Does your child regularly proclaim that they are “starving” on the way home from daycare or after school? The snack requests can sometimes feel out of control.
The hour or so before dinner can be a challenging window of time when it comes to feeding children. Most often the concern is that parents want to avoid their kids “ruining their appetite” for dinner time, especially after putting together a delicious meal for the family. We’d rather not see that food go to waste!
But before you oblige your child’s before-dinner snack request, here are a few things to consider that will help diffuse these meal/snack time struggles:
- 1. Check your mealtime routine: Keep a consistent schedule (every 2-3h) to help your child regulate hunger. Kiddos needopportunities every 2-3 hours.
- Understand & Empathize: Acknowledge their cravings and feelings. You’re heard! 🤗
- Offer them a snack! Sometimes, it’s just better to give in and offer your child a snack before dinner, even if this wasn’t in the original plan. Something light such as veggies and dip, crackers, a granola bar or a small piece of fruit will help to calm the hunger monster, but not fill them up too much before dinner. You know best as the parent.
- Set mealtime boundaries: Let them know the kitchen’s closed after meals, but it’ll open at the next snack or breakfast time.
When snack requests feel out of control before dinnertime, it might be time to look at your meal and snack schedule and adjust. Kids should have opportunities to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day, so maybe this means shifting dinner to be a bit earlier or inserting another afternoon snack in.