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How do you NOT graze when you have little kids?

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  • How do you NOT graze when you have little kids?

    My girls are 6.5yrs, 3yrs, and 9 months. They are constantly eating, and I try to feed them as primally as I can, though they do love cereal. I stay at home with them so food is always there.
    Personally, I could survive on two meals and not the three meals plus two snacks that my kids have. And it seems that whenever I feed them, I automatically eat too regardless if I'm hungry or not. It's just habit to eat a slice of cheese if they're eating it too.
    Obviously, this has hindered weight loss but how do you stop? Or can I get my kids to eat the same two meals I do? What am I doing wrong? Do your primal kids eat all day long?
    Needing some accountability, so here's my stats:
    34yrs old, 5'5"
    CW: 163lbs (07/2014)
    GW: 135lbs or less
    Eating mainly paleo, but including a bit of white rice (don't call the Paleo Police!)

  • #2
    I am really not trying to be a jerk because I too have a grazing issue but I have found the easiest way not to do it is to not put the food in my mouth. Seriously, it is that easy. I used to go into the kitchen, open a cabinet, eat a few nuts etc. Now I just don't. What you are doing wrong is continuing to put the food in your mouth. Stop.

    As for getting kids down to two meals, well, I can't help you there as I don't have kids. I am sure others will chime in though Best of luck!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by blondiegreen View Post
      Personally, I could survive on two meals and not the three meals plus two snacks that my kids have.

      ...Or can I get my kids to eat the same two meals I do? What am I doing wrong? Do your primal kids eat all day long?
      Could you meet in the middle, cut their snacks (which are a manifestation of CW on constantly restocking carbs, even if you personally feed them healthier primal foods and healthy carbs) so they don't grow up thinking hunger is unhealthy and must be avoided, and add in one extra meal for yourself, something lighter like maybe a cheese salad?

      In the past, kids were warned not to eat between meals, after all, and that was the generation that wasn't as prone to obesity, so that might be a good move.

      I'm a cheese-hound too, I love to melt a huge block on a Pyrex plate then stuff it with thin slices of fresh garlic... but it does made me pudgy! Anyway sorry, wandered OT there - I do work from home and yes, found the best way to stop grazing (my bedroom is right off my kitchen!) is to simply ban it completely, which anyway worked best for me when I stopped eating cereals and cut my carbs by doing that.

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      • #4
        My daughter is 7 yo and I dread my days off and weekends. I also dread all inclusives. There are a few things that help somewhat:

        -chew gum or sip coffee/club-soda through a staw or have a platter of chopped fresh cabbage to snack on while kids are eating cheese etc
        -use a wooden chop stick to chew on instead of food
        -make all kids meals in one big swoop (during which it is Okay to eat) and direct them to help themselves during meal and snack times or dish it out as quickly as possible (the idea is to have permission to eat food while handling food and limit the amount of time handling food).

        It is a good idea to reduce the number of meals for your kids gradually. Like getting out of the house and not carrying a bag of snacks. Offering things like boiled eggs when she asks for food. I find that a particularly good idea since it helps her to learn the difference between a craving and hunger which will hopefully help her a few years down the road when she is out in the world of food all by herself.
        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by blondiegreen View Post
          Or can I get my kids to eat the same two meals I do?
          Yes, you can do this. Or you can give them a third meal that you don't eat.

          What am I doing wrong? Do your primal kids eat all day long?
          I often fix my boyfriend a meal ("plate up from what happens to be in the fridge" might be a better description) when I'm not eating. I don't eat because I'm not hungry, or because it's not my mealtime, or because he's having something I don't eat.

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          • #6
            My children graze too. I actially think they need to as they are slim, active kids and eating mostly primal foods (so generally quite satiating) and with only teeny tummies it's quite hard for them to get all the calories they need if they don't graze. So I would never limit them like I limit myself.

            Most of the time I am just not tempted - I IF and it seems to work well for me - gives me loads of energy and allows me to eat hearty, satisfying meals so I am happy and not tempted. Except during TOM when I have no will power whatsoever. Fortunately I don't keep anything too junky in the house. They do eat cereal and crackers but these are organic, gluten free and with short ingredient lists all. The cereal they eat is just a posh organic rice crispies-alike (with added cocoa) and they eat rice cakes and gluten free crackers. They also eat ice-cream (home-made though, so no rubbish) and occasional home-made gluten free baked goods. They are basically primal but with a lot more treats than I have. I don't generally get tempted by their snacky stuff but at TOM, when I do, at least I know that as fars as snack stuff goes, well it could be a lot worse. Plus it's generally only the less rubbishy stuff that tempts me. So I'm not eating rubbish - but I am eating a lot more frequently than I do in the rest of the month.

            I handle it by cutting myself some slack and trying to just go with it but not too excessively as it is just a few days. Then I make sure I am back on track for the rest of he month as soon as I feel my will power coming back - usually by about day 4 of my cycle.

            Probably not much help as it's a alightly different issue.

            I am not sure how I manage it the rest of the month - I just find it easy. Maybe because my meals when I do have them, are very satisfying?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by freerangepiglings View Post
              My children graze too. I actially think they need to as they are slim, active kids and eating mostly primal foods (so generally quite satiating) and with only teeny tummies it's quite hard for them to get all the calories they need if they don't graze. So I would never limit them like I limit myself.
              Please don't jump on me, because I mean this as a comment to throw into the debate rather than any comment on your kids, or anyone else's, but in the past children were taught not to eat, nor ask for food, between meals, so they would eat more of the food they were given, and also so they'd learn the two different states of hunger, and satiety.

              I think there was something to that, the generation that insisted on mealtimes and "don't eat now or you'll spoil your dinner" might have had a point, a stomach that's never truly empty and actively hungry at all in the day might not be desirable past a certain age?

              JUST a theoretical there, I'm thinking back to past wisdom and modern things and I have no idea about your individual kids or their needs.

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              • #8
                If they are used to permasnacking because it has simply become the house routine, they can become unused to it as well.

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                • #9
                  Believe me I. Have tried that. I just ended up with hungry, miserable kids. My kids are naturally skinny and very active. They eat good meals. But they just can't fit in enough to their small stomachs to keep them going. I am happy with them being slim - I don't fret about that, but I am aware that they don't have any weigfht to lose so I can't take any risks with that.

                  I think the kind of ng needed for adults who need to lose/maintain weight is very different from the kind required for skinny active growing kids who can't afford to lose weight. Two primal meals a day causes weightloss in me, even when those meals are as big and hearty as I can possibly eat. My kids need the oppositeof that.


                  Snacking might be a problem for some kids who are geneuinely facing weight issues, but I don't think we should be viewing all kids as a potential obesity problem of the future. At the moment my kids are skinny and growing and always busy. They have minute tummies and have always been fed the natural way - bf on demand, baby led weaning - they eat 'til full and stop. They are not currently facing any obesity issues and I don't think it's a good idea to treat them as if they were. Cutting their snacks would just leave them hungry and forcing them to eat more than they naturally want to eat in one sitting is just going to encourage them to feel bloated and overeat - something that kids don't do if fed naturally.

                  I think reducing meal frequency can be great where weight is an issue. But where kids are growing and active and still able to recognise satiety (which is a good thing and to be encouraged) then it is a risky thing to do.

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                  • #10
                    Apols for typos by the way - on my phone and it's rubbish.

                    Basically I think it's a mistake to treat growing, active, fit kids with the same regime as mothers who have weight to lose. They clearly need different approaches. They nEed more meals than we do!

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                    • #11
                      I totally understand this. When I was a kid, we were permitted snacks up to 2 hours before mealtime. But the snacks were healthy. [And we all had weight problems, so we probably didn't need them, but...]

                      I suggest giving the kids snacks that don't require preparation. Keep a bowl of fruit ready to pick from on the counter or in the refrigerator. Keep a plate with cheese cut into bite-sized pieces in the refrigerator, and some peeled hard-boiled eggs, or maybe even sliced cooked meat. Cold cooked potatoes and raw vegetables on another plate. When they want a snack, pull the platter from the refrigerator and let them at it.

                      That way the "preparation" won't be constantly on-going for you, but can be consolidated into one chore every few days.

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                      • #12
                        but in the past children were taught not to eat, nor ask for food, between meals, so they would eat more of the food they were given, and also so they'd learn the two different states of hunger, and satiety.
                        I dunno, when I think back, we got up later, had 4 dedicated meals and went to bed earlier. From what I remember of my childhood (vaguely), getting up before 8 am was unusual, breakfast was large (porridge with milk or butter or quark with home made jam or eggs and tea), school started at 8:30-8:45, lunch was at 1 pm from 3 courses (soup, main and dessert drink), then mid-afternoon we ate at ~ 4 either sour cream or sweet fruit drink with something or cheese, and finally dinner was main and tea with something (normally bread and jam). We did not have fruit for much of the year, so preserves were the big thing. I went to bed by 8:30 pm and there was hell to pay for any bathroom trip after that. Adult's working hours were 10 am to 6 pm, iirc, with lunch from 1 to 2 pm.

                        Now, my child has to be up at 6:30 am to make the before-school care at 7 am, and she does not go to bed till 8:30-9 pm. So her day is 2 hrs longer than mine. I normally pack a meat item, a vegetable container, 1 fruit and 1 'something else', a larabar or another fruit or an egg. She also eats breakfast and supper. So, that's probably 5 meals. She is fine going for 4-6 hrs, sometimes more without food.
                        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leida View Post
                          I dunno, when I think back, we got up later, had 4 dedicated meals and went to bed earlier. From what I remember of my childhood (vaguely), getting up before 8 am was unusual, breakfast was large (porridge with milk or butter or quark with home made jam or eggs and tea), school started at 8:30-8:45, lunch was at 1 pm from 3 courses (soup, main and dessert drink), then mid-afternoon we ate at ~ 4 either sour cream or sweet fruit drink with something or cheese, and finally dinner was main and tea with something (normally bread and jam). We did not have fruit for much of the year, so preserves were the big thing. I went to bed by 8:30 pm and there was hell to pay for any bathroom trip after that. Adult's working hours were 10 am to 6 pm, iirc, with lunch from 1 to 2 pm.

                          Now, my child has to be up at 6:30 am to make the before-school care at 7 am, and she does not go to bed till 8:30-9 pm. So her day is 2 hrs longer than mine. I normally pack a meat item, a vegetable container, 1 fruit and 1 'something else', a larabar or another fruit or an egg. She also eats breakfast and supper. So, that's probably 5 meals. She is fine going for 4-6 hrs, sometimes more without food.
                          When I was a kid in school, we had breakfast, and there was no eating until lunch at school. Nobody snacked, unlike nowadays where it seems like it's up to the teacher to what extent they permit snacking in class—and some permit it constantly at any age. When I got home from school I was permitted to fix myself a snack, but not before dinner, which I often cooked for the family starting in middle school. My older sister was not domestic, and my parents both worked. Dinner always included dessert, and we didn't snack except for maybe a piece of fresh fruit or canned fruit before bedtime.

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                          • #14
                            I hear you! I am trying to IF through breakfast and it is so hard with kiddos! I would NEVER expect a growing child to skip breakfast. My son, especially, wakes up starving in the AM. It is so hard not to take bites of the food out of habit when prepping it... even if I'm not hungry. Especially with all these fresh berries in the summer! I find myself grabbing just a couple and they taste so good that I want a whole handful... and then I may as well eat some sausage + nuts too.

                            I have never had food-related will-power issues in my life... until now! It seriously is so hard not to snack when prepping food for someone else. IFing thru the morning was no big deal when I didn't have to think about making a rounded primal meal, touch the food, + cook the food for someone else. I will sometimes make smoothies in the AM with the plan to "save" mine until lunch time at the office... that never happens. But had I not made a smoothie in the first place it would be no big deal. Anyway, no advice for me... just wanted to say I feel your pain!

                            I seriously think it may be more appropriate to NOT IF while the kids are young... maybe another method like cutting calories or carbs would be better. I am breast-feeding too but I have a couple pounds around the waist that could go.

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                            • #15
                              My kids eat 2-3 times a day..... I don't do snacks for them. Sometimes we all skip breakfast together and sometimes they wake up and ask for some food. Breakfast....when they want it is always meat, eggs, and fruit. That will take care of any need for a mid morning snack real quick.

                              My kids also survive almost exclusively on meat, eggs, raw milk, fruit, and homemade french fries. They both detest veggies so I don't even bother making them anymore. I always feed them meat/eggs first and they can have as much fruit as they like after OR if they would ever ask for a snack.... which is next to never after the high calorie load of their 2-3 meals.

                              Currently they are 3 and 6 years old.

                              I remember that breakfast was never a big deal in my childhood. Actually we had one good breakfast a week on sunday when my dad would get up and make everyone omelets with sides of bacon and sausage and of course toast. Other then that breakfast was always take it or leave it.
                              Last edited by Neckhammer; 07-31-2013, 12:22 PM.

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