Does your kid really need a perpetual snack buffet?

I’ve noticed something with other parents.  Now, I hate to generalize, but it does seem exceedingly common.  What’s with having snacks available to kids every single minute of the day?  Jake and I attend this open gym that our town runs.  Basically, every weekday they use one of their community center gymnasiums, fill it with toddler/preschooler-appropriate toys, and let parents and kids have the run of it for two hours.  Most people aren’t there for the full two hours, maybe an hour, hour and a half tops.  Nearly every single kid there has snacks openly available to them.  They walk around with bags of Goldfish.  They nosh on pretzel sticks, and apple wedges, and Cheerios.  Two babysitters were there with three kids between them, and they literally had a buffet set up for the kids they were watching – four or five different snack choices, plus a drink for each kid.  Then there’s the other moms that follow the kids around as they play and pop food in the kids’ mouths as they’re playing.

You may have guessed, but this is nowhere near my modus operandi.  I make sure my kids get something in their bellies in the a.m., around lunchtime-ish, and at dinnertime.  Snacks are happily supplied if a kid says they’re hungry (unless a mealtime is imminent and that food is forthcoming shortly).  Sometimes I keep snacks with me if the kids say they are hungry, but often I don’t.  When I do have food with me, it only comes out if our time away from home unexpectedly encroaches on a mealtime, and the kids say they’re hungry.  It is rare for me to offer a preemptive snack, unless I realize we’ve missed a meal.

I hate to feel all judgmental about it, but gosh, it just really seems like some parents are still stuck on that infant feeding schedule, thinking that their kid will starve if they don’t eat every hour.

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2 responses to “Does your kid really need a perpetual snack buffet?

  1. Auughh! I hear you. I had Megan largely weaned off snacks, and then along came Kira, and all of a sudden, big sis is FAMISHED between meals. I can’t seem to escape the situational “hunger pangs”… and it never fails that if I don’t have something with me, six other kids will be eating in front of her. And that’s a recipe for meltdown.

    Mostly, I’m so fed up with food wars waged on all fronts I could cry. Hmmm… maybe it’s time for a post… 😉

  2. well, isn’t it obvious why we have overweight school children? The only thing I carry around with me is extra water, but my kids are 6 and 10 and not in need of constant grazing.

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