Snacking before dinner time

Laura has never been a huge eater, but she has always been a healthy eater. Some of it has been from how I raised her, but mostly she decided to eat healthy on her own. She even takes the breading off her chicken nuggets and the only things she likes at McDonalds are apples and the fruit parfait.

So getting Laura to eat healthy is the easy part. But now the issue is Laura is very dramatic at dinner. No matter what we fixed, she complains and claims she doesn't like it even though she loved it the day before. Dinner becomes like a battle than a family relaxing dinner.

She does get hungry between 3pm-5pm the most. If I give her dinner at 4-4:30, she's starving by 5:30 again. Our dinner time is around 5. Every time she ate at 5, she'd take three bites but then said she's full. So I had her eat with Jeff at 6:30. That worked somewhat but she still complains she doesn't like the food and drinking her milk is a tragedy.

I created a snack box so I fill up her snack box with healthy snacks. I explained to her that when it's empty that she won't get anymore snacks until tomorrow. I'm trying it for first time today. So far so good and hopefully she will eat dinner and get dessert tonight!


  1. Laura's got it made. I NEVER had snacks as a child and had to eat my meal in its entirety when it was served. Something really bothers me even before addressing Laura's eating habits though. You don't eat dinner as a family. That's an ABSOLUTE MUST. Many studies have been done about the benefits of eating as a family. Everyone should be eating at 6:30. Now as for Laura... I suggest feeding her an early lunch (about noon). If she gets hungry, give her a snack, but make sure it's no later than 3pm. Give her a glass of fruit and veggie juice (sneak in things you know she doesn't like, she'll never be the wiser) and a cup of organic Greek yogurt that's been drained to make it extra thick. Now that her eating schedule is back on track, get her involved with dinner. Not just making dinner, but planning what you have. Give her choices (with all of her options being healthy of course). Have her pick what meat she wants. Then give her 3 recipe options for that meat. Next have her pick which fruit and vegetable sides you have. Beyond that, make her eat what's on the plate. If she doesn't, tell her that it will be waiting for her in the fridge. ONLY give her the foods she refused to eat when she says that she's hungry til either they're gone or they're spoiled (usually 3-4 days for most foods). I'd also turn this into a teaching tool. Teach her about starving children, both in this country and in other parts of the world (this can then over flow into a history/geography lesson). I also suggest you put any money she gets for an allowance/gifts to sponsoring a child. This way she gets to know what it's like to not have food options or enough food and can hone her writing skills to a child close in age to her.

  2. Thank you for your good ideas and taking the time to write it. We do not eat dinner as a family always because of a few reasons. Jeff's work schedule isn't consistent. Eating together is not easy or feasible. In addition, I have health reasons that require me to eat earlier than 6ish. My attendent also leaves at 6 so it makes sense to eat before she leaves. However, when we can eat together and it makes sense - we do.

    As far as snacks,I always had snacks as a child so sorry you didn't. To me, going 5 hours without eating anything is harsh. Just about everything she eats with a few exceptions are healthy. I don't think snacks are the enemy but quantity of snacks is. The snack jar seems to be working so far though.

    Your other ideas sound good and thanks again for your thoughts and reading my blog!


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