It's the kind of food and the amount that matters.

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Hey lets have some carrot sticks or a banana. Yay

    Trip to the park and you feel a bit hungry? Fruit gushers and a fruit roll-up! Nooo

    When I was a kid a trip to the park didn't include anything because I had either just eaten a meal or a meal was coming up. It wasnt just me but everyone else too.

    We talk about how we could go outside and play, not coming home until the street lights came on. Who had snacks for that? Who carried a drink?

    I always had a drink on me, and frequently would have snacks. Often not healthier snacks as I had a terrible sweet tooth but I still carried snacks. I used to walk all over the city long hours on my bike and walking about so I'd have water with me. Snacking itself isn't a bad thing, I'd rather just teach healthy snacking.

    It is kind of disheartening that they may not get all servings in 3 meals, but some kids only eat really small amounts at each meal. Plus with all these on the go or rushed meals certain foods groups are totally lacking. So throwing in a few extra snacks to boost that serving isn't going to hurt. My sons teacher actually asked I pack an extra snack for the afternoon because he just performs better at school with that extra snack.
  • tlflag1620
    tlflag1620 Posts: 1,358 Member
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Is the topic of OP discussion to have a debate on "why are kids given more eating opportunities than the past"?

    Who's past and what out of the ordinary is giving a young child a snack? At some point kindergarten or young children of a certain age in elementary school.. the teachers have this responsibility to allow snacks in the class room or snack breaks. This sort of stops when the "nap time" stops in school.

    Junior high and high school kids are pretty much on their own and feed them selves according to normal eat schedules or if you were in training or sports, or had certain activities that kept you at school longer than the 3:00 bell.. Afternoon snacks right when you get home from school was always expected and I always ate something when I got home.

    I never had snacks available at a whim, it was sort of pre-planned with school activities. If there is something I missed, if kids are given food at any time or any where and the parents are involved and there is issue with weight, then there lies the problem.

    My 4th grader (9 years old) is still supposed to bring in a daily snack for herself, per school rules. I don't know what grade this stops (we pulled my older daughter before she got to 5th). Curious to know what the cut off grade is for snack time in other areas is.

    My children are 9, 6, 3, and 8 mos. The two older ones are in 3rd grade and K. No snacks at school at all in either grade. When my oldest was in K they did get a snack, but that changed sometime over the past few years (1st grade and older never had snack time). Food items are not allowed to be sent in at all ( besides the child's individual packed lunch, sharing is verboten) unless they are individually wrapped and they are sent home with the students (if you wanted to send Ina treat on a holiday or bday for the class, for example). I'm in Ohio.